90th Anniversary Research Fellowships

Image of Edinburgh castle and the Edinburgh skyline © University of Edinburgh

As we celebrate our 90th anniversary in 2024, we are delighted to announce a new research partnership with the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) at the University of Edinburgh.

We are awarding two 12-month fellowships starting in January 2025 – open to postdoctoral researchers based in any ODA (Official Development Assistance) recipient country where the British Council operates (see 'Eligibility' section below).

Fellows will spend the first ten months of their fellowships at IASH, followed by up to two months based in their home countries focused on knowledge exchange and dissemination in collaboration with the British Council.

The fellowship provides a bursary of £2,500 per month and travel expenses as well as desk space, library access and academic mentoring as part of the vibrant scholarly community of visiting fellows at IASH. Fellows will also be expected to engage closely with the British Council throughout their fellowships (including visits to UK offices), with the option to spend time in a British Council office in their home country as part of the knowledge exchange component of the fellowship.

This is a three-year partnership. Over the coming years, additional rounds of fellowships – starting in January 2026 and January 2027 – will be awarded as part of the same programme.


These are early-career fellowships, meaning applicants must be within seven years of completion of their PhD.

Applicants must be based in an ODA recipient country in which the British Council operates, and should be qualified to undertake postdoctoral level research for the fellowship.

See the full list of eligible countries below.

Albania Algeria Argentina
Armenia Azerbaijan Bangladesh
Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Brazil
Cambodia Cameroon China
Colombia Cuba Egypt
Ethiopia Georgia Ghana
 India  Indonesia  Iraq
 Jamaica  Jordan  Kazakhstan
 Kenya  Kosovo  Laos
 Lebanon  Libya  Malawi
 Malaysia  Mauritius  Mexico
 Montenegro  Morocco  Mozambique
 Myanmar  Namibia  Nepal
Nigeria   North Macedonia  Pakistan
 Peru  Philippines  Rwanda
 Senegal  Serbia  Sierra Leone
 South Africa  South Sudan  Sri Lanka
 Sudan  Syria  Tanzania
 Thailand  Tunisia  Türkiye
 Uganda  Ukraine


Venezuela Viet Nam

Occupied Palestinian Territories

Yemen Zambia   Zimbabwe

Subject focus

These fellowships are intended to support research that is aligned with the overarching vision of the British Council (“a more peaceful and prosperous world built on trust”) and the purpose outlined in our strategy 

We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide. 

Research topics should be relevant to the areas of priority across Arts, Education and the English language that are outlined in our strategy, and to areas of cross-cutting strategic British Council interest such as international relations and soft power, international development and peace building, and cultural relations and cultural diplomacy.

Within this broad thematic remit, the specific research focus of each fellowship can be shaped by the expertise and interests of the applicant. However, fellowship proposals should include plans for outputs that are relevant to Official Development Assistance (ODA) policy or practice, and which have potential to advance knowledge or engage stakeholders or audiences in the fellow’s home country or region.


In addition to proposing research and outputs in line with the above thematic remit, applicants should use the cover letter that is required as part of the application process to outline how their Fellowship would support the following British Council objectives for the programme.

  • To generate new knowledge that builds on or complements British Council data, evidence, insight and expertise and supports British Council programming and strategy.
  • To diversify and broaden the British Council’s knowledge base, including through providing opportunities for knowledge exchange with researchers from regions and communities under-represented in global research production and discourse.
  • To support the international capacity building and professional development of up-and-coming research experts from eligible countries.
  • To foster longer-term connections, networks and partnerships between UK and international researchers and British Council staff.
  • To promote the academic engagement and professional networking of British Council staff and partners.
  • To enhance the visibility, use and application of the data, evidence and other forms of knowledge and insight generated through the British Council’s programmes and network.
  • To contribute more broadly to the UK research and skills agenda (including the UK Research and Development Roadmap and the Research England Knowledge Exchange Framework).

Assessment criteria

Applications will be considered by an assessment panel comprised of University of Edinburgh and British Council staff.

Assessment will take account of the extent to which candidates meet the following criteria.

  • A research and/or professional background and academic record that relates to broad thematic remit of the programme, outlined above.
  • A research proposal with clear potential to support the British Council’s objectives for the programme, outlined above.
  • Demonstrable experience of engaging non-academic audiences and stakeholders in research (e.g. through engagement with policy makers, practitioners, artists or other public audiences).
  • A clear commitment to knowledge exchange and dissemination as part of the fellowship and beyond the timeframe of the fellowship itself, based on the networks, insights and learnings developed through their research.

Application and fellowship timetable

29 April, 10.00 UK time Application window opens
21 May, 13.00 UK time Online Q&A session 
26 July, 23.59 UK time Application deadline
End August 2024 Candidate selection
January 2025 Fellowship start
January to October 2025 Fellowship placement at IASH, University of Edinburgh
November to December 2025 Knowledge exchange and dissemtnation with British Council

Further details and how to apply

Visit the IASH website from 29 April for full application guidelines, detailed eligibility criteria, and details of the bursary and other support provided as part of the fellowship.

Note: as requested above, applicants should use the cover letter that is required as part of their application to outline how their fellowship will support the British Council’s objectives for the programme.

Any questions?

Contact: Researchglobal@britishcouncil.org