International Society of Political Psychology

ISPP Support for Scholars Under Threat

Academic freedom, both related to research and teaching, is essential for the advancement of scientific knowledge. Therefore, ISPP is committed to the protection of its members whose academic freedom is at risk anywhere in the world due to the political context where they work and/or live. ISPP is proud to be a member of the Scholars at Risk Network and IIE Scholar Rescue Fund Alliance.

ISPP established a committee to monitor and coordinate ISPP actions to support members whose academic freedom is under threat. If you want to participate, please contact the Central Office via e-mail.

ISPP's Scholars Under Threat Fund

If you enjoy academic freedom and the chance to do the research you think is important, please support your colleagues whose academic freedom is in jeopardy.

To provide financial support for these colleagues, ISPP has established the Scholars under Threat Fund. The funds have been collected through a donation drive among ISPP membership and matched funding from ISPP. Several sister organizations generously offered support by sharing the ISPP call for donations among their membership.

Donations made to ISPP ‘s Scholars Under Threat Fund are offered to ISPP members who lost their academic positions or their income in direct connection with political persecution and/or to members who have been displaced as a result of political persecution and are without an official affiliation or income in their current location.

If you wish to donate, please click here. ISPP Members, please log in on the first tab. Non-members, please use the "create an account" tab to enable us to process your donation.

ISPP's Executive Committee has designated the Scholars Under Threat Committee to determine the distribution of funds collected specifically for this purpose.

ISPP is a 501(c3) charitable organization, and all donations are tax-deductible for people filing income tax in the U.S.

Application for ISPP’s Scholars Under Threat Funds

We have recently offered emergency support to 16 scholars under threat from Turkey from the generous donations of ISPP members. Unfortunately, we cannot accept any more applications to the emergency fund until further notice. Thank you for your understanding.

Donations made to ISPP‘s Scholars Under Threat Fund are used to help support ISPP members who lost their academic positions or their income in direct connection with political persecution and/or to members who have been displaced as a result of political persecution and are without an official affiliation or income in their current location.

It is possible to request funds for immediate emergency support for personal living needs. The funds may also be used to cover research costs to conduct research, covering travel and living expenses to visit colleagues and universities to collaborate for research, and to organize for foreign scholars to travel to the applicants’ home country to conduct joint research to support applicant’s scholar activities (foreign scholars are expected to have their own research funds, but additional funds can be sought to keep local scholars research active or for capacity building). Applications from prior recipients are welcome.


Funding applications are capped at $1,000 USD for emergency relief.

Changes in funding priorities will be announced here.

ISPP's Executive Committee has designated the Scholars Under Threat Committee to assess applications and make the funding decisions. All applications will be kept confidential.

Please click here for the application form.

Please return the application form to the ISPP Central Office.

Call for the New Twinning Program

The twinning program aims to facilitate scholarly collaboration between threatened political psychologists and the program partners. These collaborations can offer the opportunity for threatened scholars to continue their academic activities, maintain and advance their careers, and integrate into international political psychology; furthermore, partners can engage in political advocacy on behalf of threatened scholar.

Threatened political psychologists are recognized in the program as scholars who live and work in countries where their scholarly opportunities are limited, and their livelihood and academic freedom are threatened. For more information on what it means to be a threatened scholars, see Only ISPP members are eligible to participate in the program.

Program partners are political psychologists who live and work outside these countries. Partners should be associate professors/lecturers or above.

The collaboration can take place between junior threatened scholar and mentoring partners, as well as between senior threatened scholar and partners. The actual form of research collaborations should be adjusted to the needs of a threatened scholar, and the opportunities partners can offer. For example:

  • mentorship of ongoing research projects (e.g., PhD research),
  • collaborations in international empirical research and co-authorship,
  • participation in grant applications and ongoing research grants, and
  • other forms of possible collaborations,
  • offering/requesting remote affiliation

    It is therefore important to set up partnerships based on a match in scholarly interests. Partnerships can consist of multiple threatened scholars and partners, and they are not limited to one-on-one collaborations.

    Why should you participate as a partner?

    Participating in the twinning program as a partner offers you the opportunity to engage in the activities enhancing academic freedom worldwide and help one or more threatened scholars to remain in academia or advance their careers. Your partnership will also contribute to a more diverse academic exchange, which contributes to better scientific outcomes. Furthermore, engagement in the twinning program can offer new opportunities for conducting research, lead to new research ideas, data from underrepresented regions, networking opportunities, and new publications.

    Why should you participate as a threatened scholar?

    Participating in the twinning program as a threatened scholar can offer you an opportunity to work together with established political psychologists from around the world. Within the twinning program, you may be able to continue working on your research projects, start new ones in collaborations with the partners, participate in ongoing international research projects, co-author research papers, and enlarge your academic network the partners can potentially offer financial support for your research and host you for shorter or longer visits at their institutions. The partner can also offer political advocacy when needed.

    Information for potential Partners

    Information for potential applicants as Threatened Scholars

    Call for ISPP Twinning Program in Arabic

    Call for ISPP Twinning Program in English

    Call for ISPP Twinning Program in French

    Call for ISPP Twinning Program in Spanish

    Call for ISPP Twinning Program in Turkish

    To complete the application form as a Partner click here:

    To complete the application form as a Scholar Under Threat click here.

