The Solidarity Programme is run in partnership with the London Mathematical Society. It aims to provide refuge to researchers in the mathematical sciences who have had to leave their country of residence; it covers both refugees of war, and political refugees.
Participants can stay for up to 12 months at their host institution, where they collaborate on research with their academic hosts. All participants receive an LMS ‘Welcome Grant’ to help with travel and visa costs to the UK, and a monthly INI ‘Subsistence Grant’. Some participants are also be eligible for an LMS ‘Supplementary Grant’ if they are supporting family members or require further financial aid.
Since the programme’s inception in March 2022, we have received 40 applications and have 16 participants currently on the programme. 12 of these participants are currently in the UK at their host institutions and conducting research. Four are still waiting to travel to the UK. A total of 14 UK universities have agreed to host fellows. Two of those have agreed to host two separate fellows concurrently.
Due to the nature of participants’ personal situations, we have seen much movement and change during the course of the programme. 12 participants have withdrawn their applications at various stages, with the majority of these being able to secure longer-term positions elsewhere. Some of these were permanent positions in institutions around the world and in the UK, whilst some were PhD scholarships and post-Doc opportunities. We feel that part of the programme’s purpose is to be able to offer this kind of support and consider applicants such as these to be “success stories” of the programme.
Participants expressed their appreciation of the programme for providing them with security in unsettled times. One participant said: “I am immensely grateful that you were able to offer this opportunity: this spring I was leaving Russia with a feeling of terrible indeterminacy, and the Solidarity grant was like a lifebuoy for me for all these months.” *
Over the past several months, we have invited participants to attend numerous events and have offered support arranging talks at other institutions. This support was offered following review of a participants’ survey and learning that people were particularly struggling in these areas. The aim is to help our participants integrate into the UK’s mathematical sciences community and to forge positive academic connections. For both of these initiatives, the programme has covered participants’ travel and accommodation costs, as well as contacting UK institutions on their behalf with potential seminar abstracts.
Prof. Volodymyr Proshkin, Loughborough University said: ‘These meetings allowed me to get acquainted with research results in various areas of mathematics, meet colleagues from different universities, discuss opportunities for research cooperation and to understand better the main directions of modern education and science development.”
As the programme has now been running for over 18 months, it means that for some, participation in the Solidarity Programme is coming to an end. Two PhD students have recently concluded their time on the programme, with one having secured a full PhD scholarship at a Scottish university.
Our sincerest thanks to XTX Markets, the London Mathematical Society, all of the host institutions and academic hosts involved so far and to all of our Solidarity Programme participants. We look forward to continuing to work with you in delivering this important programme with exciting developments on the horizon.
* Quote anonymised at the participant’s request.