Past Projects

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Here we share all of the projects we have funded in the years 2015, 2016 and 2017, covering research, conferences, pilot projects, outreach activities and visiting scholarships.

Visiting Iraqi Scholarships 

2018 - Present BISI - Nahrein Visiting Iraqi Scholarships
2017 BISI-Dangoor Visiting Iraqi Scholarships
BISI Visiting Iraqi Scholarships
  • Omar Jassam, Assistant Lecturer at the College of Archaeology, University of Mosul, to help assist with current research on the "Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Regions of Armed Conflict: Iraq" 
  • Dr Nabeel Nooruldeen Hussein, Chief of Excavations at Nineveh, to conduct a survey of the British Museum's Assyrian reliefs
  • Abather Saadoon, Archaeologist and PhD Candidate at Baghdad University, to work on a collaborative project at SOAS to publish cuneiform tablets found at Tell Al-Wilayah  and to provide an assessment of the ancient geographical nature of the site such as the pathways of watercourses
  • Father Behnam Sony, Lecturer and Priest at Saint Ephrem's College, to receive training in the protection and digital archiving of manuscripts at the British Library, and to study the manuscripts of the Syriac Catholic Church in Iraq
  • Salwa Tawfeeq, PhD Candidate at Baghdad University, to research the history, archaeology and architecture of several ancient mausoleums and religious shrines in Iraq at Oxford University



Pilot Project Grants 

  • Dr. Rebecca Briant (Birkbeck, University of London): Bahr Al-Najaf: Assessing Palaeolithic Potential in Southern Iraq
  • Professor Andrew Petersen (University of Wales): Basrah Pilot


  • Dr Janroj Keles (Middlesex University): Migration, Transnational Mobility and Digital Social Networking: the case of the Iraqi - Kurdish young people in the UK - an interdisciplinary and cross-national study into the influence of new media on UK Iraqi-Kurdish young people who are looking for employment opportunity in Iraq 





Research Grants

  • Rolf Killius (British Library, World & Traditional Music): Songs of Longing and Love - Recording, Research and Documentation Project on Traditional Rural Music in Iraqi-Kurdistan  
  • Professor Douglas Baird (University of Liverpool): Eastern Fertile Crescent Prehistory Project
  • Dr Claudia Glatz (University of Glasgow): The Ritual Production of Local and Imperial Identities in the Zagros-Mesopotamian Interface
  • Dr Jane Moon (University of Manchester): Ur Region Archaeology project: Tell Khaiber Excavations 2017
  • Professor Nicholas Postgate (University of Cambridge): Salvaging Contents of Abu Salabikh Dig House
  • Dr Robert Killick (University of Manchester): Ground Survey, Investigations and Documentation of Charax Spasinou (Alexandria-on-the-Tigris) 2017
  • Professor Roger Matthews (University of Reading): Excavations at Neolithic Bestansur
  • Dr Zahra Ali (Chester University): Civil Society Activism in Iraq: Between a Fragmented Nationhood, the Collapse of the State and Global Interference -1 year fieldwork project in Baghdad, Najaf, Karbala, Basra and Nasiriya to study civil society groups in Iraq 
  • Dr Mark Altaweel (UCL): Holocence Channel Formation, Landscape Change and Settlement in the Shahrizor, NE Iraq - large-scale investigations into archaeological and environmental change in the Shahrizor Plain 
  • Lana Askari (PhD Candidate, Manchester University): Imagining Future: Agency and Temporality among Kurdish Returnees in Iraq - anthropological fieldwork to create a documentary on the experiences of Kurdish returnees with a focus on their views of time and the future
  • Gregory Bilotto (PhD Candidate, SOAS): Early Islamic Period Metalwork of the Umayyads, Abbasids and Fatimids - art historical research into the luxury and utilitarian metalwork produced in Samarra and Baghdad during the period 7-12 AD 
  • Dr Claudia Glatz (Glasgow University): Cultural Connectivity and Early Imperialism: The Zagros-Mesopotamian Interface in the Second Millennium BC - first season of archaeological survey of a second millenninium BC site in the Upper Diyala river valley     
  • Dr Robert Killick (Manchester University): Preliminary Investigations at Charax Spasinou first season of survey at the port city Alexandria-on-the-Tigris, founded by Alexander the Great in 324 BC (later known as Antiochia/Charax Spasinou) 
  • Professor Roger Matthews (Reading University): Excavations at Neolithic Bestansur, Iraqi Kurdistanfinal stages of excavations and field analysis of an Early Neolithic building, radiocarbon dated to 7650 cal BC, in one of the earliest village settlements of Iraqi Kurdistan
  • Dr Jane Moon (Manchester University): Ur Region Archaeology Project  2016 - excavations at a Babylonian settlement on the two mounds of Tell Khaiber, 20 km from the ancient city of Ur
  • George Richards (Independent Scholar): Hymns to the Peacock King: liturgical chant of the Yezidi People of Iraq - recording expedition to northern Iraq to capture the oral traditions of the Yezidi religion



