Research Funding

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]

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.