Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible for support?
CARA provides assistance to persecuted and threatened academics. To be eligible for support, you must:

If you are not eligible for CARA funding, please check the Advice, Guidance & Signposting section of our website for details of other useful organisations.

What are CARA grants for?
Grants aim to enable persecuted and threatened academics (including refugees and asylum seekers) re-establish their academic careers, or an allied career, in the UK at a level commensurate with their skills and experience in the long term.

Grants can support persecuted and threatened academics to re-qualify in a range of professions in the UK such as teaching, academia, engineering, law, the charity sector and medicine.

As part of our work we also aim to provide specialist guidance on education, training and employment in the UK as well as referrals to other agencies. 

What can I get funding for?
We can fund qualifications or structured work placements that will aid your academic development. Types of funding include tuition fees, travel, registration fees, exam fees, bench fees, books, research costs, IT equipment and childcare.

What can I not get funding for?
We regret that CARA cannot usually fund independent research that is not part of a qualification or linked to an institution, or costs that would normally be state or government funded (e.g. certain child care costs, some PGCE courses).

Due to limited funding, we  strongly encourage you to look into additional sources of financial support.

When should I apply for a grant?
If you are eligible for a grant we will invite you to submit an application. Please note that as we only hold one grant allocation meeting per year, it can take up to 12 months to go through the entire process. Although we welcome enquiries all year round, we regret that we cannot provide funding at any other time.

Does CARA only support persecuted academics who want to become academics in the UK? 
No. CARA supports persecuted and threatened academics to re-qualify in a range of professions in the UK such as teaching, academia, engineering, law, the charity sector and medicine.

If I am eligible, will I definitely get funding?
Unfortunately not. CARA has limited funds and receives many more applications each year than we can fund. As we cannot guarantee that we can fund everyone, we encourage all applicants to apply to other funding organisations as well as CARA in order to avoid disappointment.

Is there a maximum grant that I can apply for?
No. However CARA has limited funds and therefore we encourage all applicants to apply to other funding organisations as well as CARA in order to avoid disappointment.

Can I apply for a qualification/placement that is for more than one year?
Yes. However, continued funding will only be awarded upon receipt of positive progress reports from your academic tutor or supervisor. Payments can only be guaranteed as long as CARA has funds available. 

How many attempts at an exam can CARA fund?
CARA will only usually fund one attempt at a professional exam (e.g. IELTS or PLAB).

Can I apply for retrospective funding, for a qualification/placement that I am currently doing or that I recently completed?
Yes. However we prefer applicants to approach us before they start their qualification or work placement. We can only accept applications for funding for qualifications/placements that have already been completed in exceptional circumstances where there is clear evidence of serious debt. NB. CARA will not clear debts if agreed through informal channels such friends and/or family.

How would I select the right course or placement and how can CARA help me?
Selecting the most suitable course/placement is very important. Please see the ‘Resources’ section of our website for further information.

CARA may occasionally be able to help applicants who demonstrate strong potential to work in UK academia to access opportunities, such as University work placements and mentoring, through its UK Universities Network. If you are interested, please ask us for more details.

Who decides whether I get a grant?
The Allocation Committee who meet once a year.

How do I apply for a CARA grant?
If you think you may be eligible for support please contact CARA to request an enquiry form in the first instance to help us determine whether you are eligible.

Please note the enquiry form is not a grant application form and we will only invite you to complete a full application form if you are eligible.

You can contact us for an enquiry form by telephone: 0207 021 0880; email: or by post: CARA, London South Bank University Technopark, 90 London Road, London SE1 6LN

What happens after I have submitted a CARA enquiry form?
A member of CARA's staff will contact you to discuss the information you have provided and may ask for further details about your academic background, what you need a CARA grant for and how a CARA grant will help you meet your short and long term objectives.

Do I have to know what qualification or placement I want to do before I contact CARA?

No. If you are eligible for support, CARA staff may be able to provide you with information and guidance on education, training and employment (ETE) in the UK or refer you to other relevant agencies. You will be required to complete and ETE Questionnaire that will help us assess your needs.

Do I have to have an offer of a place at a university or institution to apply for a CARA grant?
No. However, you must have received a formal offer before the Allocation Committee Meeting otherwise your case will not be considered for funding.

What if I don't get accepted on a course/placement?
If you are not accepted on an appropriate course/placement, you may be advised to apply to CARA's next grant round.

How does the CARA application process work?
Initial enquiry If you think you may be eligible for support please contact CARA to request an enquiry form in the first instance to help us determine whether you are eligible.

Submitting an application If you have found a suitable qualification/placement you are welcome submit an application. It is important that you complete your application as fully and accurately as possible. If you have any questions about completing the form, CARA staff are available to assist you.

If you have not been able to find a suitable course/placement, you may be advised to defer your application until the next application round.

Interviews After you have submitted your application, CARA may contact your referees and also invite you to attend an informal interview at CARA's office in London. CARA will reimburse reasonable travel expenses to the interview.

Allocation Committee Meeting If you are shortlisted, all information gathered from your application and interview will be collated by CARA staff and submitted to CARA's Allocation Committee. The Allocation Committee is a group of senior academics with expertise across a range of disciplines. The Allocation Committee is responsible for all decisions relating to the allocation of CARA grants. 

Grant application result Shortlisted applicants will receive the outcome of your application a few days after the Allocation meeting. 

How long does the application process take?
It can take up to 12 months from when you make your initial enquiry until your hear about the decision of your application.

Do I have to nominate any referees with my application?
Yes. CARA asks that you nominate 3 academic or professional referees that are relevant to your academic and/or professional past. Your referees are a very important part of your application so you must provide full contact details for each referee.
Although we fully appreciate that your situation may make it difficult for you to provide referees from amongst academic or professional colleagues in your country of origin, we advise that you include one or more, if at all possible. If you have any problems regarding referees, please do not hesitate to contact CARA.

What if I haven't got any existing evidence of my qualification?
CARA understands that it is not always possible for applicants to provide evidence of their qualifications. CARA is happy to see if they can assist you.

Do I choose a full or part-time course at university?
If you study part-time, you are allowed to continue to claim benefits and find part-time work to fund your studies. For further information on claiming benefits whilst studying, please go to
CARA can consider awarding maintenance costs equivalent to state benefits to enable beneficiaries to study full time.

What if my grant is unsuccessful?
CARA has a limited amount of funds available and, as a result, is not able to support all the applications it receives. We may be able to provide you with alternative support via our Education, Training and Employment and Advice, Guidance and Signposting Services.

Can I re-apply for a CARA grant if my application was unsuccessful?
If your application was unsuccessful, we usually cannot accept a re-application for the same qualification or placement.

I currently hold or previously held a CARA grant. Can I apply for more funding?
Yes. If you need funding for a new qualification or placement, you would have to submit a new grant application to CARA. Your application would follow the same process as outlined above.

If your request is related to the qualification or placement that CARA is currently funding you for, please notify the member of CARA programme staff dealing with your case for advice.