Ukrainian nationals involved in academic research will benefit from a £3 million package of UK government support to continue their vital work in the UK.
As the UK continues to further isolate Putin’s Russia in light of his illegal invasion of Ukraine, the government has also announced it is halting funding to all research programmes found to have links to Russian state and institutional collaborators, and will stop all ongoing projects where they provide a direct benefit to the Russian regime.
The UK will also not fund any new collaborative projects with Russia through its research and innovation organisations.
The government said the measures are designed to negatively impact the Russian state without disrupting benign innovators or projects with global benefits.
The new Researchers at Risk Fellowship Programme will support Ukrainian researchers fleeing the conflict, as well as those already in the UK who are unable to return home.
The Fellowships will provide a salary, research and living costs for up to two years for these researchers, and will be available across all disciplines for postdoctoral researchers or those with equivalent experience, aiming to support Ukraine in preserving its research ecosystem.
“Science is a global force for good, and for peaceful cooperation in the face of the world’s most pressing challenges,” said Science Minister George Freeman.
“These measures are yet another way we are standing united with Ukraine, its democratically elected government, and its brave people at this awful time.
“The UK has a proud history of world class science, underpinned by a commitment to freedom and sanctuary for those fleeing tyranny. Today we are taking a stand for science as a force for good and supporting Ukrainian researchers to come to the UK.
“We will always support science where it is working to further international knowledge and discovery and to find solutions with global benefit, but it is only right that we take a stand against the Kremlin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and the deplorable Putin regime.”
These measures are targeted towards the Russian state, as well as individuals and organisations with strong links to the Kremlin.
The government said a small number of other existing collaborations remain under review in order to further assess, and ensure no future payments to institutions or individuals have any way of benefiting the Russian regime.
It clarified that the action is directed towards Putin’s regime, not at individual Russian researchers and students, who in many cases may oppose the actions of the Kremlin.
Minister for Higher and Further Education Michelle Donelan said: “Our world leading universities have always been underpinned by the core values of freedom and liberty, which is why I know they will support us now in taking action against the Russian regime and their illegal invasion of Ukraine.
“We are asking universities that have not yet done so to review any financial or academic research ties with Russia given the horrors the Kremlin is inflicting on the Ukrainian people.
“All universities should always carefully consider awarding honorary degrees and we specially expect those awarded to sanctioned Russian individuals to be quickly revoked to demonstrate that we stand united with Ukraine.”