The British Institute of Persian Studies offers Research and Travel Grants twice a year and calls for applications are announced online and to our members.   Applications are invited from scholars wishing to pursue research in all fields of Iranian and the wider Persianate world studies in any humanities and/or social science subject as well as for the organisation of conferences, lecture and workshops.  The Institute continues to maintain a balance between supporting large-scale projects with far-reaching effects and smaller-scale research, publication or fieldwork-based endeavours.

For latest application deadlines, see details


Research grants are available to support primary research in Iranian studies being undertaken by any scholar associated with a British higher educational institution. Funds are available to facilitate initial project planning and development; to support the direct costs of research; and to enable the advancement of research through workshops or conferences, or visits by or to partner scholars. All applications should demonstrate that funds are sought for a clearly defined, original piece of research that will have an identifiable outcome on completion of the Institute-funded component of the research.   Research grants are available to a maximum of £8,000; applicants should show that they have also sought funding from other sources, such as their own institution.  Applications for collaborative or individual projects are equally welcome. Our research strategy is divided into three “umbrella” programmes, each led by a Programme Director:


“Objects of Empire: Imperial Elites and the Material Cultures of Ancient Iran”


“Persianisation and Persianate Cosmopolises in the Medieval World”


“Iran and the International in the Modern Period”.

Applicants for research grants must discuss their application with the relevant Programme Director.  More general questions can be directed to the Chair of the Research Committee, Professor Alan Williams via the office.


The British Institute of Persian Studies, aware of the steady interest among British students in visiting Iran, offers a limited number of bursaries to encourage such visits to Iran and wider Persian world. Travel grants are limited to £1,200, and some applicants will offered less than this.  Applicants should include a one-page proposal outlining their research project, including the time-scale, the itinerary and the breakdown of expenses, with their application form. Any topic that is relevant to an academic study bearing on Iran will be considered. Grants will be paid only after recipients who require a visa have obtained it.  For further information, please contact our UK Administrator.


The following conditions apply to our grant programme.   Applications which are arrive past the deadline, without references, will NOT be considered.

  • Applicants must be affiliated to a UK-based institute of higher education or a UK museum.
  • Grants are valid only for six months.   Applicants must claim their grant within six months of its award or it lapses and a further application will be necessary.
  • Grants can not fund tuition fees, conference attendance, subsistence / living expenses, publication of books and articles,  photocopying, or the purchase of books and postage.  Researchers visiting Tehran will be offered accommodation at the BIPS hostel at student rate and may not apply for accommodation expenses; researchers travelling elsewhere may apply for accommodation costs.
  • Applicants must give two references and are responsible for their references reaching BIPS before the application deadline.   Applicants for Research grants must have at least one referee from outside their own institution.


What subjects are covered by the Institute’s grants schemes? The Institute welcomes applications from all areas of Iranian studies, including anthropology, archaeology, the visual arts and architecture, history, linguistics, literature, philosophy, religion, political science and cognate subjects.

Does the Institute provide funding for the organisation of conferences and workshops? Yes, funding is available to support meetings of up to three days duration for residential and non-residential conferences and workshops held in the UK or abroad.

What is the age limit for the Institute’s schemes? There are no age limits for any of the Institute’s Programmes or Projects, although in some cases, these may be aimed at researchers with a particular level of experience.

What is the Institute’s policy on references? Two references are required for all applications. Applicants for Research Grants must have AT LEAST ONE referee from outside their own institution.

My project is due to start before the application date. Can I apply? No. Retrospective funding is not awarded: grants are valid for six months only from the date of notification.

I am an independent scholar. Am I eligible to apply? No. Applicants should have a demonstrable affiliation to a UK-based Institute of Higher Education, museum or library.

Does the Institute require the outputs of the research it funds to be made available in any open access format? No, this is not currently a stipulation of any Institute award.