BILNAS Grant Applications

The British Institute for Libyan & Northern African Studies (BILNAS) offers a variety of different grant schemes to support primary research in Libya and the Northern African region (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Niger, Mali, Chad, Sudan) and to explore connections between North Africa and the Mediterranean or sub-Saharan Africa. Research may take place within the region, or be UK-based, depending on its nature.

BILNAS will fund high-calibre projects on any topic in the Humanities and Social Sciences, though we are particularly keen to receive applications which fit within the Institute’s current research schemes:

Migration, Diaspora And Identity In North Africa

Governance, Security And Conflict In North Africa

Society And Environment Across North Africa, From Deep Prehistory To The Present

Special calls for other research themes may be issued at other points in the year.

The BILNAS Research Grants Committee led by the Chairman, Prof. Kevin MacDonald, is responsible for considering grant applications. Dr Saul Kelly is the external assessor.


The deadline for the current round of (2022) grants has now passed. Further rounds will be announced here in due course. If you have any questions about forthcoming grants rounds please contact the General Secretary.

For more information about the Institute’s grants please contact Pauline Graham the BILNAS General Secretary at: [email protected] 

BILNAS currently offers the following types of awards

Travel Grants (up to £1500)

Travel Grants are for individual applicants making visits to the region or to North African archives to undertake self-contained projects or discrete elements of larger projects. These cover costs of travel and subsistence up to £1500 for PhD students, academics and researchers undertaking reconnaissance tours or smaller research projects in North Africa. BILNAS particularly welcomes applications to support research in its archives at the University of Leicester. This award is open to PhD applicants at UK universities, as well as applicants who hold a doctorate and are ordinarily resident in the UK.

Click here to download the Travel Grant Application Form

Pilot Project Awards (up to £3500)

BILNAS is able to offer a number of research grants, up to £3500 in value, as small grants for a discrete piece of publishable research, as seed funding for larger research projects or for an academic event with a publishable outcome.  These are intended to support the publication of research as well as to enable initial exploratory work or a feasibility study prior to making applications for major funding to a Research Council, the British Academy or another body.  Awards may be used to cover travel, roundtables, seminars, analytic work, or initial exploratory fieldwork and research. Applicants must be postdoctoral scholars ordinarily resident in the UK. The level of individual awards does not normally exceed £3000 and in most cases will be well below that level.

Click here to download the Pilot Grants Application Form

Research Awards (up to £8000)

BILNAS is able to offer a number of grants, up to £8000 in value, which can be renewed.  These grants are intended for larger research projects, including those that involve a group of researchers and/or projects that are planned to continue for more than one year.  Research may take place within the region, or be UK-based, depending on its nature.  Grant applications may form a contribution to a larger project fund, in which case it should be clear which element is being funded.  Grants may be dependent on the applicant’s success with other funding bodies.  Applicants must be postdoctoral scholars (at any career stage) ordinarily resident in the UK.

Click here to download the Research Awards Application Form 

Postdoctoral Awards (up to £10,000)

This year BILNAS is offering at least two North Africa Postdoctoral Writing Fellowships that provide up to £10,000 to support the writing-up of already completed research on North Africa in the humanities and social sciences. The awards are explicitly intended to support early career scholars ordinarily resident in the UK (within eight years of the PhD) who have not yet been appointed to a permanent academic post, who frequently lack the time and resources they need to publish their work.

Click here to download the Postdoctoral Award Application Form

Project Affiliation 

Project affiliation provides a formal link with the British Institute for Libyan & Northern African Studies for projects that are not BILNAS-funded, but where our institutional support may be beneficial, or where affiliation may enhance the academic and research role of the project and the Institute. BILNAS invites applications for project affiliation for postdoctoral research in the humanities and social sciences to be undertaken in North Africa. All applications should clearly demonstrate that BILNAS-affiliation is sought for a clearly defined piece of research, which will have an identifiable outcome on completion.

For more information please contact BILNAS General Secretary Pauline Graham at: [email protected]

Urgent Award Procedures

Under exceptional circumstances BILNAS will consider applications outside the normal procedures and timetables detailed above. Please click here to read more about the conditions that may warrant such applications.

For more information about individual BILNAS-sponsored projects, in the first instance, please contact Pauline Graham.