Global MIT At-Risk Scholars Program launches, offers fellowships to Ukrainian academics

Global MIT At-Risk Scholars Program launches, offers fellowships to Ukrainian academics

The new program will be piloted by the MIT-Ukraine Program at the Center for International Studies. Request for proposals deadline is September 27, 2023.

September 14, 2023
Svitlana Krasynska, PhD and Professor Elizabeth Wood
September 14, 2023
Center for International Studies

The newly launched Global MIT At-Risk Fellows (GMAF) program is designed to provide sanctuary to scholars around the globe whose lives and academic freedom are under threat. The program offers educational and research experiences to at-risk university faculty and researchers by introducing them to MIT campus methods and strategies in their areas of specialty.  

The GMAF pilot program will focus on Ukrainian researchers and faculty with current or recent affiliations at Ukrainian universities or the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. These scholars may currently be residing in Ukraine (with eligibility to leave the country) or be living outside the country since the full-scale Russian invasion in February 2022.  

 “It is an honor to be able to support Ukrainian scholarship and science in this way, and we are very much looking forward to welcoming the fellows on MIT campus in February 2024.  We are focusing our program on the fields that are at the juncture of Ukraine’s practical challenges and MIT’s expertise in hopes that our fellows will utilize the knowledge and collaborative networks they attain during their MIT visit for supporting Ukraine through their teaching and research upon return,” said Svitlana Krasynska, PhD, who is the managing director of the Center's MIT-Ukraine Program. 

An MIT faculty committee will select up to five such scholars at the postdoctoral or faculty level.  Each fellow who is chosen to participate will spend a semester at MIT, starting in spring 2024 (February-May).  The fellow will be paired with an MIT faculty advisor in their field, observe research work and classes taught by the advisor or another MIT faculty member, and work on new materials and teaching approaches for possible adoption in their own classes and labs upon completion of the program.  Fellows will also be invited to attend lab meetings and on-campus programming that may be of interest to them in their area of specialty and beyond.  They will have an opportunity to meet with graduate and undergraduate students and may be able to receive research assistance from an advanced undergraduate or graduate student working in their field.  

MIT will cover expenses including travel, living, and instructional materials, as well as giving a general stipend.  The home universities or institutes will commit to providing leaves of absence during the period of the MIT program.  

“We believe that MIT has rich expertise in a wide range of fields that can directly benefit Ukrainian researchers and scholars.  They can then take back to their home country what they have learned in their four months at MIT,” said Elizabeth Wood, faculty director of the MIT-Ukraine Program and professor of history at MIT. 

Call for proposals:

GMAF welcomes applications from all qualified faculty and researchers who are: Holders of academic or research appointments (or had been prior to February 2022) at a Ukrainian university or the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences; Interested in and committed to bringing their scholarship to bear on current challenges in Ukraine; Holders of a PhD (or equivalent degree) in a field that is also represented at MIT; and Ukrainian citizens.

GMAF accepts online applications only.  To apply, please visit:  The deadline to apply is September 27, 2023, 11:59pm EST.   

Priority fields

GMAF will give priority to applicants from the following fields which are urgently needed in Ukraine and have strong representation within MIT: 

  • economic development; 
  • housing and urban planning; 
  • energy, advanced materials and infrastructure (especially nuclear and sustainable forms of energy); 
  • computer science (especially in the areas of digital transformation, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence); 
  • prosthetics engineering; and 
  • logistics. 

Application is not limited to these fields, however; scholars from other fields are welcome to apply as well.  

Selection process

All applications must be written by the candidates themselves.  No applications from ChatGPT or other artificial machine learning source will be acceptable.  Semi-finalists will also be requested to upload a one-minute video explaining their research and teaching interests.  At the final stage, the GMAF faculty committee will hold half-hour interviews with the finalist candidates.  Final decisions will be announced to the finalists in the last week of October, with final confirmations from the finalists due by October 31. 

The Global MIT At-Risk Scholars Program is sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for International Activities, the MIT-Ukraine Program at the Center for International Studies, and the Office of Strategic Alliances and Technology Transfer at MIT.  For questions and clarification, please send email to:


The Center for International Studies (CIS) supports interna­tional research and education at MIT. It is the home of MIT’s Security Studies Program; the MIT International Science & Technology Initiative, its pioneering global education program; the Program on Emerging Technologies; and seminars and research on migration, South Asia politics, the Middle East, cybersecurity, nuclear weapons, and East Asia. The Center has traditionally been aligned with the social sciences while also working with MIT’s premier science and engineering scholars. CIS produces research that creatively addresses global issues while helping to educate the next generation of global citizens.