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Call for participants: Academic Freedom Awareness track

Are you passionate about academic freedom  and would like to defend your rights and take action to raise awareness on academic freedom? Our sub-granting program is what you are looking for! It is your chance to raise your voice for your rights, raise awareness around you and push your activism a step further by implementing a project of your own choice!

Who can participate in the call?

  • This call is open to student unions, student associations, and groups of student representatives. This call is also open to student activists from associations like the Scholars At Risk network.
  •  Applicants have to be at least 18 years old. 
  • A good level of English language of at least one member of the project group is required.
  • Expertise on the topic of academic freedoms, as well as experience in project design and project management and basic knowledge on the topic are welcomed. 

What does our sub-granting program look like ? 

ESU is launching a call for volunteers to lead advocacy and campaigning projects on academic freedom thanks to a small grant. 

With support of the Open Society Foundations ESU has established an academic freedom programme that has been running for already two years, including educational workshops and financing of local projects.. You can find more information on our website on the impactful projects that were developed. 

Following the success of the already funded projects, ESU is launching a second sub-granting program open to all students willing to raise their voice for their rights, and raise awareness around them ! To do so, we offer small grants from 800 to 2000 euros as a lump-sum payment to help you implement your project!

What is the timeline of the program ? 

After the receival of the applications, ESU will select the projects that are to be awarded a grant based on the description of the envisioned project. You will be informed whether you have been selected or not by 15th July.

If you are part of the winning projects, you will have 5 months to implement your activities, from August until the end of December 2023. 

Which projects are eligible for the grant?

  • You are free to address any issue you would like in relation to the topic of academic freedom. Your project should help to highlight the importance of academic freedom and the necessity to safeguard academia against attempts to undermine academic freedom.  It is up to you to decide whether you want to take a research-oriented, educational and/or activistic approach.
  • It can be a local, national, or even transnational project. 
  • Note that this call is open for project GROUPS of at least 3 persons (individual applications will not be considered).  

How to apply ?

It is very easy, you only have to register through this link

Please include a short description of: 

  • The objectives of your project
  • The chosen topic
  • Your scale of action
  • Your target audience
  • The activities that you foresee

You must add an estimate of the required budget, including a brief overview of the allocation of the fund.  If you plan to co-finance your project through additional own resources, you may indicate this in the budget plan. 

Note also, that we expect you to write your application in English. 

Don’t wait any longer, register your group on this link  before Friday the 15th of July, 23:59 CEST!

If you require assistance in completing the form or need an alternative format, please feel free to send an email to

We are looking forward to receiving your applications! 🙂

Participants will be selected based upon their motivation and how well they meet the criteria of the ideal participant profile below. All applicants will be notified of the results of their application via email.

Originality of the proposed campaigning project
The issue addressed by the campaigning project is unique and/or important and/or needs urgent solutions
The proposed activities to address the proposed issue are relevant and appropriate
Quality and consistency of the project
2.1.The issue raised in the project proposal is accurately defined and concrete 
2.2 The issue addressed can be realistically partly solved by the campaigning project
2.3. Academic freedom issues are well understood, well defined and communicated
2.4. The project helps to teach and highlight a specific problem and possible solutions
2.5. The campaigning project will efficiently raise awareness and advocate for the protection of academic freedom
Expected impact of the campaigning project
3.1. The chosen target audience is realistic and relevant
3.2. The scope of the audience targeted is significant
3.3. The project empowers its audience and gets them involved in solving the problem
3.4. The project generates interest and commitment from its audience
Quality of the implementation of the project
4.1. The risks and challenges have been accordingly considered and assessed
4.2. The project is flexible enough and can be adjusted to meet unforeseen challenges
4.3. The resources planned for the implementation of the project are realistic and take into account the budget allocated
4.4. The foreseen activities and different steps of the project are developed and described enough 
4.5. The implementation of the project realistically takes into account the given timeline
4.6. Followup activities are foreseen
4.7. A final written trace/material on the project is foreseen
5. Assessment of the group
5.1. The group is cohesive and supportive
5.2. The distribution of roles within the group is equal and effective
    5.3. The participants show persuasion and teamwork skills


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