Networking Partnership Awards

Networking Partnership Awards

CBRL is proud to announce its new Networking Partnership Awards for 2020-21. These awards are offered towards the establishment or development of research partnerships in the humanities, social sciences, and related disciplines between the UK and Levant-based researchers (Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria) at any career stage. CBRL will consider applications for research on contemporary issues in Egypt, only where they include a regional component relevant to the Levant.

Funds are available to support researchers undertaking initial exploratory meetings or research, with a view to preparing a later application for funding from a research council, the British Academy or similar. Awards may be used to cover round tables, seminars, and/or initial exploratory research costs, including travel. CBRL can facilitate successful applications through the involvement of its local staff and facilities, as appropriate.

Awards are available for the direct costs of primary research, including:

  • costs to organise small round tables or seminars in person, or virtually, or a combination
  • travel and maintenance away from home
  • consumables, including expendable equipment
  • specialist software
  • costs of interpreters, research assistance or short-term costs for specialist staff

The following items are not eligible for support:

  • institutional overheads
  • computer hardware
  • books
  • permanent resources or equipment
  • publication costs
  • payment in lieu of salary, or for personal maintenance at home
  • replacement teaching costs
  • expenses for lecture tours or attendance at conferences

The level of individual awards will not usually exceed £2,000. Awards resulting from the current round of applications must be claimed and spent within the financial year 1st April 2020 – 31st March 2021.

To apply for funding for a Network Partnership Award, please complete this form and send it to


Networking Partnership Awards are open to post-doctoral scholars. There must be one named co-investigator (co-I) who is ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom, and one named co-I who is a Levant based scholar. At least one applicant must also be a CBRL member (you may apply for membership when you submit your application for the award). Lead applicants from the UK and Levant must have institutional affiliations.

CBRL follows the test set by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) concerning residency status: if HMRC classes you as ‘ordinarily resident’ you are likely to meet CBRL’s criterion for residency. To be ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK you must show that you habitually and usually reside in the UK from choice and for a settled purpose, year after year. If you are living in the UK mainly to receive full-time education and would normally be living elsewhere, you will not usually be treated as being ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK.

Awards are not available for the support of courses of study leading to professional qualifications.  Postgraduate students and PhD candidates are not eligible to apply.

Awards cannot be made retrospectively for research or activities that have already commenced. If the application is successful, the funds must be claimed by 31st March 2021.

CBRL encourages applications under the following research themes:

  • Levantine prehistory: landscape, settlement and networks
  • Cultural heritage: protection, tourism and sustainability
  • Urbanism and empire
  • Identities past and present
  • Middle Eastern migration and displacement. Where the migration/displacement is outside the Levant region, please make clear the roles of the UK applicant and Levantine co-I. 
  • Politics and processes in the Middle East and North Africa
  • Development, humanitarianism and peacebuilding
  • Jerusalem studies

If appropriate, please note in your application which of these research themes fits your project.

How to apply

Forms may be downloaded hereApplications must be submitted by email and sent to Where institutional authorisation is required on an application, please arrange for your institution to email their authorisation. Two references should be submitted with the application, one for each of the main applicants.

When to apply

This is a rolling call, assessed by the CBRL research committee and institute directors. We will aim to make a decision on applications within three weeks.

Partnership details

Applicants should clearly identify the primary product of their partnership. You are advised that failure to provide adequate detail of the proposed activities in the space allocated may seriously disadvantage your application. Please do not expand the space provided in the form and please do not reduce the font size below 10 pt. The proposal must:

  • clearly specify the context and objectives of developing the proposed collaboration
  • describe the rationale and methodology
  • set out a realistic activity programme (there is additional space in which to do this)
  • provide details of the partner and a supporting statement from the individual’s institution, and the roles of the UK and regional partner

Applicants should give an account of their research which is complete in itself and should not rely on special prior knowledge on the part of assessors.

It is essential that applicants clearly state the reasons why funding is needed. For example, it is not sufficient to state that the applicant will visit a particular university: adequate details must be provided of networking to be conducted; the length of visit must be justified; and details on how the proposed collaboration is taking measures and has back-up plans due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic must be provided.

Where appropriate, all applicants are asked to address the question that appropriate permission has been obtained. If the partnership activities depend on interviews, it would be helpful to indicate if you have contacted the relevant individuals or organisations. CBRL requires that you follow the code of ethics of your academic institution.