    If you have any questions regarding the Twinning Program, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    Academic Freedom Under Threat in Turkey

    Over the past three years, there has been an ongoing threat to Academic Freedom in Turkey, as the government has forced the dismissal of thousands of scholars at all levels of their careers in retaliation for perceived challenges to the ruling party and president. In particular, more than one thousand academicians signed a January 2016 Peace Petition, calling for an end to war in the Kurdish region, and a negotiated settlement. Following an attempted coup in July 2016, the government has aggressively moved to charge many of the signatories with crimes, and has been holding trials for more than a year. In July 2019, the Constitutional Court ruled that the freedom of expression of convicted academics has been violated. In accordance to this ruling, public prosecutors started to give decisions of acquittals. So far, the number of academics who have been acquitted is 324, including members of ISPP. However, none of the dismissed academics have returned to university nor have they gotten their passports and other rights back.

    Free one-year ISPP membership for scholars under threat

    ISPP is committed to keeping scholars under threat connected to the international community of political psychologists. Therefore, ISPP offers free one-year ISPP membership for colleagues who lost their academic positions or their income in direct connection with political persecution and/or to members who have been displaced as a result of political persecution and are without an official affiliation or income in their current location. For more information, please contact the ISPP Central Office.

    International Delegations Observing Court Hearings in Turkey/Articles

    October 2019:

  • Five organizations called on the authorities in Turkey to drop charges against the Academics for Peace.
  • And acquittals have followed.
  • September 2019:

  • First Arrested Academics for Peace Acquitted.
  • July 2019:

  • Turkey's High Court Rules in Favor of Scholars for Peace.
  • ISPP has supported scholars under threat in Turkey for the past few years, including visits of several observation teams to Istanbul. Their reports can be found here:

    February 2019:

  • Read the report from the delegation that attended trials in February 2019.
  • December 2018:

  • Read Stephen Reicher's most recent observations from trials in Istanbul.
  • ISPP Governing Council Member, Anna Kende, and former Treasurer, Felicia Pratto, provide their account.
  • February 2018:

  • Read Stephen Reicher's summary from the international delegation observing the court hearings in Turkey.
  • The BBC Radio 4 program "Inside Science" interviewed Steve Reicher.
  • ISPP Governing Council Member, Masi Noor, provides his account in this blog post.
  • The full delegation of David Redlawsk, Masi Noor, and Steve Reicher have an op-ed piece in USA Today.

    Updates by our colleagues in Turkey

  • The purge in Turkey deepens: The case of ISPP Member Orhan Kaya (March 2019)
  • Academics for Peace – A brief history (March 2019)
  • Demet Islambay's case and the start of Füsün Üstel's prison sentence (Update by the Social and Political Psychology Platform of Turkey; March 2019)
  • Update by the Social and Political Psychology Platform of Turkey (November 2017)
  • A day in the Court (by the Social and Political Psychology Platform of Turkey; March 2018)
  • Peace Academic Yasemin Gülsüm Acar's Statement in Court
  • Special Statements by ISPP and Other Organizations

  • The Human Rights Foundation of Turkey Newsletter "SUPPORTING ACADEMICS AS A HUMAN RIGHTS ACTOR IN A CHALLENGING CONTEXT" (April 2018)
  • Open Letter of Support for Students of Boğaziçi University (April 2018)
  • Joint Statement of Support for Colleagues in Turkey (February 2018)
  • Joint Statement of Support for Colleagues in Turkey (August 2017)
  • Emails to our Membership

  • Message from ISPP President, Eva G.T. Green (Email to ISPP membership, February 2018)
  • ISPP Efforts to Help Scholars in Turkey (Email to ISPP membership, March 2017)
  • Academic Freedom Under Threat in Romania

    New legislation places restrictions on universities and academic institutions in Romania by banning programs in gender studies. ISPP joins calls to safeguard the academic autonomy of Romania's universities and academic institutions.

    Academic Freedom Under Threat in Hungary

    Universities and academic institutions in Hungary have been under a lot of pressure in recent years as the government enacted various laws and regulations that threaten academic freedom and autonomy of these institutions.

    Uncertain Future of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS)

    In 2019 the Hungarian government threatened to implement a new financing structure for HAS that would lead to the destruction of many of its research institutions. This long-standing independent academic institution currently resists these changes.

    ISPP joins calls to safeguard academic autonomy of Hungarian Academy of Sciences

    Gender Studies Under Threat in Hungary

    ISPP's leadership has been following the proposal by the Hungarian government to ban gender studies programs at the country’s universities, and they drafted a statement that was sent to the Hungarian government.

    Read the statement

    Response from the Hungarian Government

    ISPP Supports CEU

    The government of Hungary has made legislative changes that threaten the academic freedom of students, teachers, and scholars at the Central European University (CEU) and the very future of the University itself. In 2017, ISPP's leadership drafted a letter of support for academic freedom at CEU.

    Read the letter

    Response from the Hungarian government

    Academic Freedom Under Threat in Palestine

    ISPP Statement on Restricted Entry of Foreign Nationals at Birzeit University

    Foreign university professors at Birzeit university have had their visas denied and are unable to leave Palestine, or if they leave they will no longer be able to go back.

    ISPP leadership has endorsed a petition condemning the situation

    ISPP Supports Academic Freedom & Careers in Poland

    ISPP Statement on support for Michal Bilewicz at the University of Warsaw

    Resources on How to Host Scholars Under Threat

    The organization Scholars at Risk has produced this guide on how to host scholars at your home institution: How to Host Handbook.

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