2022-23 Mellon/SAR Academic Freedom Workshop & Fellowships

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Protecting scholars and the freedom to think, question, and share ideas

Scholars at Risk (SAR) announces a call for applications for five remote research fellowships for early career researchers who investigate issues focusing upon academic freedom and/or related higher education values. The fellowship program, made possible by the generous support of and partnership with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is intended to provide support for a professional community of researchers who wish to develop and share related work leading to the completion of a formal written publication, a new course offering, workshop, webinar or other significant end product.

Over the course of the eight-month program, from November 2022 to June 2023, fellows will complete their proposed project and participate in monthly remote, online workshop sessions during which they will be asked to present the progress of their work and to offer feedback on the work of other fellows. During the latter part of the program, fellows will be expected to prepare and deliver an online talk or presentation of their work for SAR staff, network members, and/or guests (with appropriate security accommodations, as necessary). Fellows are also expected to attend a virtual reunion meeting in September 2023 as SAR seeks to develop a community of academic freedom researchers. Fellows will receive a stipend of USD $8000 intended to cover research expenses, publication, or other costs, as the fellow may decide. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to gain exposure to SAR’s programming and to network with SAR partner-experts on academic freedom issues.

The deadline for submission is August 25, 2022, with decisions to be announced in October.


  • PhD degree received less than 8 years ago; in limited cases, doctoral candidates in the final stages of dissertation completion may be considered.
  • Current research or teaching affiliation with a higher education institution, association, or research organization.
  • Demonstrated interest in teaching, researching, or publishing about issues of academic freedom or related higher education values.
  • Preference for projects involving comparative, international, or collaborative work
    (fellowship awards may be split across two researchers).
  • Commitment to participate in 8-10 remote, online workshops and/or public webinars with co-recipients, SAR staff, network members, and guests (with proper security accommodations).
  • Ability to lawfully receive stipend funds and complete program requirements in the
    country of current location, assuming responsibility for tax or reporting requirements, if any.
  • Personal experiences with risk or threat are not a consideration for selection, but current or formerly at-risk researchers are encouraged to apply.
  • Candidates in or from the Global South and from minority or otherwise marginalized communities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Application Instructions
Applications may be submitted here through August 25, 2022. Applicants are required to submit an abstract, research plan and timeline, and a CV with the names and contact information of two references, in a single PDF, adhering to the criteria below. Applicants must also address questions regarding their proposed project through short-answer forms in the online application.

In a single PDF file, saved as “LAST NAME – Project Title”, please submit:

  1. A 500-1000 word abstract* summarizing the formal research component of your
    submission (guidelines below).
  2. A research plan and timeline for the eighth month program (November 2022 – June 2023).
  3. A CV and the contact information of two professional references who can speak to your candidacy for this fellowship program. If you have yet to complete your final degree, please include your expected date of completion.

Applications that do not include all the above will be ineligible for consideration.

Abstract Guidelines

  • What specific research question do you wish to address? What is its potential
  • How is your research question related to what is understood to entail academic
    freedom and related values?
  • What methodology will you employ to address your research questions, and what types of evidence do you propose to gather?
  • How will your findings contribute to our greater understanding of what academic
    freedom involves and how it can best be protected?
  • How does your proposed project fit within your current and long-term teaching,
    research, and advocacy goals?

*The abstract refers to the formal publishable research proposed by the applicant, whereas the end product refers to both the research and the form(s) of its dissemination.

Short Answer Form
For the proposed end product of your project, please answer the following questions.

  • What objectives do you intend to achieve through completion of this end product?
  • In what form will your end product be delivered (webinar, podcast, journal article,
    conference presentation, published curricular materials, etc.)?
  • What is your plan for disseminating the end product of your project?
  • Describe your target audience.
  • How will you assess the success of this portion of your project?


Questions or queries concerning this application may be submitted to scholarsatrisk@nyu.edu.