If a research assistant is to be contracted, applicants should provide a job description, clearly stating the nature of the work to be undertaken, and the arrangements for ensuring adequate supervision and insurance. The CV of the proposed researcher(s) should be included with the application.  Applicants should justify the period of employment (or number of hours) for which funding is sought. Please note that PhD candidates employed as research assistants on projects funded by CBRL should work on the project for no more than 10 hours per week. Applicants are reminded that research funds may not be used to fund work by PhD candidates that are directly related to their PhD thesis.

Please note that applicants should obtain necessary insurance for the project, ideally through their own institutions, and ensure that all individuals participating in the project have necessary insurance cover.

Additional sheets of paper relating to the current funding application (unless containing information specifically requested) will not normally be forwarded to the committee, so applicants are requested to supply all relevant information on the application form itself.

Financial details

Applicants are advised to prepare careful costings. Costs should be clearly itemised and justified in terms of the research partnership activities. If CBRL is being asked to support only a proportion of the total costs, please list all the expenses connected for which you are seeking support from CBRL, as assessors will wish to gauge the scale of the whole project. In this case, please indicate which costs are being sought from CBRL by typing in bold or putting an asterisk by the relevant items.

Travel costs should be fully itemised. Thus, the length of time for which subsistence is sought should be justified in the application; per diem rates should be explained; hourly or monthly rates of research assistants should be specified; and the period of employment needed for a research assistant should be fully argued. Air travel between the UK and the Levant should be budgeted at economy fare rate which is normally below £400 (or up to £500 in high season) although this may be affected by COVID-19 considerations. Hourly rates for UK-based research assistants should normally be based on the university pay scale, with point 24 (c.£15 per hour) suggested for those with a master’s degree and point 29 (c.£18 per hour) for those with a doctorate in a related discipline. If a variation on this figure is requested, please supply justification.

In cases where funds are sought for the costs of illustrative material, please note that if there is an agreement for commercial publication, further information may be sought about the general finances for the volume(s).

Please also note that funds are cash-limited, and there is no scope for supplementation of an award; projects should be fully costed from the outset.

Applications to other bodies

Applicants are encouraged to combine their application to CBRL with applications to other award-making bodies. In such cases, basic information about the other application(s) should be included on the application form, preferably in the form of a table indicating for which elements support is being sought from different bodies. Please note, however, that it is not permissible for an applicant to be in receipt of funding from CBRL and the British Academy for the same project in the same year - even if the items being funded by the respective funding bodies are different. It is important to show a complete budget, so that CBRL can judge whether the application is viable. CBRL must be kept informed of the results of other applications.

Assessment procedures

Assessors will evaluate the application on the basis of its academic merit, taking into account its originality, its relationship to and volume of research already in the field, the scholarly importance of the research proposed, the feasibility of the research programme, the specificity of the scheme of research, presentation and intended outcomes.

CBRL follows a code of practice for assessing applications for research awards. The code of practice sets out the principles of equity, integrity and confidentiality governing the treatment of all applications for research awards.

Payment of awards

Higher education funding councils continue to take account of the volume of income received by individual universities from research councils and other research funding agencies in determining their block grants to institutions. For this reason, CBRL, like the British Academy, normally pays funds to universities or other institutional authorities rather than to individuals. In the case of research funding, CBRL makes payment when advised by the award-holder that expenditure is about to be incurred. Research awards are hypothecated to named researchers and do not attract institutional overheads. Institutions may have their own arrangements for handling research funding income, including individual awards, but, under the terms of CBRL awards, institutions must release the full amount of the award to the researcher immediately upon request.

Awards must be taken up and spent within the current financial year (in this case 1st April 2020–31st March 2021). If not taken up within the year they will be cancelled. By the same token, funds not spent within that year should be returned to CBRL, unless prior written permission has been obtained from CBRL to carry them over into the next financial year.

Conditions of award

A list of the conditions attached to the award will be sent to successful applicants when the offer of an award is made. Successful applicants are required to accept the conditions of the award before it can be confirmed.

Data protection

CBRL is registered under the Data Protection Act 2018 and adheres to the data protection principles. Applicants should be aware that information that they provide will be stored and circulated as necessary for the assessment procedures to be followed. Application forms may be retained for up to seven years and may be consulted by CBRL in the event of future applications being submitted. Details of award holders (including name, institution, project details and amount of award) will be used to compile published lists of award-holders which may be made available online, and to produce statistical and historical information on CBRL awards. Signing the application form constitutes your agreement to all terms, conditions and notices contained in the notes for applicants.


For further details or advice, please contact the UK Executive Assistant on CBRL, 10 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH

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