Solidarity Fellowship – Project Surgery Week

Cres, 18 – 25 October 2023

In response to the Russian aggression against Ukraine, millions of people have been internally displaced or sought refuge in neighbouring countries. Among them are Ukrainian scholars who, like their fellow citizens, face displacement, exile, and challenges in continuing their academic work. Similarly, Russian scholars opposing the aggression find themselves targeted by the autocratic regime. Additionally, both Ukrainian and Russian scholars currently abroad on temporary academic assignments fear returning to their home countries.

In a collaborative effort to support these scholars, the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory (University of Belgrade) have joined forces with the Center for Advanced Studies Southeast Europe (University of Rijeka) in implementing Solidarity Fellowships for Threatened Scholars throughout 2023/2024. This project is backed up by the OSUN University Network through CEU and ERSTE Foundation.

During the Fellowship term, both residential and non-residential Fellows actively contributed to the dynamic intellectual landscape of the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory (IFDT) took the lead in the coordination of the project where Fellows are originally engaged, and the Center for Advanced Studies Southeast Europe (CAS SEE). As recipients of support, they wrote and published academic texts at IFDT where they mostly worked throughout the year. Meanwhile, CAS SEE provided a rich virtual environment with online lectures, seminars, and conferences, fostering the intellectual exchange central to the CAS SEE academic community.

As one of the main activities’ fellows experienced a transformative 5-day in-person Academic Retreat at Moise Palace during the Project Surgery Week. Project Surgeries at Moise Palace in Cres offer a dynamic and collaborative platform. As part of the Southeast European Solidarity Fellowship Program, researchers had the chance to engage in discussions and network with fellow colleagues during the period spanning from October 23rd to 26th, 2023. This timeframe coincided with a celebration, as UNIRI marked 50 years and the Center commemorated its 10th anniversary. Amidst this special occasion, Fellows actively participated in a panel discussion titled “The Path Towards a Shared Future“. This provided a valuable space for them to share insights and contribute their knowledge towards the development of stronger European cooperation in the coming years.


During Project Surgeries, Fellows present their projects, inviting feedback and insights from their peers. This collaborative approach encourages the exchange of ideas and diverse perspectives, reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of the Fellows’ backgrounds. Moise Palace’s tranquil setting enhances the concentration and creativity of the Fellows. The historical backdrop of the palace contributes to an inspiring atmosphere, fostering constructive dialogue and critical thinking.

The Project Surgeries is not just about presentations; it encompasses networking, team-building activities, and informal discussions. Fellows establish connections, share experiences, and build a sense of collegiality that extends beyond the fellowship period. This specific Project Surgery Week in October 2023 marked a crucial milestone for the participating Fellows. It provided a dedicated time for reflection, refinement, and collaboration, shaping their intellectual journey through exposure to diverse perspectives.

As the Fellowship approaches its conclusion, Fellows will have the opportunity to articulate the significance of their work throughout the year. They are encouraged to distil their academic insights into an open editorial that connects with a broader audience. IFDT is committed to offering support, guidance, and a platform for publishing these open editorials, ensuring that the Fellows’ perspectives reach a wider public audience.

UNIRI The Moise Palace: Cres Island

An education center of the University of Rijeka. A five-hundred-year-old patrician townhouse and the largest Renaissance palace on the Croatian islands. A venue and forum for various scientific and research activities, it welcomes visiting academics, students and scholars.