The Russian Invasion of Ukraine: LMS Response

(Updated: 5 September 2022)

In March the Society’s President, Professor Ulrike Tillmann, made a statement deploring the invasion of Ukraine by Russian government forces. Since then, the Society has launched several strands of work in its areas of activity to respond to these devastating developments.

The Society has set up a Working Group to coordinate its response, chaired by Vice-President Iain Gordon, with membership that includes the Society’s President, Treasurer, Publications Secretary, Programme Secretary and the Chair of the Society’s Committee for Women and Diversity in Mathematics.

The LMS Council has reaffirmed its support for all individual mathematicians within the international community, irrespective of nationality. It distinguishes this from institutional collaborations, however, and the Society has suspended activities that involve collaborating with Russian government institutions and agencies.

We set out below the steps taken so far by the Working Group. We will update this as new information or activities emerge.

Support for Mathematicians

The Society will support members of the mathematical community who are seeking refuge in the United Kingdom as a result of the invasion. 

The Society has developed two grant schemes that are co-ordinated with the Isaac Newton Institute’s (INI’s) substantial solidarity programme. Research-active mathematicians at all career stages, including students working towards a doctoral degree, can apply for these grants. For mathematicians who are fleeing their countries and who are likely to be applying also to the INI’s solidarity programme, the Society is offering:

  • ‘Welcome Grants’ to give them some immediate financial support while they are travelling to the UK and/or incurring costs in the first month following their arrival. Applications for up to £3000 will be considered though it is expected that an individual grant is likely to be in the region of £1000.
  • ‘Supplementary Grants’, to provide further financial support in addition to the funding provided by the INI (or others) for those in greater need. The value can vary from a few hundred pounds (for furniture or a computer, for example) to a regular supplement to other monthly income, for the applicant and/or any dependants.

Applications can be made for these grants by following the process set out on the INI website here. The Society is pleased to report that as at the end of August 2022, a total of 13 Welcome grants and 12 Supplementary Grants have been awarded.  Of the 13 grants awarded one applicant did not take up the grant due to finding employment at a UK institution.

In addition to this, the Society will ensure that, in promoting and advertising its existing relevant grant schemes, it makes clear that these are available to mathematicians who have recently reached the UK after fleeing their home country. These include the Society’s ‘Research in Pairs’, ‘Celebrating New Appointments’ and ‘Early Career Researcher Travel’ grant schemes which, the Society hopes, will help new arrivals establish themselves in the UK mathematics community and develop their networks. As well as these grants being available the Society has agreed that those applying for a ‘Joint Research Groups’ grant might wish to include Ukraine institutions as virtual nodes within the application.

The Society would also like to draw attention to the Researchers at Risk Fellowships which have been established by the British Academy with Cara (the Council for At-Risk Academics).  The programme enables UK institutions to provide additional two-year fellowships to researchers at risk to allow them to continue their research, enhance their skills and build long-lasting collaborative links with UK counterparts. The first priority of the programme is as a response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Publications

In considering the situation of individual mathematicians who are affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, often in terrible ways, the Society has been guided by the principles of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). The Society’s policy is that content published in the Society’s journals and books will continue to be selected based on merit alone and irrespective of nationality, geographic location, ethnicity, political beliefs, race, or religion of the authors. Publication of individual authors’ work by the London Mathematical Society does not constitute endorsement of the policies of any government or other agencies.

In particular, the Society will continue to publish articles in its core journals written by authors based in Russia. However, the Society and IOP Publishing have for the time being suspended the publication of new articles in Sbornik: Mathematics, Izvestiya: Mathematics and Russian Mathematical Surveys which operate in partnership with the Russian Academy of Sciences. It has also excluded Russian and Belarusian institutions from its journal exchange programme.

Communications

The Society aims to be clear about both the actions it is taking, and the reasons for those actions. The Society also wants to understand the views of its members and the wider mathematical sciences community, and to listen to ideas and suggestions for ways in which the Society – and the community more broadly – can respond in an effective and meaningful manner.

With this in mind, the Society is: 

  • Updating the Society’s membership, the UK mathematical community and the global mathematical community about the actions that the Society is taking and the reason for these actions.
  • Coordinating and sharing good practice with other learned societies and mathematical institutes in the UK and globally.

If you have ideas, suggestions or comments, please do email the Society at membership@lms.ac.uk