Scholars At Risk FAQ Page

The following are the most frequently asked questions regarding the Scholars at Risk Program at Yale. For more information about the program, visit the Scholars at Risk page.


Who qualifies as a ‘scholar’?

For Yale Scholars at Risk, the term ‘scholar’ refers to professors, researchers, practitioners, artists, journalists, and activists who face persecution or unsafe conditions in their current or previous location.  

Do I need a Ph.D. to be considered for funding?

-Scholars must have a terminal degree (e.g. Ph.D., MD, JD, etc.) or equivalent professional experience in their discipline. Typically, this means at least 7-10 years of related professional experience. 

-Artists, journalists, and activists must demonstrate evidence of recognized excellence in their field. 

Can United States citizens or permanent residents apply for YSAR funding?

-No, citizens or permanent residents of the United States may not apply.

Can students apply for YSAR funding?

-No, the committee will not fund students or individuals looking to complete a degree at Yale. 


How long do Yale Scholars at Risk positions last?

-Funding is typically offered to support a one-year appointment, with the possibility of reappointment for one additional year. In no case will YSAR funding extend beyond two years. 

What do threatened scholars receive?

Scholars receive the opportunity to continue or re-start their careers in a safe setting.  During their 1- to 2-year appointment, Yale faculty host(s) are available to provide guidance and help the scholar follow through on a professional plan. Scholars also receive a modest salary, health benefits, relocation funds if needed, and support arranging visas, as well as other logistic and coordination support. 

What is not included?

-Yale Scholars at Risk does not directly fund professional development (e.g. tuition, conference registrations, association fees, books). Similarly, after arriving at Yale, legal fees and other expenses associated with immigration processes or career searches are the scholar’s responsibility or may be covered by host department funds, if available.  

What are the benefits to Yale?

-Because Yale faculty and unit hosting is required, all visiting scholars arrive already matched and with a plan to contribute to the Yale community through some combination of teaching, research, and practice. Scholars are encouraged to engage with secondary units and other Yale and New Haven groups. 


I’m not a faculty member at Yale, can I submit a nomination? 

-No. To receive consideration for funding from the Yale Scholars at Risk committee, a candidate must be nominated by a Yale faculty member with a regular (non-visiting) appointment. 

I know a candidate who meets the eligibility criteria (above), what else is needed?

-It is essential that potential Yale scholars can play a productive role while at Yale. Candidates must have at least one Yale faculty member host and one department/section/program/council eager to host the scholar. (See Roles section, below.) 

I would like to host a threatened scholar but don’t have one in mind. Where can I find potential candidates?

-Yale has a working relationship with two organizations that vet and place scholars. Faculty members are encouraged to review current lists of candidates through IIE-Scholar Rescue Fund and Scholars at Risk Network. Note that Scholar Rescue Fund candidates include partial salary support from IIE. Contact with any questions related to such potential nominees. 

How do I nominate a scholar for YSAR funding?

-Yale faculty members interested in nominating a candidate for funding should email for the nomination packet and with any questions. 

What is the deadline for nominating scholars?

January 20 is the nomination deadline for scholars arriving during the summer. Full application materials should be provided by this date. For emergency situations, contact to discuss options.

My Yale department (school, etc.) wants to bring a threatened scholar and does not need YSAR funding. What should I do?

-Any Yale entity with sufficient funds may choose to hire a threatened scholar as they would any other position. Please notify YSAR staff for coordination


What roles do Yale faculty and host departments play in receiving threatened scholars?

-Yale faculty host: 

A member of the Yale faculty must serve as primary faculty host. The primary faculty host may not be a visiting professor, a postdoctoral scholar, or have a short-term appointment. Secondary faculty hosts are encouraged. 

Yale faculty host responsibilities include: nominate the candidate; develop a professional plan; help with the hiring process; welcome the scholar to campus; facilitate the execution of the professional plan; provide introductions across campus and outside Yale; provide personal and professional mentorship. 

-Yale host department:

A Yale host unit with hiring authority must act as the primary department host. This may be a school’s dean’s office, an academic department, a MacMillan council, or an institute or section. Secondary host departments are welcome. 

Yale host unit responsibilities include: provide faculty approval of the hire; arrange for office and/or lab space; contribute to scholar salary, if possible; facilitate hiring process as appropriate; incorporate scholar into teaching/research activities; help scholar secure housing near campus; include scholar in department events; provide access to IT and facilities. When possible, consider offsetting scholar’s professional development expenses (e.g. conference expenses, professional memberships, etc.). 

Who pays for the scholar’s salary?

-Scholars are hired with an appropriate title and corresponding salary. Standard finge benefits apply. Typically, initial visa and relocation expenses are also covered as needed.  

-The Yale Scholars at Risk committee controls central funds allocated by the President’s and Provost’s offices specifically for threatened scholars’ salaries. In no case will these funds be extended beyond two years.  

– Yale host units able to contribute all or part of the cost of hosting a threatened scholar are strongly encouraged to do so, to enable Yale to welcome more scholars.

Donor support for endowed funds to support the program are also welcome. To learn more about how you can contribute your support, please visit the Yale Campaign’s For Humanity website.

What factors does the Yale Scholars at Risk committee consider when making funding decisions?

The primary factors are: the nominated scholar’s ‘fit’ on campus, including the number and array of Yale faculty members eager to receive them; and the degree of risk the scholar is facing in their current situation. Additionally, the committee considers: the strength of the professional plan to assist the scholar; the extent to which other entities, such as Yale departments, can offset the salary cost; and the academic, geographic, and demographic balance of scholars receiving YSAR funds. 

Who determines where the scholar goes after Yale?

The threatened scholar must take responsibility for assessing the professional landscape and securing their next position.  

-Faculty hosts are required to help hosted scholars develop a professional plan. In some cases, the most realistic next career step may be outside the scholar’s previous field, or outside academia altogether. Yale faculty can provide insight into job markets and trends in addition to introductions to help the scholar develop a network of opportunities. 

-The Yale Scholars at Risk initiative can also provide introductions to other threatened scholars and other resources that may help the scholar determine their best options. 


I’m at Yale as a threatened scholar. What offices/services are available to me?

-Your faculty host(s) and host department(s) should be the first place you turn for advice and help, particularly regarding job responsibilities and professional development. 

-The New University in Exile Consortium offers weekly seminars designed specifically to build community and support threatened scholars.

-The Office of International Students and Scholars has a wide array of resources, links, and events to help create community and address questions or concerns.

-The Center for Language Study offers assessments, classes, and resources at no cost to you, to help you improve your English skills.

-The Yale Scholars at Risk staff ( is also eager to make sure you are supported and finding answers. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. 

When my time as a visiting scholar at Yale ends, can I transition to a permanent position or become a student?

-Current at-risk scholars hosted by Yale should be working hard to determine their next steps. Yale Scholars at Risk funding will not extend beyond two years, and chances of finding a permanent faculty position at Yale are typically very low. Please consult with colleagues in your field to determine and pursue options. Enrolling as a student may not be permitted by your visa status (contact with questions about that) and is also dependent on being accepted from a competitive pool of applicants. 

Can I nominate another threatened scholar I know for placement at Yale?

-No. Nominations must come from current permanent faculty members willing to host.