The Nahrein Network


Visiting Scholarships

The Joint Visiting Scholarships Scheme is now closed.

The Joint Visiting Scholarships Scheme aims to enhance the capacity of Iraqi scholars to engage in the sustainable development of cultural heritage. It enables academics, cultural heritage professionals, NGO workers, and research students to visit the UK for 1-2 months for training and research, or to take up an online placement.

The Visiting Scholarships Scheme is run jointly by the Nahrein Network with The British Institute for the Study of Iraq (BISI). Previous beneficiaries of the BISI Iraqi Visiting Scholarship, or the Nahrein Visiting Scholarship, are not eligible to re-apply.

What do the scholarships cover?

These scholarships cover:

  • Reasonable research costs;
  • Institutional fees (e.g. university access and library usage).

And for placements in the UK, we will also provide:

  • Advice and support from BISI on applying for a UK visa, and on travel, insurance, and accommodation;
  • All travel expenses, including visa costs;
  • Travel insurance for your visit;
  • Housing (usually with a host family) and a daily allowance for living costs.

These scholarships do not cover any of the following:

  • Any salary expenses;
  • English language training;
  • Fees for long-term or full-time university courses;
  • Any routine dental or medical expenses.


The scheme is aimed at Iraqi nationals, currently resident in Iraq, who want to carry out a project relating to one or more of the Nahrein Network's six research aims. 

  • You cannot normally be a previous recipient of a Nahrein Network or BISI Visiting Scholarship.  
  • You should be a resident of Iraq (including KRI) though we may consider exceptions.   
  • We may ask you to take an English language test because a working level of English language is needed in order to benefit from the scholarship.
  • The Scholarship Scheme funds research-related activity and not the restoration, documentation or conservation of buildings, sites or collections, or archaeological digs. Nor can we fund work that directly involves children. The scholarship is designed to support the intellectual aspects of cultural heritage in the sustainable development of Iraq.
  • Applications without a UK host will not be considered.
  • The scheme now includes PhD students as well as cultural heritage professionals and academics. 

Preparing to apply

  1. Check your eligibility (see above). 
  2. Study the online application form carefully.
  3. Determine what you would like to research and how this fits with the Network aims.
  4. Identify and contact a suitable host institution in the UK. We cannot accept any applications that do not have a UK host. Ask your proposed host to give you a letter or email, issued and signed by a person of authority in the host institution, confirming:
    1. that the relevant department within the organisation is happy to host you for the proposed project on the agreed dates;
    2. the name and position of your contact within the institution (who should not be the signatory of this letter);
    3. and any fees the institution expects to be paid for hosting you.
  5. Secure your home institution's approval. Ask them to give you a letter confirming they are happy for you to undertake the scholarship. 

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How to Apply

  1. Complete the online application form. Give us as much information there as you can.
  2.  Make sure you have the letter of permission from your home institution.
  3. Make sure you have the letter of invitation from your host institution. 
  4. Convert both documents into one PDF document. Name your file in format applicantname_homeinstitutionname.pdf 
  5. Go to the UCL Dropbox
  6. On the first page, choose 'Drop Off'.
  7. On the second page, under 'From:', add your name and email address.
  8. On the second page, under 'To;', add Nahrein and nahrein@ucl.ac.uk 
  9. Choose your file to upload and add a short description.
  10. Choose 'Upload all files'.

How we will assess your application

The Nahrein Network and its partner institutions are committed to eliminating unlawful discrimination and promoting equality of opportunity and good relations across and between the defined equalities groups in all of their relevant functions. Accordingly, no eligible scholarship applicant should receive less favourable treatment on the grounds of: gender, marital status, sexual orientation, gender re-assignment, race, colour, nationality, ethnicity or national origins, religion or similar philosophical belief, spent criminal conviction, age or disability. Equally, all applications will be assessed on equal terms, regardless of the sex, age and/or ethnicity of the applicant. Applications will therefore be assessed and graded on their merits, in accordance with the criteria and the aims and objectives of the Nahrein Network and partner institutions.

All eligible applications will be read by a panel formed of experts from BISI and the Nahrein Network, and including at least one previous Scholarship holder. They will assess all applications on the following criteria:

  • Whether the work is important; 
  • Qualifications and experience of the applicant to produce research; 
  • The quality of the proposed research;
  • Whether the timetable is realistic for this work;
  • The appropriateness of the UK host;
  • How well it meets at least one of the Nahrein Network’s six research aims;
  • Whether the proposed outputs are appropriate and manageable. 

So please give as much information in the application form as you can, to help the panellists assess your proposal.

Terms and conditions

  • Scholars must sign a formal agreement with the Nahrein Network and BISI to show that they agree with the terms and conditions of the scholarship.
  • We reserve the right to withdraw any scholarships that have not been taken up within one year of notification of the awards.

In addition, for UK placements, the following also apply:

  • Scholars must apply for a UK visa at least three months before their visit to the UK. This will require you to take your identity documents for checking at a Visa Application Centre in your home country.
  • Scholars are expected to be able to work and travel independently in the UK.