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.

Announcements

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 first call for applications in the 2021/22 year. Please pay attention to this  webpage  in November 2021 for the second 2021/22 grant call deadline information.

The BIEA invites applications for funding for original research projects in any discipline in the humanities and social sciences in eastern Africa. Projects that fall outside of these disciplinary areas are not considered (for example, we do not fund projects in STEM subjects). However, projects in Africa beyond eastern Africa may be considered. We define eastern Africa as stretching from Sudan down to Mozambique, and Zambia across to Madagascar. We particularly welcome applications from researchers or research teams who have limited access to other sources of funds, and which engage with one or more of the following thematic areas. Priority is given to researchers based in the UK or eastern Africa.

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

The BIEA seeks to support early career researchers and scholars in eastern Africa, and is keen to fund small projects that lay the ground for larger projects.  Researchers may include postgraduate students in eastern African or the UK; people who have not followed conventional research careers but whose local knowledge or contacts make them well-fitted to conduct high quality research; and/or collaborative projects which might involve more established scholars but where the resources are ring-fenced for early career or Africa-based project partners.

Grants are normally between £500 and £1,000, but 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.

The   application form   with details of supporting documents required can be downloaded here. The form and all supporting documents (including two references) must be submitted by email to  [email protected]  by  Friday 14 May 2021. Please note that late applications will not be considered. 

Successful applicants will be notified in June 2021.  If you have not heard from us by the end of June, please consider your application unsuccessful this time. Queries should be addressed to  [email protected]

Call For 2021/2022 Applications (Graduate Attachment Scheme)

BIEA graduate attachments offer recent graduates, with an interest in further studies in Africa, the opportunity to gain practical experience of research through a three-month graduate attachment scheme (GAS). In 2021/22 there were will be three GAS cohorts, which will run from July-September 2021, October-December 2021, and January to March 2022.

Given the current COVID pandemic, the scheme will initially be run wholly on-line with the possibility of some face-to-face work dependent on travel and health and safety regulations.

Graduate attachés will be involved in three types of work while at the BIEA:

  • Attachés will develop specific research interests in the region, gain practical experience of conducting research by working as a research assistant on a number of innovative historical, archaeological, anthropological, political science and legal projects, gain trainings in research methods, and meet a variety of active researchers;
  • Assist with the administration of the BIEA including website, library, reading groups focused on key texts in African studies, workshops and seminars; and,
  • Conduct their own research usually leading into developing a plan for a Masters or PhD. Their attachment involves the presentation of a paper in the BIEA Completion Seminar Series upon some aspect of the research they have carried out during their time at BIEA;
  • Have the opportunity to take beginner’s Kiswahili classes.

As a graduate attaché, you will receive a monthly stipend of 260 GBP towards subsistence costs. There may also be opportunity to apply for a small research allowance, which will be discussed further with successful applicants.

To be eligible you will need a strong academic record, some experience of studying/researching Africa, and a clear interest in developing your own research. You should also be able to show significant initiative and be ready to offer enthusiastic assistance for various research projects and subsequent data analysis.

Graduate attachés can arrive on 1 July 2021, 1 October 2021, and 1 January 2022 for a three-month period.  Please specify the three-month time period(s) that you are available for this scheme in your application.

Deadline for applications are 25th  March 2021. To Apply.  Applicants should send a  CV  and  Cover Letter  to  [email protected]  detailing any research experience that you have (including methods used) and explaining how participation in the scheme will assist the development of your career. You will need to arrange for  two academic references  to be sent directly to BIEA.