European Fund for Displaced Scientists

An ALLEA-Breakthrough Prize Foundation Partnership for Scholars Impacted by the War in Ukraine


Immediately following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, ALLEA partnered with the Breakthrough Prize Foundation to support scholars and scientific institutions impacted by the war. The programme was endowed with $1.5 million and provided funding to academic institutions in Europe to host displaced scholars. The initiative also assisted Ukrainian universities, academies, and research institutes in maintaining their operations and rebuilding their scientific facilities.

Press Release


The EFDS programme had two rounds of two separate funding lines, both of which are closed:

  • Funding Line 1 provided funds to academic institutions within the Council of Europe region that were willing and able to host scholars displaced by the war in Ukraine. The aim was to provide immediate assistance to scholars in the continuation of their research in a safe environment. The EFDS supported a total of 40 Ukrainian scholars hosted by 28 institutions in 12 European countries, including Austria, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Sweden.
  • Funding Line 2 provided funds to Ukrainian universities, academies, and research institutes impacted by the war to help them maintain and/or reinstate their scientific operations and research collaborations. It also aimed to support the reintegration process of researchers upon their return to Ukraine. This line of funding enabled 98 Ukrainian scholars – including early-career researchers – to continue their work there.

You can read more about both rounds of the two funding lines here:


Due to the breadth of destruction inflicted by the war, the EFDS Programme was heavily oversubscribed with qualified applicants: institutions in 23 different European countries submitted no fewer than 244 applications under Funding Line 1, and Funding Line 2 received 105 applications from 89 Ukrainian institutions. In order to extend aid more widely in spite of funding limitations, ALLEA shared successful practices of the EFDS programme with the broader scientific community. In June 2022 and March 2023, respectively, ALLEA co-organised two virtual conferences on the impacts of the war in Ukraine on the science sector, exploring how the wider European scientific community can continue to support Ukrainian scholarship and aid its post-conflict reconstruction. Through these platforms, ALLEA was able to assist other organisations to create their own supporting initiatives that prioritise the inclusion of the beneficiaries themselves.

You can read both conference reports here:

The Breakthrough Prize Foundation

The $1.5 million donation to support this programme is a new initiative in the ongoing partnership between the Breakthrough Prize and ALLEA, which pursues their shared goal of promoting science. Each year, ALLEA helps to facilitate nominations for the annual Breakthrough Prize among its members.

The Breakthrough Prize Foundation is a non-profit organisation dedicated to recognizing the world’s great scientists, advancing cutting-edge scientific research, and helping to create a knowledge culture in which everybody, especially the next generation, can be inspired by the big questions of science.

The Breakthrough Prize recognises the world’s top scientists in the fields of Life Sciences, Fundamental Physics, and Mathematics. Each prize is worth $3 million. The Breakthrough Junior Challenge is an annual global video competition for students to inspire creative thinking about science.

More information can be found at:

Support to Ukraine Scientific Community

The European scientific community, including European academies, universities, funding agencies, and individuals, have mobilised their resources to support Ukrainian scholars who have been forced to flee their country due to the Russian invasion. The platform #ScienceForUkraine is centralising information on grants, fellowships, remote working, training, and many other initiatives to support Ukrainian researchers and students. You can also read about more support schemes by European academies and ALLEA partners on the ALLEA portal Support for Ukraine.

In addition, ALLEA has released two communications in response to the war. On 25 February, the ALLEA Presidency published a statement condemning the Russian invasion and expressing its support for Ukraine, its citizens, and academic institutions. On 4 March, the ALLEA Board released a second statement announcing the suspension of membership of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.

ALLEA Contact

Nataliia Yeremenko
EFDS Programme Coordinator
+49 030 206 066-513

Please note, the funding rounds for the EFDS programme are closed. For alternative sources of funding and other forms of support, please refer to our International Support for Ukraine page.