Idea Competition

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Adopt an Academic

Adopt an Academic is a peer-to-peer mentoring program that gives excellent researchers the opportunity to effectively support refugee scholars through academic counselling, systematic network building, and administrative assistance. At the initiative of AGYA member Florian Kohstall and with the support of AGYA and the Freie Universität Berlin, the project seeks to create an Arab-German network of solidarity that not only opens up new perspectives to the mentoring program’s mentees but also strengthens the value of cross-cultural research cooperation.

The Mentors

Adopt an Academic collaborates with mentors from renowned German and Arab higher education and research institutions. Mentors act on a voluntary basis and may represent all academic disciplines. Besides functioning as on-going dialogue partners and introducing their mentees into the academic landscape of their host countries, mentors provide the following services:

  • academic counselling
  • administrative support (e.g., access to data bases, libraries, or archives)
  • advice on academic career opportunities
  • identification of suitable funding options
  • network building

Adopt an Academic offers its mentors special training as well as administrative and technical support both prior to and throughout the mentoring process. Furthermore, mentors will get the chance to exchange ideas and experiences with other mentors at annual network meetings.

If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please fill out this registration form and send it to adopt-an-academic[at]



The Mentees

Adopt an Academic supports refugee scholars who had to flee their home countries because of ongoing military conflicts and/or profound limitations to their academic freedom. Eligible applicants

  • are preferably researchers at the postdoc level
  • shall not be resident outside of their home country for more than three years
  • are requested to provide sufficient evidence of their status as a refugee or as a scholar under serious threat (e.g. documents issued by host country, UNHCR or a credible third party)
  • are asked to document their potential for successful re-integration into academia (e.g., publications, teaching experience, academic positions, etc.)

In order to guarantee the safety of potential and current mentees, the application and mentoring process will be conducted anonymously. Adopt an Academic also ensures that program administrators may be contacted on a strictly confidential basis.

If you are interested in becoming a mentee, please fill out this registration form and send it to  adopt-an-academic[at]

More information on Adopt an Academic can be found here and in the “General Guidlines” of the mentoring program.


Adopt an Academic

Dr. Florian Kohstall (Project Director)
Freie Universität Berlin
International House
Ehrenbergstr. 26/28
14195 Berlin
Phone: +49 30 838 50261
Email: adopt-an-academic[at]

Member in Charge

Florian Kohstall

Political Science
Freie Universität Berlin Center for International Cooperation

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