Scholars at Risk uOttawa

About the Program

The University of Ottawa joined the Scholars at Risk (SAR) Network in 2014.

Scholars at Risk is an international network of higher education institutions dedicated to protecting threatened scholars, preventing attacks on higher education communities and promoting academic freedom worldwide. The network protects scholars suffering grave threats to their lives, liberty and well-being by arranging positions of sanctuary at institutions in the network.

Scholars at Risk's work is rooted in the principle of academic freedom--the freedom to pursue scholarship and research without discrimination, censorship, intimidation, or violence. SAR aims to bring scholars facing severe human rights abuses in their home region to positions at universities, colleges and research centers in any safe country.

Scholars at Risk began in the Human Rights Program of the University of Chicago in 1999. The Network launched with a major international conference at the university in June 2000. In 2003, the network headquarters relocated from the University of Chicago to the Greenwich Village campus of New York University. Since the network’s launch over 10 years ago, more than 400 scholars have found sanctuary and hundreds more have benefited from these and other services. In return, scholars contribute to their host communities through teaching, research, lectures and other activities. The University of Ottawa and Carleton University partnered on this initiative between 2014 and 2017 and co-hosted two scholars during this period. Both institutions are collaborating actively to promote the SAR Program in the region and the country.

In June 2015, SAR released the first Free to Think, a report of their Academic Freedom Monitoring Project which documented attacks on higher education communities in 65 countries from January 2011 to May 2015.The network has since released Free to Think 2016 and Free to Think 2017.

  • In June 2016, the network met in Montreal for the 15th Global Congress. A report (only in English) with the main takeaways was issued in September 2016.
  • To learn more about the Scholars at Risk (SAR) Program, you can watch this video.
  • To contact the SAR Program at uOttawa, please write to


Give to the SAR uOttawa Program

Contributions to the SAR uOttawa Program at the University of Ottawa can be made by going to Giving to uOttawa.

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