Jobs for Refugee Scientists

The European Commission has pledged to help find positions for researchers fleeing their home countries.

Oct 7, 2015
Kerry Grens

WIKIPEDIA, MSTYSLAV CHERNOVA new program called science4refugees, launched by the European Commission this week (October 5), intends to find jobs for displaced researchers by hooking them up with “refugee-welcoming organizations.”

“By matching refugees and asylum seekers who have a scientific background with European scientific institutions, the EU [European Union] will gain a huge diversity of new insight for our research, science and innovation, while taking practical steps in providing meaningful opportunities for a vastly talented, but greatly underprivileged, community,” European Commissioner for Research, Science, and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, said in a press release.

Kurt Deketelaere, secretary-general of the League of European Research Universities, told ScienceInsider that several universities are already on board, including the University of Strasbourg in France and the University of Leuven in Belgium.

Another organization, the U.K.-based Council for At-Risk Academics, is also providing aid to scientists who’ve fled from their homes. Executive Director Stephen Wordsworth told ScienceInsider that “anything that helps is welcome.” But, he added, “it’s unclear how many people can benefit” from the commission’s plan, which does not offer any preferential treatment for refugee candidates competing for jobs.