The Lancaster Sanctuary Fellowship

Two ladies sitting outside on campus

The Lancaster Sanctuary Fellowship provides 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 provides a full fee waiver and offers in-kind and direct financial assistance to each Fellow and their accompanying family dependents.

The Fellowship was 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 academics or students 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.

Thanks to the Sanctuary Fellowship programme, a fourth fellow and their family have now arrived at Lancaster University. Both the fellow and their family are settling in well.

We are also pleased to share the news that our third fellow, who was directly supported by the Sanctuary Fellowship, has recently been awarded a Global Talent visa. Here, they tell us more about their journey since becoming a Fellow at Lancaster, and what being awarded the Global Talent visa means for them.

“With the support of the Fellowship, my family and I have resumed our normal life in Lancaster. I really appreciate the care and support of each and every individual who is making this Fellowship Programme possible – to receive this support has been a miracle for us. As a way of showing my gratitude, I am determined to pass on your generous spirit.

“The Fellowship has had a real impact on my work and life. I published a peer reviewed article based on my research before coming to Lancaster. I also collected research data for another study with the guidance of my academic mentor at Lancaster. This writing output and research experience prepared me to continue my academic career path, which I would not have been able to pursue without the support provided by Lancaster University and the Sanctuary Fellowship. Thanks to the Fellowship, my whole family has also been taking refuge at a safe haven, and my children have picked up their disrupted education and are now attending school in Lancaster.

“After completing my two-year visiting researcher placement at Lancaster, I was awarded a UK Government Global Talent visa, and I am grateful for the excellent support that my department at Lancaster provided me with during the application stage.

“The visa will enable me, along with my family as dependents, to stay in the UK for three years. Having this visa also means my spouse and I have a right to work within the UK with very limited restrictions.

“With this visa, my family and I have a chance to continue staying in a place where there is no threat to our life, compared to our home country. I can also work to continue my academic career, my research and education interest in Higher Education institutions.

“My family and I would like to give our heartfelt thanks to all the donors who support the Sanctuary Fellowship Programme at Lancaster. Without your care and generous support, we would not have been able to resume normal life. Thank you so much.”

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