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.
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, but not limited, to researchers based in the UK or eastern Africa.
- Epidemics, pandemics and epizootics
- Citizens and science
- Knowing environments
- Technologies of politics
- Urban lives
- 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 applicants.
Queries should be addressed to [email protected]
Advice for Applicants
BIEA’s research funding is competitive and we receive many more applications than we can fully fund. Your application must, therefore, make a clear and compelling case for why we should support your proposed research. Making such a case means briefly summarising the current state of knowledge and your research question, and explaining briefly how your chosen research methodology will help to advance knowledge, and contributes to the BIEA current research themes. Your project also needs to be viable – that is, it has to be possible within the budget and time-frame you have set out – and meet all relevant ethical and health and safety regulations. Your budget needs to be realistic and justify the amounts requested. You must have a clear plan for dissemination so that people will hear about the results. For information about the most recent call for Thematic Research Grants see here.
BIEA offers support in the form of writing grants for scholars who have recently completed doctoral research within the disciplines of humanities and social sciences in eastern Africa. A writing grant provides a modest stipend for the completion and submission of a high impact publication to Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa or the Journal of Eastern African Studies, based on the results of the PhD research.
The writing grant covers a period of three months. The stipend is £1,000 per month, at the end of which the paper must be submitted to the relevant journal. Applicants must be able to confirm that they are either unemployed or only working a maximum of 15 hours per week in other employment during this time.
Applications should take the form of the doctoral thesis abstract; a publication abstract and contents outline; a timetable for the completion of the publication; and a statement of support from the doctoral supervisor.
For information about the most recent call for Postdoctoral Writing Grants see here.
BIEA offers support for scholars who have recently completed doctoral research within the disciplines of humanities and social sciences in eastern Africa to return to the site of their research and present their findings to the community/ies with whom they worked, and to discuss further research potential with local stakeholders.
Applications should take the form of the doctoral thesis abstract; a short narrative statement of proposed activities; a budget; and a statement of support from the doctoral supervisor. The maximum amount available is £2,500 per scholar. Successful applicants will be expected to supply several blog and social media posts for the BIEA and to be available for a public presentation about their trip.