Kelisa-yi Vank, New Julfa, Isfahan
Kelisa-yi Vank, New Julfa, Isfahan

he British Institute of Persian Studies’ Main Grants Programme awards funding in an open, biannual competition for projects. Applications are invited from scholars wishing to pursue research in all fields of Iranian and the wider Persianate world studies in any relevant subject, including anthropology, archaeology, the visual arts and architecture, history, linguistics, literature, philosophy, religion, political science and cognate subjects, as well as for the organisation of conferences, lecture and workshops. Inline with our funding priorities, the Institute continues to maintain a balance between supporting large-scale projects with far-reaching effects and smaller-scale research, publication or fieldwork-based endeavours.

Since 2008, the British Institute of Persian Studies has awarded nearly £250,000 in grants. In the last year, grants were awarded to fund a workshop in Berlin attended by more than 70 participants that shed new light on recent archaeological discoveries from 5th millenium BC Iran. A second grant was made to a graduate conference on Iranian studies at the University of St Andrews attended by 100 postgraduate speakers and students. Further grants were made for research to PhD students working on: early post-revolutionary Soviet-Iranian relations at the Russian State Archives in Moscow; the ‘White Revolution’ at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston; and late Imperial and early Soviet Russia’s foreign policy towards Iran at the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts in St Petersburg.

Research Programmes & Lead Projects, 2011-17


ost of the Institute’s income is set aside for collaborative research projects and our research strategy is divided into three broad programmes, each containing a lead project headed by a Programme Director. Applicants for projects within programme specification are encouraged to discuss their application with the relevant Project Lead. More general questions can be directed to the Chairman of the Research Committee, Dr Lloyd Ridgeon.

How to Apply

General Notes

rants are available to support primary research in Iranian studies. All applications should demonstrate that the Institute’s funds are sought for a clearly defined, original piece of research that will have an identifiable outcome on completion of the Institute-funded component of the research.

The first recourse for funding should be the applicant’s institution (where applicable). Applications for collaborative or individual projects are equally welcome under this scheme.

Funds are available to facilitate initial project planning and development; to support the direct costs of research; and to enable the advancement of research through workshops or conferences, or visits by or to partner scholars. Applicants may seek support for any combination of eligible activity; individual applications are available from a minimum of £200 up to a maximum of £8,000.

Grants are not intended to support interchange between UK and overseas scholars where there is no planned programme of activity to meet a clearly specified research objective (dissemination of results of research conducted under the aegis of the project for which funding is sought is a permitted purpose); nor are grants intended solely to support attendance at open conferences organised by a third party or international organisation.

Applications for this first round of awards should therefore be sent to the Secretary no later than Friday, 4 September 2015 by 18.00 BST.

Complete applications and references should be sent to the Secretary at

Frequently Asked Questions

What subjects are covered by the Institute’s grants schemes? The Institute welcomes applications from all areas of Iranian studies, including anthropology, archaeology, the visual arts and architecture, history, linguistics, literature, philosophy, religion, political science and cognate subjects.

Does the Institute provide funding for the organisation of conferences and workshops? Yes, funding is available to support meetings of up to three days duration for residential and non-residential conferences and workshops held in the UK or abroad.

What is the age limit for the Institute’s schemes? There are no age limits for any of the Institute’s Programmes or Projects, although in some cases, these may be aimed at researchers with a particular level of experience.

What is the Institute’s policy on references? Two references are required for all applications. Both referees should be from outside the applicant’s institution if the applicant is no longer a student; further, they may not be beneficiaries of the grant.

My project is due to start before the application date. Can I apply? No. Retrospective funding is not awarded: grants are valid for one calendar year only from the date of notification.

I am an independent scholar. Am I eligible to apply? No. Applicants should have a demonstrable affiliation to a UK-based Institute of Higher Education, museum or library.

Does the Institute require the outputs of the research it funds to be made available in any open access format? No, this is not currently a stipulation of any Institute award.

Data Protection Statement

The British Institute of Persian Studies takes the security and privacy of all personal data seriously. It is our policy to take all necessary steps to ensure that personal information held by us is processed fairly and lawfully, and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 (“the Act”). All Trustees, employees and volunteers are obliged to respect the confidentiality of your personal information.

Personal information that you provide to us in making a grant application will be used to assess the application and to contact you if necessary. Should a grant be awarded, we will use the information to help us manage and administer it. We will not hold personal information for any longer than is necessary for those purposes.

We will not pass on your personal information to any other party or use it for any other reason unless we have your specific consent or it is at your request, or unless we are required by law to disclose that information.

The Institute’s Privacy Policy can be read in full here.

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