At-Risk Computer Scientists
Global conflicts and economic and political upheaval often sends lifelong citizens across borders. They’re looking for safety, peace, a place to raise their families, or just an everyday, sustainable life. But, of course, every transition comes with challenges, and those forced to transplant their lives on foreign soil may be inundated with a mix of emotions, concerns about what’s happening back home, and, for many computer scientists, concerns about finding suitable work.
Fortunately, there are resources geared towards helping at-risk computer scientists get the skills they need to excel at computer science jobs despite being far from home.
Who Are At-Risk Computer Scientists?
At-risk computer scientists are IT professionals, hopefuls, and students whose circumstances put them at risk of being unable to live up to their potential. More specifically, the term tends to refer to refugees who’ve been displaced — for various reasons — and need to pursue or continue a career in computer science.
Issues that force promising students and professionals to move span multiple regions, cities, countries, and political climates. Recognizing this, several organizations have developed programs or resources to help computer scientists in this position.
Resources Available for At-Risk Computer Scientists
Here are some of the leading resources for at-risk computer scientists:
- Phillip Schwartz Initiative. This is a program that universities in Germany can apply to so they can get resources for hosting researchers at risk.
- Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation). The DFG, German Research Foundation, enables researchers who’ve had to flee their homelands to join research projects and apply for funding for their own research.
- Talent Beyond Boundaries. Talent Beyond Boundaries publishes job openings in multiple countries that at-risk computer scientists can apply for.
- Academic Transfer. This resource advertises computer science jobs in the Netherlands, enabling at-risk access to positions that may have otherwise escaped their notice.
- EU Job Portal for Refugee Scientists. This is a full-fledged CS and researcher job portal. It serves as a match-making resource for connecting at-risk computer scientists and companies in the 28 EU Member States.
- MIT ReACT. This is a program developed by MIT for learners who’ve been displaced from their home countries, as well as those from underserved communities.
- Microsoft’s digital skills resources for refugees. Microsoft has made a range of resources available to help refugees from the age of 4 years old and up get the computer science fundamentals they need to excel.
- The MSCA4Ukraine program by the European Commission. This initiative is backed by €25 million in funds earmarked for doctoral and post-doctoral researchers.
- Scientists and Engineers in Exile or Displaced (SEED) program. In this program, the National Academies of Sciences (NAS) collaborates with the Polish Academy of Sciences and awards grants to facilitate the pursuit of research projects by Ukrainian scientists and researchers.
Using these resources, computer scientists, students, and those who want to employ them can discover potentially fruitful opportunities. As a result, companies and universities gain access to top international talent, and skilled computer scientists can continue pursuing their passions despite setbacks out of their control.
Suggest Additional Resources for At-Risk Computer Scientists
To suggest additional resources for at-risk computer scientists, submit your suggestions to the IEEE Computer Society’s Inclusion alias. If you have a project or idea that makes a positive impact on these communities, consider exploring our Diversity and Inclusion Fund and submit a proposal for funding.