On Thursday night, Maryana Sytar arrived safe and sound in Israel from the escalating war in Ukraine. She was the first graduate research student to arrive as part of Tel Aviv University’s emergency scholarship program that was launched in response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis.Maryana was working hard toward her Ph.D. at the Koretsky Institute of State and Law of Ukraine before the war broke out. Over the next six months, she will continue her research at TAU’s Buchmann Faculty of Law. She is expected to be joined at TAU by additional Ukrainian scholars this week.
She said, “It took me a few days to arrive. I had to travel from Ukraine to Hungary and then catch a plane to Tel Aviv. I’m constantly trying to reach my family, but it gives me peace to know that they’re safe for now. I want to express my gratitude to Tel Aviv University for giving me this opportunity and for all the kind people surrounding me and helping me constantly. I really appreciate it.”
The university established the Emergency Fellowship Fund for Ukrainian Graduate Students alongside a fundraising drive to support dozens of Ukrainian students and researchers with immediate refuge and assistance to enable them to continue their academic studies and research, which have been halted due to the unfolding crisis. Within days, the university raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Fund from generous donors, among them TAU Governors Vlad and Sana Shmunis, founders of leading cloud-based communication company RingCentral and of the Shmunis School of Biomedicine and Cancer Research at TAU.The Fund enables Ukrainian students at the graduate and post-doctoral levels to spend a full semester at TAU. Application is open to students currently enrolled at a Ukrainian university, in any discipline. Successful applicants are awarded full tuition alongside a living stipend and will be invited to remain on campus for up to six months. Each researcher is matched with a TAU faculty member who will serve as a mentor while at TAU. TAU views the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a red flag requiring everyone to make an all-out effort to help the Ukrainian people, many of whom have lost their homes and become refugees overnight. “The steps we are taking are admittedly modest. However, we are glad to see that other institutions, both in Israel and worldwide, have joined the efforts and are lending a helping hand to the Ukrainian people in this dire situation,” said TAU President Prof. Ariel Porat.