BRISMES Early Career Development Scholarship

Submissions for this scholarship are open until 31 March 2024.


The aim of the BRISMES Early Career Development Scholarship is to support activities geared toward strengthening the academic profile and CV of an early career scholar. Two awards of £3,000 each are available. 


  • The applicant must be a BRISMES member by the time the application is submitted.
  • The applicant must have submitted a PhD dissertation in the last 2 years in any disciplinary field, on a topic related to the study of the Middle East and North Africa and must not have a permanent academic position when they receive the grant.
  • Priority will be given to applicants with limited or no access to institutional support (whether time or funding) for research-focused activities.

Eligible activities include (but are not necessarily limited to):

  • Developing an article for a peer-reviewed journal
  • Developing a book chapter
  • Transforming a PhD thesis into a book manuscript
  • Developing pilot research for a new project
  • Preparing a grant proposal for their own postdoctoral work
  • Developing an exhibition, a film, multi-series podcast, a workshop or some other creative practice that helps share your research with academic and/or non-academic audiences
  • But also, please feel free to be more creative than we are :)

How to apply

Applicants must send a CV (2 pages max) and a completed application form to


The competition opens on 1 February 2024 and closes on 31 March 2024 at midnight (UK time).

2023 Winners

BRISMES Early Career Development Scholarship

Dr Kaoutar Ghilani

From the Committee: Kaoutar Ghilani’s project is anchored in an original and powerful piece of scholarship, with a clear contribution to Middle East Studies in its challenge to dominant narratives on postcolonial nation-building, exceptionalism, and legitimacy in North Africa. Its focus on language/Arabisation politics (and its failings) in Morocco is complex, centring local interlocutors as agents of postcolonial political landscapes. The proposal itself was comprehensive, thoughtful and concrete in demonstrating how the prize would contribute to both the field and their career journey. We were particularly impressed by Dr. Ghilani’s commitment to the politics of knowledge production and specifically to thinking about how their work can be accessible to his project interlocutors. This award will enable them to distil their PhD into two distinct book projects: One for an academic press and one for a trade press in Morocco, that will be translated into both Arabic and French. The project contributes to new pathways for changing the landscape in which we do academic research, wherein scholarship on the region is intentionally made accessible to a general audience in the region.

BRISMES Early Career Development Scholarship

Dr Altea Pericoli

From the Committee: Altea Pericoli's proposal combines doing new research with the arduous process of transforming their PhD into a book manuscript for an academic press. Their work pushes at the boundaries of a still under-explored field of study, in its intersection of Gulf Studies, Foreign Aid and Intervention and the project of Syrian reconstruction. It is an opportunity to rethink the Gulf’s prominent role in re-writing the MENA landscape, through its tracing of the different materials, capital and policies finding its way into Syria’s post-war landscape. In addition to a clear and precise plan for how they would pursue the next phase of work, Dr. Pericoli’s honest depictions of how they might grow, enrich (theirs’ and others’) knowledge and strengthen their capacity for doing research through developing the book manuscript, struck a chord with the reviewers.

2022 Winners

BRISMES Early Career Development Scholarship

Dr Nur Arafeh

From the Committee: The prize will sustain the applicant through one of the most arduous processes for an early career scholar: the transformation of their PhD into a book. Dr. Arafeh will expand on her doctoral thesis and conduct further interviews in Hebron on the role of local elites in the broader Palestinian business class, and wider class structures. At the same time, they will prepare their book manuscript on indigenous industrial elites as “quiet” tools of management within Israel’s colonial apparatus of domination and control. The topic is relevant to the understanding of one of the most important sociological and political aspects of the Oslo peace process and its effects. The research develops an original angle on colonial relations of dependency and “economic counterinsurgency,” opening up promising comparative exchanges with other cases of securitisation through economic co-optation in the Global South. The book will constitute the natural outcome of Dr. Arafeh's systematic engagement with these themes, in this first leg of what we see as an exciting academic career.

Dr Narges Ansari

From the Committee: The applicant's proposal has the potential to contribute to novel findings in both the sub-field of Iranian Studies and the larger field of political anthropology. The applicant's research theorises subjectivity in revolutionary Iran going beyond well-established epistemological binaries such as obedience and resistance, coercion and subversion, secular and religious politics. The research aims to integrate God and religiosity in the ways in which Iranians relate to the state by leveraging the notion of mediation and by examining shabih-khani (ta'ziyeh) through innovative lenses. The award will support the candidate in turning their thesis into a book and in writing a journal article.

2021 Winners

BRISMES Early Career Development Scholarship

Dr Mustafa Khedewi

From the Committee: The applicant’s publication plan is detailed and in line with the prize’s objective. The applicant is currently engaged in revising their PhD thesis and turning it into a book, while applying for the prize to develop a peer-reviewed journal article focusing on the role of Al-Azhar in the making of the 2012 Constitution. The topic is highly relevant and impactful. The article will contribute to the current scholarship on Egyptian politics and beyond in a significant way. The proposed activity is therefore original in terms of content and research-wise. The publication plan will help the applicant to advance their career, enhancing both their credibility and visibility as a researcher and the field of study as a whole. The article builds on the applicant’s PhD work, so it is coherent with the career trajectory. Finally, the publication plan is feasible and realistic.

BRISMES Early Career Development Scholarship

Dr Dina Zayed

From the Committee: The application is impressive, coherent, thoughtful and original. Its strongest merits stem from the clarity with which the applicant approaches their work and the contribution/intervention they seek to make in bringing climate change justice into conversation with Middle East Studies. They have really thought through the content as well as the appropriate journal for publishing action-research and ethnographic engagements with climate change in Alexandria – themes/methods that rarely appear in any of the journals or fields they are targeting. Overall, the application clearly pointed to the importance, urgency and originality of the work being done. We were very impressed with the focus and feasibility of the research plan, and the clarity with which the application was developed. We also feel assured that the prize would be an important contribution to the applicant’s career trajectory, and see it as an essential component to building their publication record.

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