Russia's invasion of Ukraine has brought incredible suffering to the Ukrainian people and has affected the scientific community. ERCIM institutes feel for all Ukrainians and especially for Ukrainian staff and colleagues who have family and friends in Ukraine, and express solidarity with them as well as with our Russian colleagues and staff who are suffering from this conflict. Many initiatives have been launched to help Ukrainian scientists.
Here are a few examples from the Netherlands and Italy and France.
Suspension of partnerships with Russia and Belarus
The Dutch Research Council (NWO), including our Dutch member CWI, and other Dutch knowledge institutions such as universities, university hospitals, universities of applied sciences, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and others, have decided to suspend all formal and institutional partnerships with educational and knowledge institutions in the Russian Federation and Belarus with immediate effect [L1]. Similarly, the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research suspended on 28 February 2022 all new bilateral collaborations with Russia. This applies to all higher education institutions and research institutes in France, including Inria.
Employment of Ukrainian researchers
From the beginning of the conflict, the entire scientific network of the Italian National Research Council (CNR) was mobilised to support and welcome students, researchers and lecturers, but also to contribute to socio-political analysis and reinforce the message that science is the bearer of peace, friendship and cooperation.
CNR has already awarded 66 scholarships to Ukrainian graduates, professors and researchers who have faced serious difficulties due to the conflict. Calls for applications are published by the research institutes and are available at [L2, L3] along with full details.
Inria has set up a dedicated team to deal with any difficulties that Ukranian and Russian researchers may encounter. Solutions are offered to overcome the personal situation, from financial help to psychological support in English via a special hotline. This applies to researchers as well as students and support staff. The information is updated on the Inria intranet site on a dedicated page
In the Netherlands, the Governing Board of NWO has set up an emergency fund of €1 million. First, the fund is intended to support Ukrainian, Russian and Belarusian staff working at the NWO. The board wants to use it to help them if they run into acute financial problems because of the war.
Second, the fund is intended to support Ukrainian researchers who have fled from their home country to The Netherlands. NWO believes that these refugees should have a safe (working) place. NWO would also like to make a concrete contribution to the Young Academy's initiative for a national coordinating body. The aim is to provide practical support to refugee researchers, lecturers and students as quickly as possible so that they can continue their research and studies at a Dutch knowledge institution, for example through the Foundation for Refugee Students (UAF).
In France, financial support within the Ukraine Solidarity emergency fund is available, including a six-month program together with the French national research funding agency ANR, to help Ukrainian researchers within the frame of the “PAUSE-ARN Ukraine” programme [L4, L5] that supports scientists and artists in exile by facilitating their reception in higher education and research institutions
At the European level, the European Union, its Member States and Europeans across the continent are committed to helping people fleeing the war in Ukraine through the ERA4Ukraine [L6] initiative. "We are working on all fronts to support Ukraine with aid, humanitarian assistance and disaster response," says the Euraxess website. This particular initiative aims to support researchers in Ukraine by giving them an overview of all existing measures at the European and national level
[L1] https://www.cwi.nl/news/2022/nwo-and-cwi-condemn-russian-attack-on-ukraine-preparing-measures (March 2022)