Guide on Labour Market Integration of Refugee Researchers

The information in this guide aims at fostering the personal agency of refugee researchers. It should enable them to make the best use of not only their existing skills and professional experiences, but also of the relevant resources that are available to them in the host country.

Who should be working with this guide?

The guide addresses refugee researchers as well as staff at research and higher education institutions as well as at EURAXESS Centres that work with refugee researchers. 

The information provided features results of the EURAXESS TOP IV Project Task 3.4. Refugee Initiatives of the following participating countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and Austria, as well as results of the BRiDGEII Project. Besides, some cases of good examples were selected through the EURAXESS network and the other projects funded by the European Commission.


Which topics will be addressed?

  • Counselling techniques for the work with refugee researchers
  • Basic legal information for refugee researchers
  • Early career development counselling

© Gerd Altmann | Pixabay

This guide is to help refugee researchers navigate through the relevant resources for career orientation and training available within Europe and therewith assist in the integration into the European labour market. The information ranges from language course to research and higher education funding programmes as well as to academic mentoring programmes.

Furthermore the EURAXESS Career development resources for researchers offers important information for career development for researchers, including many tools and resources also on career opportunities outside academia as well as policy recommendations.

As researcher you may also post your CV on the EURAXESS portal.




© Gerd Altmann | Pixabay

Support for Staff

This section is primarily aimed at the staff of EURAXESS network members and staff working with refugee researchers in general. The guide is offering information for staff on how to support comprehensive career planning for refugee researchers in an early stage. It should assist in enabling refugee researchers to create their own individual paths and work towards a sustainable career in the host country be it inside or outside of research, while minimizing the threat of dequalification.

For refugee researchers it is important to receive knowledge about legal procedures and access to the education sector, funding and employment for refugee researchers. Staff should make the refugee researcher familiar with the current situation in the respective country, available resources and perspectives.

Who should you involve?

  • experienced trainers can be recruited from a variety of sources, including public organisations or NGOs who provide legal counsel to refugees, ministries, international offices of research organisations and federal funding agencies
  • national employment agencies on the topics of access to labour markets, self-employment, and employee’s rights, as well as financial support;
  • scholarship agencies (depending on the national situation)

For legal counselling focus on:

  • The national asylum procedures, average duration of processes, statistics etc. and impact for refugee researchers;
  • The legal impact onto the chances of refugee researchers getting access to training measures, study programmes, and qualified employment;
  • Information on recognition of academic degrees: prerequisites contacts, added costs and financial support;
  • Create an overview of the legal situation regarding the access to higher education for refugee researchers, covering all stages and types of protection including:
    • impact of various types of protection on the RR
    • the ability of RRs to travel abroad for conference attendance or research stays
    • the impact of an application for protection on a possible later attempt to gain residence through employment and vice versa
    • the legal process, related costs and, if available, funding and support schemes related to access to study programmes and the recognition of qualification


For a comprehensive overview of asylum policies and practices in Europe visit

For input about the recognition of academic degrees: All national ENIC NARIC contacts can be found through the official ENIC NARIC page

Here you can find the EU list of regulated professions that require the possession of a specific professional qualification.




© Gerd Altmann | Pixabay

Useful Tools and Resources

This overview ranges from information on language courses, support and information services for academic recognition to research and higher education funding programmes as well as to academic mentoring and training programmes available for refugee researchers.

  • Cara – Council for At-Risk Academics

    The Council for At-Risk Academics is a charitable British organisation, it provides urgently-needed help to academics in immediate danger, those forced into exile, and to many who choose to work on in their home countries despite serious risks. Cara also supports higher education institutions whose work is at risk or compromised. It also offers information resources and support for recognition.

  • CEU Open Learning Initiative, Budapest

    The Open Learning Initiative (OLIve) at Central European University focuses on opening access to higher education for refugees and asylum seekers.

  • Council of Higher Education (Turkey)

    Offers support for recognition

  • Guide to diploma recognition, Denmark

    The Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education provides assessments of foreign qualifications.

  • Scholars at Risk Network – SAR (USA / international)

    Scholars at Risk (SAR) is an international network of more than 500 universities, colleges, research centres and associations in 39 countries collectively working to protect threatened scholars and to promote academic freedom and related higher education values.

  • Recognition/Swiss ENIC

    Swissuniversities provides recommendations of recognition for foreign higher education qualifications as well as a diploma background report for refugees with insufficient documentation.



Here you can download A modular structured training programme for the labour integration of refugee researchers (942.08 KB)

Career DEvelopment services' map
Career text with young woman on a blue background
© Euraxess

This collection is a result of the BRiDGEII-Project. It includes information on existing career development services and career opportunities in the academic and non-academic sector in participating countries that could be of relevance for researchers at risk.

Information on career development for researchers and organisations, including many tools and resources also on career opportunities outside academia as well as policy recommendations can be accessed on the EURAXESS website on career development.

  • Gent University
    Refugees are welcome at Ghent University to study, to obtain a doctorate (PhD) or to carry out research. There is no specific reduction fee for refugee students, but students with official refugee status or subsidiary protection status might be eligible for the scholarship tuition fee.

  • The Refugee Student Programme, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
    The programme consists of facilitating access to higher education for prospective students with a refugee background by providing tailor-made guidance in choosing their academic programme, support with the registration system, and an open-door policy for help and advice before and throughout their studies.

  • ​​​Welcome Desk for Refugees, Université Libre de Bruxelles 
    The Welcome Desk for Refugees helps all refugee students with their administrative procedures before, during, and after their enrolment at ULB. It has a designated person of contact within each faculty. Refugee students also receive help finding housing and obtaining scholarships.

  • Courses geared to refugees, Université Liège 
    As mastery of the language is the first integration vector in a new environment, ULiège offers those who are engaged in a university training process the possibility to reach the legal French level (level B2) required for admission. For doctorate and research activities the Refugee Office directs candidates toward the relevant departments, including the Research and Development Administration.

  • University of Antwerp
    This website offers information for refugee students who are interested in studying at the University of Antwerp. 

  • KU Leuven
    Offers information for refugess who wish to start a study programme at KU Leuven university. 

  • Artevelede University of Applied Sciences
    This website offers information for refugee students who are interested in studying at the Artevelede University of Applied Sciences. 

  • KdG University of Applied Sciences and Arts 
    This website offers information for refugee students who are interested in studying at the KdG University of Applied Sciences and Arts. 

  • UCLL University of Applied Sciences and Arts
    This website offers information on studying at the UCLL University of Applied Sciences and Arts.

  • Scholars at Risk Flanders Section
    Through the partnership with Scholars at Risk (SAR), academic leaders, faculty, students and staff in the universities of Flanders and the Brussels Capital Region send a strong message of solidarity with scholars and universities in situations where academic freedom is restricted and research, publication, teaching and learning are repressed. Together with Scholars at Risk members at more than 500 institutions in 43 countries around the world, they commit themselves to make a difference.



Here you can download the map as pdf: A modularly structured training programme for the labour integration of refugee researchers (637.13 KB)