Conference Grants

  • Dr Aula Hariri (LSE): Approaching Iraqi History: Challenges and Prospects
  • Monica Palmero Fernandez (PhD Researcher, Univesity of Reading): Sixth Oxford Postgraduate Conference in Assyriology
  • Richard Dumbrill (University of London): Babylon Festival for International Cultures and Arts in Iraq 
  • Dr Yağmur Heffron (Cambridge University): Textual Archaeology in the Ancient Near East: Are we doing it wrong? 
  • Dr Cameron Andrew Petrie (Cambridge University): Innovation, Interaction and Interconnection in the Taurus-Zagros Arc and Beyond, 10,000-5000 BC, Conference   



Outreach Grants 

  • Shenah Abdullah and Safen Muhammad: Art Activities with Refugee and IDP Children in Arbat Refugee Camp, Sulaimaniyah, Iraq
  • Daniel Gorman: Shubback Literature Festival Event at the British Library, London, UK
  • Jon Everall: Zaha Hadid Exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery
  • Amar Ahmad (Iraqi Association): Iraqi Choral Group
  • Kelcy Davenport: From Basrah to Cambridge and Back - The Art and Geology of Al-Hammar Marshes Lectures, Tours and Object Handling at the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, Cambridge & Basrah University (via live link)
  • Lyn Edmonds (Away from the Western Front): The First World War: the Iraqi Perspective Schools Project with Lancashire County Council. 
  • Ahmed Mukhtar: We are all Babylonians Arts and Cultural Events at the Poets Arts House, Baghdad, Iraq.
  • Louise Alden: Developing KS2 teaching resources and a study day on Ancient Sumer at Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery
  • Koutaiba Al-Janabi: The Window - a feature-length film set in 2008 after the toppling of the regime of Saddam Hussein 
  • Dr Sara Alsaraf and Tara Jaffar: Chew & Glue: Dialogue and Cohesion amongst People of Iraqi Origin - workshop for young people of Iraqi origin to meet and explore their connection to Iraq, the UK and one another at the Arab British Centre, London
  • Fawzia Alwaji: Iraqi Cultural Days - a series of public events celebrating Iraqi culture at Rivercourt Church, London
  • Professor Graeme Barker: Improving Visitor Access to, and Understanding of, Shanidar Cave, Soran Province, Iraqi Kurdistan – project to create a viewing platform and bilingual information panels at the iconic Palaeolithic site of Shanidar Cave
  • Laura Hawkins: Oxford Postgraduate Conference in Assyriology- annual conference drawing together the national and international community of graduate students engaged in the study of ancient Mesopotamia at Wolfson College, Oxford
  • Verena Hewat and Vic MacRae: Ancient Objects for Modern Dilemmas (AOMD)exhibition in collaboration with the Refugee Support Network to engage the general public in the rich heritage of ancient Mesopotamia
  • Dr Erica Hunter: Communities in Crisis in Iraq and Syria -  international workshop at SOAS responding to the ISIS-led destruction of Christian communities in Mosul and nearby villages  and the history of persecution and massacre suffered by Christians in Iraq
  • Paul MacAlindin: UPBEAT - a memoir of the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq
  • Joy Stacey: Autonomy of Self - a group exhibition and symposium of moving image and photography from across the former Ottoman territories to explore how individuals are using the human image to refuse violence and conflict, featuring the Iraqi artist, Sadik Kwaish Alfraji,  at the P21 Gallery and the London College of Communication