The Global Young Academy is committed to supporting at-risk-scholars who have been forced to flee their countries due to political circumstances or threat of violence. Through one of the GYA’s strategic projects, the At-Risk Scholars Initiative, GYA and National Young Academy members provide peer mentorship to displaced and at-risk scholars to support their reintegration into scholarly environments in their host countries. After a three year pilot in which selected mentees were nominated for GYA membership, the GYA is now creating a permanent alternative selection path to membership for one membership slot per year through a confidential application process. Suitable candidates can be identified by a sub-committee of the At-Risk Scholars Initiative which acts independently but under the auspices of GYA’s Membership Selection Committee. In evaluating applications, particular attention will be paid to the specific situation and the challenges the scholar overcame.
The GYA is committed to the values of excellence and diversity across all dimensions. It acknowledges the unique challenges that many scholars working in authoritarian regimes face, and calls on governments all over the world to protect academic freedom and freedom of speech. Integrating at-risk scholars into the GYA is an important step for bringing key voices to the table when discussing the situation of young scientists and ways to improve the structures and practices of academia. Providing opportunities for at-risk and displaced scholars to access professional networks like the GYA can be critical to keeping scholars connected and able to continue their research.