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Internal Call for Proposals for Funding

Year 2015/2016

The Middle East Centre invites applications from LSE colleagues for academic collaborative projects in social, political, and economic sciences between academics at LSE and Arab universities. These projects may involve collaborative research or capacity building.


  • To promote high calibre research by scholars at LSE and Arab universities;
  • To support academic excellence at Arab universities;
  • To strengthen academic collaboration and knowledge transfer between LSE and Arab universities.

Eligibility and Procedure

  • Projects must involve topics covered by the social, political or economic science disciplines and must also contribute to Middle East studies. Proposals involving multi-disciplinary teams are welcome.
  • Projects must involve a Principal Investigator (PI) from the London School of Economics and a Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI) from at least one Arab university.
  • LSE PIs must be members of academic staff, fellows, visiting professors or visiting fellows who hold a PhD and whose employment or fellowship at LSE runs for the duration of the proposed project.
  • Co-PIs must be permanent members of academic staff at their hosting university who hold a PhD and are employed by their university in teaching or research positions.
  • An Arab university is defined as a university which is based in a member state of the Arab League.  Universities that are subsidiaries, branches or departments of non-Arab League member state universities are ineligible as hosts for Co-PIs.
  • Other universities and organisations as well as individuals employed by other universities and organisations may be involved as sub-partners engaged under the direction of the Arab university and LSE project leaders. Projects may involve more than one university.
  • At least two awards will be reserved for projects which involve collaboration with universities in the United Arab Emirates. UAE universities that are subsidiaries, branches or departments of non-UAE universities are ineligible.
  • Eligible project expenses are conferences, seminars, travel, publications, fellowships, academic exchanges, student exchanges, research assistance, administration, consultancy fees, honoraria, translation and small equipment and consumables.
  • Salary costs are eligible for PIs who are not members of faculty and for consultants and research assistants. It is expected that PIs who are full members of academic staff will not require salary costs. If salary costs are requested, these should be restricted to a small proportion of the total budget. PI salary costs may amount to no more than 40% of the total budget.
  • Ineligible expenses are physical infrastructure, rent, permanent resources and large equipment.
  • MEC administration costs will be added to each budget where necessary.
  • An overhead of 10% of LSE costs will be added to each budget for MEC costs.
  • Partner universities may claim an overhead of 10% of the costs of their share of the budget.

Level of award

  • Individual projects may have a total budget of up to £120,000 and a term of up to 36 months.
  • The minimum term for projects is 12 months. There is no minimum budget for projects.

To apply

Proposals are invited for projects which would commence between 1 August and 31 December 2015. These should be submitted electronically in Word format to Robert Lowe.

Proposals should be submitted jointly by the LSE and the Arab university PI and Co-PIs. Please complete a proposal in Word format of no more than 4,000 words. Proposals should address the five evaluation criteria laid out in the Selection Process section below and should be structured under the following subheadings:

  1. Summary: project title, name of partner university, names of PIs, start and end dates, total budget figure
  2. Context and Aims of the Project (including literature review if relevant)
  3. Methodology
  4. Activities and Outcomes (including a clear timeline)
  5. Impact
  6. Personnel (including brief biographies);
  7. Research Ethics (consideration should be given to the LSE Research Ethics Policy)
  8. Annex 1: Budget. Please complete the Excel budget template attached.

Proposals must include a letter from the management of the Arab partner university confirming institutional support of the application.

Selection Process

Proposals will be considered by a Selection Committee made up of academics from LSE, UK and Arab universities. The committee will assess proposals according to the following criteria:

  1. Originality, significance and rigour of the research or capacity-building activity;
  2. The contribution made towards academic excellence at Arab universities and towards strengthening cooperation between LSE and Arab universities;
  3. Evidence that the individuals and institutions involved have the capacity to execute the proposal and deliver on stated outcomes;
  4. Value for money.

The first criterion will be scored at twice the value of the other three criteria.

Award of Funds

Proposals selected by the committee will be awarded funds subject to the School’s Research Ethics Policy. The awards will be announced in February 2015 with funding available from August 2015.

The Middle East Centre will host and administer all awards, with oversight provided by Research Division. LSE PIs and Research Assistants will be affiliated to the Middle East Centre for the duration of the award.

Applications and Enquiries

LSE academics are invited to submit applications in partnership with Arab universities. The Middle East Centre can also offer advice and assistance to applicants during the preparation of applications to ensure the best fit with the programme criteria and goals.

First drafts of proposals must be submitted by 12 January 2015. Earlier expressions of interest are strongly encouraged.

The MEC and LSE Research Division will ensure proposals meet the eligibility criteria and will assist with finalising budgets before final submission of applications in early February.

For submissions and all enquiries, please contact:   

Robert Lowe  
Manager, Middle East Centre, LSE
Email: r.lowe@lse.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7955 6365