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Middle East Centre
Tower 1, 10th Floor
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE 

General Enquiries and Events
Sandra Sfeir
+44 (0)20 7955 6198

Projects and Scholarships Enquiries 
Chelsea Milsom
+44 (0)20 7955 7038

Media and Communications Enquiries
Ribale Sleiman Haidar

+44(0)20 7955 6250


Internal Call for Proposals for Funding

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, research fellows, research officers, resident visiting professors or resident 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.

  • PIs and Co-PIs who have previously been awarded funding through the programme cannot reapply in the same academic year that the previous project finished. 

  • In the event of reapplication (following an academic year’s gap), preference will be given to new applications, and the success of the former project will be taken into consideration.  
  • 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, translation and small equipment and consumables.
  • Salary costs are eligible for PIs who are not members of faculty and for consultants and research assistants. 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 2017. These should be submitted electronically in Word format to Chelsea Milsom.

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 six 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 provided.


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. Extent to which the proposal fits with MEC research activites;
  3. The contribution made towards academic excellence at Arab universities and towards strengthening cooperation between LSE and Arab universities; 
  4. Evidence that the individuals and institutions involved have the capacity to execute the proposal and deliver on stated outcomes;
  5. Value for money.

    The first criterion is worth 35% of available points, the second 20% and the other three criteria 15% each.

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 March 2017 with funding available from August 2017.

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.Stage one - expression of interest
Applicants should submit an expression of interest outlining the project in no more than 500 words. This allows the Centre to ensure proposals fit with the programme criteria and goals before full applications are made.

Deadline: 11 November 2016Stage two - first draft of application
If the application fits with the programme criteria and goals, a full first draft of the application should be submitted. The Centre is happy to offer advice and assistance to applicants during the preparation of full applications.

Deadline: 13 January 2017

Stage three - final submission of application
Following the submission of the full first draft, the MEC and LSE Research Division will then ensure the full applications meet the eligibility criteria and will assist with finalising budgets before the final submission of applications.

Deadline: 17 February 2017

For submissions and all enquiries, please contact:   

Chelsea Milsom  
Projects Coordinator, Middle East Centre, LSE
Email: c.milsom@lse.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7955 7038