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 principle by providing a safe environment for vulnerable academics.

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More information

What is the Sanctuary Fellowship?

We are delighted to announce the launch of the Lancaster University Sanctuary Fellowship. The Fellowship will provide a safe place at Lancaster or 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.

Lancaster has also set aside £20,000 to provide match funding for all donations that support our Lancaster Sanctuary Fellowship.


Why should I support the Sanctuary Fellowship

We are looking for support to cover the costs of bringing an at-risk academic to our Bailrigg campus. The cost of bringing one academic to Lancaster is £13,000 and to host an academic and their family, it costs over £34,000. Any donation that you generously make will help Lancaster to become a place of Sanctuary and will allow us to support our fellow academics all over the world.

By pledging a regular gift, you will contribute to the Fellowship’s long-term sustainability and allow us to help even more scholars threatened by conflict, persecution or violence in the future.

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!

There is no better time to pledge your support!

Anonymous former recipient of Cara support who completed their PhD at Lancaster

Lancaster has been part of the Cara network for a number of years and has already supported a small number of PhD students, as the following excerpt testifies: 

“With the risk of losing everything, Cara offered a glimpse of hope through its support to academics at risk. I was successful in my application for funding, and the support from both Lancaster University and Cara has enabled me to finish my PhD.”


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.

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.

Contact Us

By Post

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


By Phone

+44 (0)1524 594109

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

By Email


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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