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The Refugee Studies Centre is pleased to announce the launch of a new 12-month fellowship scheme for aspiring researchers with a displacement background.

The RSC-BIEA Fellowship in Refugee Studies will provide teaching, mentorship, and professional development to early-career social science and humanities researchers, who are mainly based in East Africa and have lived experience of displacement – for example, as refugees, stateless persons, and asylum seekers.

The fellowship will be delivered in collaboration with the British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA), and will be available both remotely and with some optional in-person activities at the RSC’s new Refugee-Led Research Hub, which has 27 colleagues and is based at the BIEA in Nairobi.

The Fellowship programme will span three terms of study and research (October 2021–June 2022), corresponding with the Oxford academic calendar, and will culminate in a 3-month professional research placement. The programme aims to support the professional development of displaced learners and researchers, including through supporting pathways to graduate study and research-related careers.

There will be 12 positions available for the 2021–2022 academic year. Fellows will hold affiliated membership status with both the RSC and BIEA, and will be awarded a certificate from the University of Oxford upon completion. Fellows will receive a stipend of 750 USD per month for the duration of the programme.

The Fellowship and Refugee-Led Research Hub are supported by the IKEA Foundation and Open Society Foundations (OSF).

For more information on the fellowship, including instructions on how to apply, visit the online form or write to us at

Flyer for download (pdf 945 KB)

Eligibility criteria

  1. Have lived experience of forced displacement (e.g., as a refugee, asylum seeker, IDP, stateless person, former refugee, or another category);
  2. Live in East Africa or the Horn (e.g., Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Sudan, South Sudan); refugee / displaced scholars living elsewhere and with an interest in displacement issues in Africa are also encouraged to apply;
  3. Have completed a BA degree in a field in the Social Sciences or Humanities (e.g., International Relations, International Development, Politics, Sociology, Anthropology, History, Law, Literature, etc.), or have comparable experience (e.g., have previous professional experience in the humanitarian sector, participation in academic/professional research projects, completion of training in related fields, etc.);
  4. Have demonstrated interest in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies or related fields; and
  5. Be able to commit for 25-30 hours a week, for a period of 12 months.

We strongly encourage applications from individuals in social groups that are under-represented in this space, including LGBTQ+, gender non-conforming, women, and disabled candidates.


The fellowship will be remote with occasional in-person activities at BIEA's premises in Nairobi, Kenya. In-person activities will be optional, and conditional upon prevailing public health guidance and fellows’ ability to join. All training and activities will be accessible via computer to accommodate learners in different locations.

Information sessions

To learn more about the Fellowship and the application process, and to ask any questions, you are invited to attend any of the following information sessions.

Please use the following Zoom link to attend a session (registration is not required): 

  • Info session 1: Thursday, August 12th at 5pm EAT / 3pm BST
  • Info session 2: Tuesday, August 17th at 2pm EAT / 12 noon BST
  • Info session 3: Monday, August 23rd at 10am EAT / 8am BST


Please apply using the online application form.

Applications are due by Monday, August 30th at 3pm British Summer Time (BST) / 5pm East Africa Time (EAT).

Do you have any additional questions or comments? Feel free to write to us at:

About the RLRH and the BIEA

The Refugee-Led Research Hub (RLRH) is an initiative of the Refugee Studies Centre that is predominantly staffed by scholars affected by forced displacement. The Hub provides academic and professional training to displaced learners to advance an agenda for refugee-led research in the field of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. The RLRH has a physical base in Nairobi at the BIEA.

The British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA) is headquartered in Nairobi and conducts and facilitates research across all disciplines in the humanities and social sciences within the wider region of eastern Africa. It has a strong tradition of research in anthropology, archaeology, history, and linguistics, and recent projects have embraced geography, public health, art and performance, and political, environmental and development studies. For more information, visit the BIEA website:

RLRH colleagues

RLRH colleagues convene a working group to discuss displacement-related projects in eastern Africa, July 2021. Top row (from left to right): Mary Gitahi, Bahati Ernestine, Gabriel Ndayishimiye, Pauline Vidal. Second row: Ghazal Sarah Salehi, Lalise Yunus, Ruth Nyabuto, Nhial Deng, Mohamed Hassan. Third row: Abis Getachew, Salama Mariam, Buhendwa Iragi, Ingrid Viban, Wanjage Wairimu. Bottom row: Andhira Kara, Liliane Ingabire, Andonis Marden, Foni Joyce Vuni.