Introducing the BIEA

The British Institute in Eastern Africa has been active since 1960 and has its research centre  with accommodation, lecture facilities, work space and reference library in Nairobi, Kenya. The Institute is a registered charity which exists to promote research in all the disciplines in the humanities and social sciences within the wider region of eastern Africa. It offers financial support , affiliation services and logistical assistance to research projects, and runs a graduate attachment scheme. The Institute publishes a regular newsletter as well as the journal Azania: archaeological research in Africa and the Journal of Eastern African Studies.

Membership is open to all and we would be delighted if you would join us.


2nd call for applications: BIEA Thematic Research Grants

Every year the British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA) invites applications for our small Thematic Research Grants. These funds are usually dispersed through two calls for applications per year. This is the second call for applications in the 2021/22 year. Please pay attention to this webpage in April 2022 for the first 2022/23 grant call deadline information.

The British Institute in Eastern Africa invites applications for funding for research projects that engage with one or more of the following thematic areas:

  1. Epidemics, pandemics and epizootics
  2. Citizens and science
  3. Knowing environments
  4. Technologies of politics
  5. Urban lives
  6. Retelling the past

For further details see:

BIEA research funding is available to support original research within these thematic areas in any discipline in the humanities and social sciences across the region. The BIEA’s thematic grant scheme particularly seeks to help researchers who have limited access to other sources of funds. In doing so, the BIEA seeks to nurture early career researchers and scholars in eastern Africa, and is keen to fund small projects that lay the ground for larger projects.  Such researchers may include postgraduate students in eastern African or the UK, or people who have not followed conventional research careers but whose local knowledge or contacts make them well-fitted to conduct high quality research. We particularly encourage applications from the wider eastern African region, which we define as stretching from Sudan, to Mozambique, and including Madagascar. 

Grants are normally between £500 and £1,000; in exceptional circumstances, up to £1,500 may be awarded. The grant should contribute towards actual research costs and not include institutional overheads, equipment, and applicant’s stipend or publication costs. Priority is given to researchers based in the UK or eastern Africa.

The application form with details of supporting documents required can be downloaded here.

All applications and references must be submitted by email to  [email protected]  by Monday the 15 of November 2021. Please note that late applications will not be considered. 

Successful applicants will be notified in early December 2021.  If you have not heard from us by then, please consider your application not successful this time.

Anthropology, AI and the Future of Human Society

Virtual Conference 6 -10 June 2022

Call for Panels Deadline: 4 November 2021

Proposals for panels are invited for the virtual conference Anthropology, AI and the Future of Human Society. AI has come to represent multiple causal drivers of change: amongst them artificial intelligence itself, space exploration, bio-tech and other emerging technologies. The implications for human society could hardly be more significant, and feed into a host of already contemporary concerns, such as sovereignty, economics, politics, reproduction and kinships, ethics and law, conflict and many more.

We wish to explore these issues from the broadest range of perspectives. From its foundation, anthropology has studied the complexity and variety of human society, and now we may turn to developing a sustained body of disciplinary understanding envisaging what may come in near, and more distant eras. There has been systematic consideration already in many other fields, whether within or outside academia. We would therefore invite interested proposals from anthropologists of any background, and also those who would like to think about their work in conjunction with anthropology, or hold a dialogue with anthropologists. The arts as well as the sciences are invited, for this is an area of human speculation where both have made very great contributions, and we see the different approaches as being mutually stimulating.

Without in any way wishing to limit the possibilities, we suggest below a few of the potential areas of interest:

  • Visions of the future: scientific and artistic imaginations
  • Ethics, law and governance
  • Biotechnology: DNA and reproduction
  • Consciousness and the machine/biological interface
  • Future conflicts and the military
  • Economics, the digital future and the creation of value
  • Inequality, sovereignty and demography
  • Climate change and the environment
  • Science fiction and its place in futures studies
  • Agronomics and ecology
  • Information, democracy and politics
  • Robots and sociality, and human/machine interaction
  • AI and human Identities
  • Space exploration and extra-terrestrial migration
  • Disciplinary reflections: anthropological attempts to anticipate the future

Panel proposals should be made please by 4 November 2021 and may be made here.

Call for Panels opens 13 July 2021 and closes on 4 November 2021

Call for Papers opens 6 December 2021 and closes on 25 February 2022

Registration opens 11 April 2022

Conference Fees:

RAI Fellows & Members: £90
Non-Fellows: £150
Concessions (students, unemployed and retired persons): £45
Delegates with low income from Low Income Countries ( £30