The idea of an Advanced Practical Research Methods Summer School was born from the extensive research experience and passion of the people at the BIEA.

About Kenya, Kwale County and Shimba Hills, Mivumoni

The BIEA is located in Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi. Its central location is ideal for visiting scholars and researchers who wish to use its facilities.

Kenya is an East African nation which lies across the equator in east-central Africa, on the coast of the Indian Ocean. It borders Somalia to the east, Ethiopia to the north, Tanzania to the south, Uganda to the west, and Sudan to the northwest. In the north, the land is arid; the southwest corner is in the fertile Lake Victoria Basin; and a length of the eastern depression of the Great Rift Valley separates western highlands from those that rise from the lowland coastal strip.


Map of Kenya

Field Site Location: Kwale County

Kwale County is a county in the former Coast Province of Kenya. The location of the field site is on average two-hours’ drive from the city of Mombasa in Msambweni Constituency.

Location of Kwale County in Kenya

Location of Kwale County

For one week, we will be in the village of Mivumoni, located on the southern portion of Kenya’s coastline in the Shimba Hills, Kwale County. Mivumoni lies on the border of the Shimba Hills National Reserve, about 50 miles south of Mombasa (but far off the main highway). The area is home to communities of Mijikenda (in particular Digo, Duruma and Giriama) who have occupied vast stretches of Kenya’s coastline for generations. It is also home to a significant Kamba population, who settled there in the mid-20th century bringing with them a new language and culture. Mivumoni is therefore an extremely unique place, comprising multiple overlapping histories and a diverse assortment of everyday practices.

What the summer school offers:

  1. An opportunity to put into practice the research methods students plan to use in their projects in the field
  2. Learning and interaction opportunity with top field research scholars who have and still work in Africa with numerous publications under their belt
  3. Learning from current graduate students in the field on their experiences and how best to navigate expected challenges in the field.
  4. Practical guidance on writing papers for publishing, research grants applications and presentation of one’s work to audiences in and beyond academia
  5. An opportunity to present their research proposals to their peers at the BIEA for deliberations, advise and suggestions
  6. Insight into doing research in Africa and how to prepare for it.

What the students get:

  1. Practical field-research experience
  2. Increased confidence in the use and application of various research methods while in the field
  3. An increased understanding of how different disciplines have approached African Studies
  4. Practical information on the requirements of doing research in Africa and how best to prepare
  5. Contacts of researchers currently based in the region that they may confer with when they begin their own research
  6. Increased skills and confidence in the presentation of their work
  7. Guidance on writing for publishing