Global Academy Scholarships

The MESA Global Academy is an interdisciplinary initiative of the Middle East Studies Association of North America designed to sustain essential research collaborations and knowledge production among MENA-focused academics by providing competitive scholarships to displaced scholars from the MENA region currently located in North America. The MESA Global Academy is a project of the Middle East Studies Association of North America in partnership with the City University of New York and other university partners, with generous support from the Carnegie Corporation.

The MESA Global Academy is thrilled to announce a call for applications for scholarships for the academic year 2020-2021. The Global Academy will award up to 12 scholars a $5,000 award to further their research and collaboration with MENA-focused scholars in North America. The Global Academy will support up to six scholars working in the area of governance, accountability, and the rule of law, and six scholars working on fairness and economic equality. The Global Academy conceives of these two areas in interdisciplinary terms, and invites scholars to apply from the humanities and social sciences, from comparative literature, history, and Islamic studies to political science, anthropology, economics, and beyond. Please see below for descriptions of the topic areas.  

Global Academy scholars will be required to attend six virtual research workshops hosted by partner universities in their area of focus. Each must present their research at one workshop and serve as a discussant at another; other engagements are welcome and encouraged. The scholars will also be required to attend two professional development workshops offered by the Global Academy and at least two other professional development events hosted by Global Academy partners. In addition, scholars will be sponsored to attend and participate in at least one MESA Annual Meeting (currently scheduled for October 2020 and November 2021).

Areas of Focus

Governance, Accountability, and the Rule of Law

This research cluster focuses on the potential for rule of law enhancement and governance reform in the MENA region following the Arab uprisings. Topics connected to this thematic cluster include, but are not limited to: judicial independence; designing anti-corruption reforms; decentralization and increased participation; equity and inclusiveness in public service delivery; impartial law enforcement; and transparency and accountability promotion within the administrative state.

Fairness and Economic Equality

This research cluster focuses on the demands for socio-economic justice emanating from a region that is marked by an unprecedented degree of socio-economic inequality, a youth bulge, and high levels of unemployment. Topics to be addressed in this cluster include, but are not limited to: socio-economic demands in the region and increasing present-day inequalities; constitutional protections for socio-economic rights; preventive health services; inter-generational poverty; labor markets; education and social mobility; youth employment; food and water insecurity; environmentally sustainable social development; expanding access to basic services; trends in public expenditure for infrastructure investment; and the relationship between sustainable development goals and social justice.


Applicants must 1) hold a PhD or equivalent in a field in the social sciences or humanities; 2) have been primarily affiliated with an institution in the MENA region prior to displacement; and 3) have a publication record indicating scholarly productivity (in English, French, their native MENA language, or principal research language of the field).

The deadline for applications is August 7, 2020.

To apply for a Global Academy 2020-2021 Scholarship, please click here.

You may reach out to Mimi Kirk, Program Manager, at with any questions about the Global Academy or technical difficulties with the application process. Thank you and we look forward to reading your application!


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