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The Lancaster Sanctuary Fellowship

Lancaster University has launched the Sanctuary Fellowship. The fellowship will provide a safe place at Lancaster for scholars who face persecution and barriers to research freely in their own countries. Academic freedom was a founding principle of the university and we believe that Lancaster can build on this ethic by providing a safe environment for academics unable to work due to persecution or conflict in their own countries.

Donate to the Lancaster Sanctuary Fellowship

What is the Sanctuary Fellowship?

The Lancaster Sanctuary Fellowship will provide a safe place at Lancaster for scholars who face persecution and barriers to research freely in their own countries because of conflict, violence or political oppression. Lancaster University will provide a full fee waiver and offer in-kind and direct financial assistance to the Fellow and any accompanying family dependents.

The Fellowship has been created in response to the rapid increase in numbers of academics needing support. There is a corresponding urgency to raise awareness of their plight and to gather funding to help them secure a safe haven in which to live and work. We want to be able to offer facilities for this purpose at Lancaster. Working alongside the Council for At-Risk Academics (Cara), the Sanctuary Fellowship will enable an academic or student at risk to spend time in safety in the UK to further their work. If sufficient funding can be raised, this would include the families of the academics we are supporting.

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Why should I support the Sanctuary Fellowship

It costs £16,500 - £40,000 to support an academic for one year - depending on whether they arrive alone or with an accompanying family. This money pays for their basic living expenses.

By 2022, we aim to have an at-risk scholar in each of our four faculties and soon we hope to welcome our first family under the Sanctuary Fellowship. To be able to do this, we need your help.

Lancaster has also set aside £20,000 to provide match funding for all donations that support our Lancaster Sanctuary Fellowship. This means that every £1 you donate will be matched by the University, allowing your generous gift to make twice the impact.

Any donation that you generously make will help Lancaster to become a place of Sanctuary for those fleeing persecution.

Read the story of our first Lancaster Sanctuary Fellow:

"It can happen in so many countries: an individual who has never received even a traffic ticket can start being discriminated against overnight, without having done anything wrong at all. Their world can be turned upside down. We do not expect such things even in our wildest nightmares to happen to us, but this is what happened to me. And although eventually, we know that society will recover, and human rights will one day be respected again, for an individual in the academy this period could be a very long time.

For me the support of Lancaster Sanctuary Fellowship came at a very critical time in my life. I was effectively blocked from social life in my country and in a very unpleasant situation, not knowing what might happen tomorrow. At that critical time, Lancaster Sanctuary Fellowship gave me a port and an opportunity to continue with research and contribute to wider society with my experience and my work in science. My labs and the entire university were confiscated, and I was denied access to university research facilities, even to the libraries. Currently however, with the support of Lancaster Sanctuary Fellowship, I am working with a research group in the UK that has the potential to contribute substantially to society at both a scientific and technical level; an opportunity I was denied in my home country.

For a scientist, even a short six months of being kept from research activities under discriminatory policies can be very destructive. The opportunity given to me by Lancaster Sanctuary Fellowship played a very crucial role for me at a personal level, for my scientific research, and my contribution to academia and society. It is hard to overestimate what Lancaster Sanctuary Fellowship makes possible; it contributes to the existence of the individual and their right to life, to the creativity of the individual which otherwise would have been terminated, to the research he/she participates in, and to the future of freedom of speech and expression in the entire world, which in return, is the main guarantee of our existence as individuals in these modern times.

We would definitely be living in a much better world if we had more organizations like CARA, ideally in every democracy in the world, so that society is better able to protect individuals with more powerful and responsive financial support. It is a bet that is meant to win for sure. As a response, it is a pleasure to be productive in my work. Thank you."

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Our long term aim

Our long-term aim is to make Lancaster both a City and a University of Sanctuary. The idea is not new; Sheffield became the first City of Sanctuary in 2007. However, the need is increasing and we want to do our part to protect academic freedom.

By 2022 we aim to have an at-risk scholar in each of our faculties and soon we hope to welcome our first family under the Sanctuary Fellowship.

For full details about Cara and the fantastic work that it does across the world, please click here.

