The Iraq Programme was launched in late 2006 in response to a targeted campaign of assassination and kidnap against Iraq's academics. Over 300 have been murdered since 2003 with thousands driven into exile or internally displaced. Through a number of complementary programme initiatives and in keeping with its mandate, CARA has sought to ensure that their skills and expertise are not lost to Iraq or the wider region. Additional funding is being sought for each of the following initiatives.
CARA works closely with members of the CARA-facilitated UK Universities Network and their faculties, whose support and commitment to the sustaining of their fellow academics in need and the resurgence of Iraq's higher education sector have been invaluable to the development and delivery of the Iraq Programme activities.
UK Fellowship Scheme for Iraqi Academics was introduced in 2007 to support doctoral and post-doctoral placements in higher education or research institutions in the UK to ensure continued positive engagement in academia by Iraqi academics in their fields during ongoing uncertainty.
Iraq Research Fellowship Programme (IRFP) was introduced in 2009 to enhance regional and Iraqi research and teaching capacities; to undertake and deliver innovative research outputs of immediate relevance to Iraq’s future; to nurture lasting international research collaborations and reengage selected Iraqi academics in exile. Continuing professional development (CPD) is a central component of the programme. Two further rounds are pending additional funding.
Regional Round Table Series To facilitate the set-up of regional ‘communities of interest’ around specific IRFP research and emerging cross-cutting higher education themes of regional relevance, the IRFP has introduced the Regional Round Table Discussions Series. As well as helping to develop a number of regional fora, the discussion series offers an important dissemination opportunity to the IRFP-funded pieces of research, to help maximise their impact.
Research Exchange and Development (RED) Scheme CARA is currently fund-raising for an innovative programme designed to develop joint doctoral degree programmes linking UK and Iraqi universities in collaborative supervision of outstanding young Iraq academics.
Continuing Professional Development Programme (CPD) was introduced in 2008 to facilitate up-skilling and capacity building amongst Iraqi academics living in exile post 2003. This programme has been piloted in Jordan and will be extended as part of an outreach programme.
UNESCO / CARA Fellowships for Iraqi Academics at Risk was introduced in 2009 as part of the UK Fellowship Scheme, and within the framework of the ‘UNESCO Fellowship Programme for Iraqi Faculty Members’ funded by Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, UNESCO Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education, UNESCO and CARA collaborated to facilitate 12 UK university fellowship placements over the course of a year. These research and training opportunities, for a minimum period of 3-months, supported capacity building and the reintegration of Iraq’s academics as members of the international academic community following nearly two decades of international isolation and under-investment. This programme is now ended.
Emergency Appeal The Iraq Programme and Emergency Appeal were launched at an event hosted by UCL on 27 November 2006, with £100,000 from CARA reserves to help establish an Emergency Fund for Iraqi Academics.
Media The Iraq Programme has been collecting media reports indicative of the security situation in Iraq.
We are equally grateful to those members of the public who have given so generously to the Iraq Emergency Fund.