The ACSS runs a number of fellowships and grants programs that offer opportunities for junior and senior researchers from the region, often facing limited funding and mentoring opportunities. These programs are the key mechanism by which the Council works towards its mission of enhancing the social science capacities of researchers and research institutions; encouraging the production of independent, high-quality research; and providing forums for exchange and communication among social scientists in the Arab region. The programs also focus on supporting the publication and dissemination of high-quality social science research on the Arab region.
The ACSS grants and fellowships programs generally emphasize inter-disciplinary and cross-regional research and focus research funding around specific themes. Wherever possible, the ACSS seeks partnerships and collaborations with existing fellowships and research programs.
Review of proposals and applications and selection for grants and fellowships are undertaken by committees of regional scholars reflecting disciplinary, generational, geographical, and gender diversity.
The ACSS is currently running eight main funding programs:
Research Grants Program | Cycle 4 – Cycle 5 – Cycle 7 (2017-2020) | Ongoing
The theme for the 2017-2020 cycles is “Environmentalism, Impoverishment and Social Justice Movements: Interdisciplinary Perspectives.” These cycles aim at canvassing a broad range of multi-disciplinary research proposals from across the different countries and localities of the region. The theme of this cycle examines the relationships between changing environmental conditions and processes of impoverishment in different contexts. A particular focus of interest is the study of political responses to such conditions and the emergence of social-ecological movements in the Arab Region.
The new theme within the Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS) Working Groups Program focuses on “Re-thinking Security and Insecurity in the Arab Region: a Bottom-Up Approach”. There is a long tradition of examining security issues in terms of state and inter-state politics and from a top-down approach. In the five years since the start of the “Arab Spring”, this top-down approach has been reinforced by the upheavals that the region is currently witnessing and the concerns of internal and external powers with national and regional stability as well as with border and population control. Critiques of top-down approaches in the study of the state, and the emergence of bottom-up approaches in examining state-society relations, have multiplied across various social science disciplines in the past decades. However, such critical approaches rarely examine issues that commonly fall within the rubric of “Security Studies.” It seems timely to promote a bottom-up approach to the study of security and insecurity in the Arab region, in terms of contemporary dynamics but also through comparative and historical approaches. With this theme, the ACSS aims at attracting projects and scholars working in interdisciplinary approaches and examining wide-ranging topics related to issues of security and insecurity from across the Arab region.
The “New Paradigms Factory” (NPF) program aims at facilitating research and publishing by innovative, critical-thinking and engaged junior Arab scholars and activists, particularly those facing limited access to mentoring and/or publishing venues. The goal is to improve the visibility and accessibility of work from the field, and ensure proper recognition and professional credit for Arab social science thought that generates novel paradigms and new frames for analyzing the key problems of the day, particularly those linked to the dynamics associated with the recent uprisings and transformations.
The Early Career Fellows Program program is a 12-month fellowship program aimed at enabling early career researchers, up to three years out of the PhD, to pursue their research and publishing plans, become part of Arab research networks, and plan a research career in the Arab region. This program complements the efforts of the ACSS in supporting and promoting the social sciences in the Arab region, particularly in terms of investing in a new generation of social science researchers, and attracting foreign-trained Arab scholars back to the region. This program was previously known as the Postdoctoral Fellowships Program.
The Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS) launched in 2016 the Small Grants Program to support individual Arab researchers and activists residing in the Arab region, and whose work focuses on Arab societies, in undertaking five kinds of activities: conference presentations, internships, pilot studies, dissemination events, and organizing workshops. The program provides small amounts of funding ($4,000 average) in a flexible and timely manner.
The Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme (FMSH)
and the Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS)
launched in 2017 a joint program titled “Short-Term Postdoctoral Mobility Fellowship Program in the Social Sciences and Humanities” to support the research of postdoctoral fellows from Arab countries and to strengthen research networking and collaborations between Europe and the Arab region. The program provides short-term fellowships (2-3 months) to individual researchers who are citizens and nationals of the Arab region, who have received their PhD degree within 0-6 years, and who wish to conduct research in France (including field research, library and archival work, as well as other types of data collection.)
The program aims to support research on all art practices across disciplinary boundaries and methodological approaches on key themes of concern to, and in, the Arab region.
Grants are available to individual researchers (up to USD 15,000), teams of researchers or collectives (up to USD 25,000), and institutions (up to USD 35,000).
This opportunity is limited to individual researchers who are citizens/nationals of an Arab country residing in the Arab region, and institutions based in the Arab region. In the case of teams and collectives, at least two researchers, including the team leader, must be citizens/nationals of an Arab country residing in the Arab region.
The Bassem Chit Fellowship for the Study of Activism aims to give early career scholars (0-3 years out of the Phd) the opportunity to conduct research on activism in the Arab world. The fellowship particularly seeks to encourage research that explores the genealogy of mobilising actors, their action repertoires, their framing processes, their modes of actions, and their demands.
The fellowship provides 12 months of full support with a total stipend of $34,000 covering living expenses and research expenses.