Visiting Iraqi Scholarships Scheme

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The Visiting Iraqi Scholarship Scheme is currently closed and we will not be accepting any new applications


BISI Visiting Scholarships (see below for the BISI-Nahrein Visiting Scholarship Scheme)

On an exception basis, BISI may consider funding a separate Visiting Scholar whose research is not covered by the Nahrein Network's aim. Only exceptional applications with developed research proposals and pre-established links to a UK academic sponsor or university will be assessed.

Projects should focus on the history, society, and culture of Iraq from the earliest times until the present. We welcome applications from scholars involved in the following fields: anthropology, archaeology, history, geography, languages and other areas in the arts, humanities and social sciences. 

All applicants must be currently based in Iraq and should demonstrate how a scholarship in the UK will strengthen the research and cultural heritage environment in Iraq. 

How to apply

Eligibility: Leave of Absence

A formal leave of absence from the scholar's own institution or employer is required before an award is made; a copy of the permission for a leave of absence should be sent to BISI

Eligibility: English Language Ability 

BISI reserves the right to request scholars to take English languages tests to ensure that the English language ability of successful applicants is of a satisfactory standard. Scholars must be able to converse and understand English to a working level. 

Eligibility: Past Scholars

Under normal circumstances, past BISI scholars are ineligible for further awards in the years immediately following their scholarships. 


Please complete a VS application form.doc and return it to the Executive Officer at [email protected]. The application requires a short description of the project and the purpose of your visit to the UK. Applicants should nominate an academic to supervise their scholarship in the UK and name the institution where they would like their scholarship to be based. 

Terms and Conditions

Prior to visiting the UK, scholars must apply for a UK Visa; applications must be submitted three months before the visit and will require you to take your identity documents for checking at a Visa Application Centre in Iraq. 

Scholars are expected to be able to work and travel independently in the UK. We reserve the right to withdraw any scholarships that have not been taken up within one year of notification of the awards. 


The BISI - Nahrein Visiting Scholarship Scheme

The BISI-Nahrein Visiting Iraqi Scholarship Scheme aims to enhance the capacity of Iraqi scholars to engage in the sustainable development of Iraq's cultural heritage. It enables academics, cultural heritage professionals, and NGO workers from Iraq to visit the UK for 1-2 months for training and research. 

The Visiting Iraqi Scholarship Scheme is run jointly by the British Institute for the Study of Iraq and the Nahrein Network.

How to Apply

You may apply for the BISI-Nahrein Visiting Iraqi Scholarship Scheme if you normally live and/or work in Iraq, and you want to carry out a project relating to one or more of the Nahrein Network's five aims

If you have previously had a BISI Visiting Iraqi Scholarship or a BISI-Nahrein Visiting Iraqi Scholarship, you will not normally be eligible to apply. 

In order to apply, you will need to: 

  • Download and read the Application Guidelines (pdf) for the scheme. 
  • Write a 500-word proposal describing the research or training you would like to pursue with a host organisation in the UK, for a maximum of 2 months. 
  • Contact a host organisation. You can do this directly (see below) or ask for advice about this from the Nahrein Network. 
  • Get a written agreement to submit an application from the UK host organisation and from your employer (if you have one). 
  • Complete the Application Form.docx and email it to the Nahrein Network ([email protected]).

The deadlines for proposals are 15 February and 15 August every year (2018-2020). 

As part of the application process, the Nahrein Network may interview you by telephone or over the internet and may ask you for proof of your English language ability. A joint committee from BISI and the Network will then assess your application based on these criteria.

We will normally tell you the result of your application within one month of the deadline. 

Choosing a UK Host Institution

The Nahrein Network has the support of a growing number of UK host institutions, including: 

  • The British Library 
  • The National Archives
  • Birmingham Museum Trust
  • The Ashmolean Museum
  • University College London
  • The University of Glasgow
  • The University of Manchester
  • The University of Reading 

You are also welcome to choose and contact a different UK host institution that is better suited to your research interests, or you are welcome to ask the Nahrein Network for advice about possible hosts. 

You will not be eligible for a BISI-Nahrein Visiting Scholarship without a suitable UK host institution. 

What do the Scholarships Cover?

These scholarships cover: 

  • Advice and support from BISI on applying for a UK visa, and on travel, insurance, and accommodation; 
  • All travel expenses, including visa costs; 
  • Travel insurance for your visit; 
  • Institutional fees (e.g. university access and library usage, but not tuition fees);
  • Housing (usually with a family) and a daily allowance for living costs; 
  • Reasonable research costs. 

These scholarships will not cover: 

  • Any salary expenses; 
  • English language training;
  • Fees for long-term or full-time university courses;
  • Any routine dental or medical expenses.

Terms and Conditions

Scholars must apply for a UK visa at least three months before their visit to the UK. This will require you to take your identity documents for checking at a Visa Application Centre in Iraq. 

Scholars are expected to able to work and travel independently in the UK. 

Scholars must sign a formal agreement with BISI and the Nahrein Network to show that they agree to the terms and conditions of the scholarship. 

We reserve the right to withdraw any scholarships that have not been taken up within one year of notification of the awards.