Researchers, BIEA Graduate Attachment Scheme

Call for Applications – BIEA Graduate Attachment Scheme

Not sure if this is only for British people? Link here.

BIEA graduate attachments offer recent graduates, with an interest in further studies in Africa, the opportunity to gain practical experience of research. The June 2017 to May 2018 BIEA graduate attachment scheme will take up to nine successful applicants.

Graduate attachés will be involved in three types of work while at the BIEA:

  • Attachés will develop specific research interests in the region, gain practical experience of conducting fieldwork, meet a variety of active researchers, and take part in a number of innovative historical, archaeological and anthropological projects throughout eastern Africa;
  • Assisting with the administration of the BIEA including website, library, reading groups focused on key texts in African studies, workshops and seminars; and,
  • Doing their own research usually leading into developing a plan for a Masters or PhD. Their attachment involves the presentation of a paper in the BIEA Completion Seminar Series upon some aspect of the research they have carried out during their time at BIEA.

Graduate attachés will be given a total allowance of £1600.00 for the three months of the attachment to pay for accommodation, food, daily transport in Nairobi and medicine. The attachés will have to provide receipts for their expenses amounting to their total allowance (small food purchases can be written down weekly in a receipt book/ledger). The total costs for transport to and from Nairobi at beginning and end of an attaché’s stay will be paid separately on a needs basis. Graduate attachés will not be obliged to use the offered BIEA accommodation, but will be given preferential access to the dorm rooms, should they wish to use the BIEA guest house. The BIEA has free weekly Swahili lessons, at beginner, intermediate and advanced level that graduate attachés can join.

The timing of researcher projects often change due to budgets and administration so cannot be guaranteed but below is a list of researchers who have plans for the next year. Potential graduate attachés should also explore the BIEA Annual Report to find out about other possible projects that are on-going. Graduate attachés are eligible to apply for more funds from the BIEA for field research.

Graduate attachments are three months long. There may be opportunities to extend your stay but accommodation, food, visa and transport changes will be at the attaché’s own expense. You will need a strong academic record, some experience of studying/researching Africa, and a clear interest in developing your own research. You should also be able to show significant initiative and that you are equally adept at working and living alone or as part of a large team. You should be ready to offer enthusiastic assistance for various field projects and subsequent data analysis. Graduate attachés can arrive between 1 June 2017 and 29 February 2018. The scheme for this year will finish on 31 May 2017. Please specify the three-month time period(s) that you are available for this scheme in your application.

Deadline for applications 15th February 2017

To Apply.  Applicants should send a CV and Cover Letter explaining how participation in the scheme will assist the development of your career. You will need to arrange for two academic references to be sent directly to BIEA.


  1. Marakwet Project

The ‘UCL Institute for Global Prosperity (IGP) Marakwet Project’ run Dr. Matthew Davies and Professor Henrietta Moore will require several attachees as in previous years. The Project is ongoing with a number of fieldwork dates across the year. For more information see the following links (;  (  (

  1. “Impact of elections: Voting, political behaviour and democracy in sub-Saharan Africa”: Nic Cheeseman (University of Birmingham), Gabrielle Lynch (University of Warwick) and Justin Willis (University of Durham). Dates: January 2017 – October 2017. 

This project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and looks at the history of elections in Kenya, Uganda and Ghana. However, the project is interested – not so much in voting patterns, and outcomes – but in the effect of elections (understood as full electoral cycles) on political actors at various levels from senior officials to candidates to voters. How, if at all, do elections change people’s ideas about politics and about what constitutes appropriate moral behaviour?

Specific jobs include: 

– Take notes on relevant newspaper articles in the Macmillan Library in Nairobi (particularly with regard to case study constituencies in Kisumu, Narok and Kikuyu) for selected periods around specific elections.

– Analyse parliamentary debates over time on electoral arrangements.

– Go through current newspapers and take notes on the ongoing debate about the use of election technology in Kenya’s forthcoming 2017 election.

  1. Archaeological Surveys in Zanzibar with Drs Neil L. Norman and Adria LaViolette

We are eager to return to the field in Zanzibar in late July  through Early August and hope to attract a BIEA attachment.  We are planning on an archaeological survey and testing effort aimed at later (15th through 19th centuries) Zanzibar towns and villages.

Further details to be posted later.

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