Cara helps academics who are being forced to flee by the risk of imminent imprisonment, injury or death to find temporary refuge in universities and research institutions until they can one day return home to help re-build better, safer societies.

The remains of the University of Mosul, destroyed during a battle with 'IS' militants, 10 April 2017. REUTERS/Marko Djurica

Cara helps academics at immediate risk around the world to escape to a place of safety where they can continue their work.  In 1933, Cara’s founders described their mission as ‘the relief of suffering and the defence of learning and science‘.  Over eighty years later, that mission continues; and in that time Cara has saved thousands of highly-qualified people, who have gone on to use their skills for the good of all.   

Cara’s Fellowship Programme has been developed in close partnership with a Network of over 115 UK universities, who provide financial support for Cara and fee waivers and other support for Cara beneficiaries.  Fellowships help academics in danger to escape to a safe place where they can continue their work.  Most intend to return home when they can; but they need support in the meantime to maintain and develop their skills, and build the networks they will need, when they do.  Cara checks their background, qualifications and references; encourages them to identify potential supervisors/host institutions, most often in the UK but sometimes elsewhere; helps to negotiate the placement; allocates any additional funding needed from its own resources; and helps with the visa process and other practical arrangements.

Cara is the leading organisation of its type based in Europe, and unique in its focus on helping those who are still in immediate danger, rather than already in exile, and in providing 2- or 3-year awards as standard.  Experience shows that Cara Fellows who manage to return home feel much better connected and are empowered to act as agents of change, sharing their newly-gained knowledge, concepts, materials and approaches with students and colleagues.  Returning Fellows are also well-placed to play a key link role in the future between their colleagues and international counterparts, at both an individual and institutional level.  Collaborations between host and home institutions can include joint supervisions and PhD visiting programmes, and access to specialist equipment unavailable in home labs.


"A few months after I returned, the conflict started. The spectre of death was everywhere. All my hopes for contributing to Syria’s future were dashed … Fortunately, I heard about Cara. Within six months, they were able to provide me with an opportunity to pursue my research in one of the most advanced and prestigious scientific universities in the world.”

Cara Fellow from Syria