Cara offers academics at immediate risk funding and temporary sanctuary in higher education and research institutions. The aim is to sustain this vital group at times of heightened risk, so they can one day return to fulfil their critical role in the future of higher education in their home countries.

Israeli borderguards stand outside Al-Quds University in Abu Dis, Jerusalem.

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.  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 110 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.

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