US National Academy of Sciences launches $8m fund to support Ukraine’s science community

The US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has created a new fund to support Ukrainian scientists and help to restore the country’s scientific enterprise, which has been devastated by two years of war.

Kherson State University

The new Science and Innovation Fund for Ukraine, announced on 17 April, launched with approximately $8 million (£6.4 million) of support from several philanthropic organisations, including the New York-based Simons Foundation and the Chan Zuckerberg Foundation – an organisation established by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, the paediatrician and philanthropist Priscilla Chan. NAS says that the fund will provide near-term relief to individual Ukrainian scientists who are currently in Ukraine or abroad, support activities to create a pipeline of talent across priority areas, and work to connect Ukraine’s science community to the international research enterprise.

Specific projects that the NAS fund will support include workshops that gather Ukrainian and global science leaders to help address critical recovery issues, institutes for early-career Ukrainian researchers, fellowships to support early- and mid-career scientific exchanges, training opportunities for commercialising research, and travel support to enable the participation of Ukrainian researchers in these initiatives.

Analysis by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, released in March, estimates that it will cost upwards of $1.26 billion (£1 billion) to restore Ukraine’s public scientific infrastructure from damage sustained during the two years of war since Russia’s invasion in February 2022.

Last month, the European Commission announced a commitment of an extra €10 million (£8.6 million) to support researchers forced to flee Ukraine. The funding is expected to enable at least 50 additional researchers who have left Ukraine to continue their research projects at universities, companies and other research institutions in the EU and in other countries associated to Horizon Europe.