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Photo: Heiwa Wong

Support for Scholars with a Refugee Background

The University of Cologne is a member of the Scholars at Risk network and cooperates with the Scholar Rescue Fund of the International Institute of Education. These organizations receive and review the applications of refugee scholars and scientists and then try to find an adequate position for them. 

The International Office’s department “International Science” helps refugee scholars and scientists find an occupation at one of the University of Cologne’s Faculties. It also offers support to the UoC’s institutes, chairs, and working groups who would like to host a refugee scholar or scientist. This includes finding suitable support programmes and preparing applications.

The Welcome Centre of the Univeristiy of Cologne supports refugee scholars and scientists in all practical questions surrounding their stay in Cologne, including housing, insurance, and childcare. All candidates have access to German as a Second Language courses. In cooperation with the UoC’s Academic Staff Development Department, the Welcome Center is also developing workshops and seminars that help refugee scholars and scientists attain the necessary skills and professional orientation in this new academic environment.

As of July 2022, the University of Cologne has been able to accommodate 19 threatened scholars. They can now pursue their academic career in safety after their flight from their home countries. The applications of further scholars and scientists are currently being reviewed.

expand: Supported Refugee Scholars – Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet as accessible PDF


Scholarship Programmes for At-Risk and Refugee Scientists

Philipp Schwartz-Initiative
Important: Central coordination and application via the International Office. Please contact Ms Judith Nebe.

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Volkswagenstiftung (Funding for Refugee Scholars and Scientists from Afghanistan)

Volkswagenstiftung (Funding for Refugee Scholars and Scientists from Ukraine)
Important: Central coordination via the International Office. Please contact Dr. Heike Berner.

Scholar Rescue Fund


If you would like to propose suitable candidates for a programme or would like to find out more about support opportunities for at-risk and refugee academics at the UoC in general, please feel free to contact Ms Judith Nebe and Dr. Heike Berner.

Ms Judith Nebe
International Science
Phone extension +49 (0)221 470 76026

If you are generally willing to host a scholar with a refugee background at your institute, you can let us know via this form, and we will contact you should we hear of a person who fits your research priorities:

Hilde Domin Programme

If you are interested in the Hilde Domin Programme of the DAAD or if you are a teacher who would like to propose a candidate for nomination, please contact

Doctoral students

Judith Nebe, M.A.
Phone: +49-221-470-76026

Students (Bachelor and Master)

Ariane Elshof, M.A.
Phone: +49-221-470-2024