Thank you to all those who have already pledged their support and donated to the Sanctuary Fellowship

Paul J Arthur - Alumnus and LU staff member - Professional Services, Admissions

Professor Gerry Johnson, Emeritus - LU staff member, Department of Entrepreneurship and Strategy

Dr Charlotte Baker - Alumna and LU staff member - Department of Languages and Cultures

Professor Kim Knott - LU staff member, Department of Politics Philosophy and Religion

Rachel Binley - Alumna and LU staff member - Professional Services, Development and Alumni Relations

Professor Alisdair MacBean, Emeritus - LU staff member, Department of Economics

Clare Briggs - Alumna

Dr Sarah Marsden - LU staff member, Department of Politics Philosophy and Religion

Daniel Corkhill - Alumnus and former staff member

Professor Chris May - LU staff member, Department of Politics Philosophy and Religion

Dr Robert David - Alumnus

Paul McCarthy - LU staff member, Professional Services, Development and Alumni Relations

Professor Peter Diggle - LU staff member, Faculty of Health and Medicine

Marion McClintock - LU staff member, Honorary Archivist, Library

Jennifer Duffell - Alumna

Dr Hubert Montagu-Pollock, Emeritus - LU staff member, Department of Physics

Professor Charles Forsdick - Alumnus

Professor Graham Mort - LU staff member, Department of English and Creative Writing
Professor Robert Geyer - LU staff member, Department of Politics Philosophy and Religion

Professor Maggie Mort - Alumna and LU staff member, Department of Sociology

Dr Olga Gomez - LU staff member, Department of Languages and Cultures

Helen O'Donnell - Alumna and former LU staff member

Professor John Goodacre, Emeritus - LU staff member, Medical School Natalia Rocha - Alumna
Dr Jan Grabowski - LU staff member, Department of Mathematics and Statistics Dr Birgit Smith - Alumna and former LU staff member
Professor Mary Hamilton, Emerita - LU staff member, Department of Educational Research Professor Angus Winchester, Emeritus - LU staff member, Department of History
Margaret Hunter - Alumna Daniel Winter - Alumnus

Support from the Martha David Fund

The Fellowship has received a donation from the Martha David Fund. The fund was set up by a grandchild of Martha David who fled Nazi persecution in the 1930s. What follows is Martha's story told by one of her grandchildren, Dr Rob David.

"Martha David was born in Berlin in 1899.  She and her husband, Dagobert, and their three children were a typical middle class German Jewish family living in Düsseldorf during the 1920s and 1930s.  From 1933 their lives were completely disrupted by the policies of the Nazi government.  The three children became refugees when they were sent to Britain for their education and safety, Dagobert was arrested and murdered by the Nazis, and in 1939 Martha, along with her brother and his family escaped from Germany to Belgium and claimed refugee status.  However within a year they were all forced into hiding when Belgium was invaded by Germany.  They remained in hiding in Brussels until betrayed in January 1944, at which point they narrowly escaped deportation to Auschwitz.  With the liberation of Brussels in September 1944 they were once again free.

In November 1946 Martha came to live in Britain as part of the ‘Distressed Relatives’ scheme and was able to join her children.  Between 1947 and 1951 all the family applied for, and were given, British citizenship.  Martha died in London in 1968. 

The David family faced the same disruption to their lives as so many families face today.  Fortunately successive British governments, and in particular individuals and charitable institutions, made it possible for our family to begin their lives anew in this country.

Martha and Dagobert created an art collection during the 1920s and early 1930s, most of which was lost during the Holocaust.  The restitution of some of the lost works of art has enabled one of Martha David’s grandchildren to create a fund in her memory.  The Fund will be used to aid refugee communities in this country, support the aspirations of individuals, and promote art, culture and the environment." 

- Dr Rob David, Alumnus

Martha David with her three children

Cara features on Channel 4 news

Cara on Channel 4

Cara recently featured on Channel 4 news, where esteemed British Sculptor and long term supporter of Cara, Antony Gormley discussed its importance with Jon Snow. Gormley highlights the key role which academics worldwide play in the contemporary environment and how Cara allows them to carry out the vital work that they do.

Donate to the Lancaster Sanctuary Fellowship

Contact Us

By Post

Alumni & Development Office
C Floor
University House
Lancaster University
Bailrigg, Lancaster
LA1 4YW
United Kingdom

 

By Phone

+44 (0)1524 594109

We're here Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm

By Email

friends@lancaster.ac.uk

To contact a member of our team directly, please click here 

To find out more about The Lancaster Refuge Fellowship, please contact in the first instance 

Dr Sarah Marsden

 

 

 

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