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Ford School among University units welcoming Ukrainian Scholars at Risk Fellows

September 2, 2022

The Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia is helping support Ukrainian scholars who are not currently able to safely conduct their research in Ukraine because of the ongoing war with Russia. The Ford School's Weiser Diplomacy Center is among the University units that are hosting the scholars. While at the Ford School, Kseniya Yurtayeva will work on her research project “Cyberaggression as a method applied in contemporary warfare.”

WCEE Scholars at Risk Fellows have been matched with faculty partners at the University of Michigan in fields similar to their own. The awards support one-year research visits from September 2022 through August 2023. They include round-trip airfare for fellows and dependents, visa support, health insurance, and salary.

WCEE opened a competition for awards last spring and received 79 applications. Initial plans were to grant up to three awards, but successful fundraising efforts across the U-M campus and contributions from individual donors secured enough funds to support seven fellows.

Geneviève Zubrzycki, WCEE director and professor of sociology, led the effort to establish the fellowship.

“We started thinking about a fellowship for Ukrainian scholars in the very first days following the Russian invasion, and quickly set up a call for applications and a review process. Time was of the essence, and our first fellow arrived in March just after the war began,” Zubrzycki said.

“When we decided to create this program, we knew that WCEE could do something to help a small number of Ukrainian academics. The applications were all deeply impressive, and this opportunity will have a great impact on the selected fellows and their families, and also on Ukraine once they return home.”

Most of the fellows arrived in Ann Arbor in late August, and have been welcomed and embraced by people who were previously strangers.

“It has been overwhelming to see the support these fellows are receiving from the U-M and Ann Arbor community,” said Birgitta Kohler, WCEE international education coordinator. “The news of the war has been so shocking and powerful that people are reaching out to offer everything from clothing to trauma counseling.

“The fellows and their families are happy to be here; to be able to pursue their research and for their children to attend school.”

The Scholars at Risk Fellows include:

  • Oksana Chabanyuk, associate professor of architecture, Kharkiv National University of Civil Engineering and Architecture.
  • Daryna Dvornichenko, assistant professor, Research Institute of Informatics and Law, National Academy of Legal Sciences of Ukraine.
  • Yurii Kaparulin, associate professor, Department of National, International Law and Law Enforcement, Kherson State University.
  • Iryna Sikorska, associate professor of sociology, Donetsk State University of Management in Mariupol.
  • Katerina Sirinyok-Dolgaryova, associate professor of journalism and vice dean of international affairs, Zaporizhzhia National University.
  • Anna Taranenko, senior lecturer of international relations, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.
  • Kseniya Yurtayeva, associate professor of criminal law and criminology, Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs.

The following other U-M units are hosting fellows and made financial contributions: Copernicus Center for Polish Studies, Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies, A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Jean and Samuel Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, Department of History, and International Institute.

This article was written by Rachel Brichta, International Institute.