Resident scholar program

Beirut skyline during sunset.

FIME’s Resident Scholar Program gives researchers an opportunity to pursue their academic research

FIME launched its Resident Scholar Program in spring 2021. The program is for Lebanon-based and Lebanese scholars. During the residency, the researcher can pursue their own academic research without any administrative duties as a full member of FIME’s small collegial work community in Beirut, Lebanon. The researcher will have their own workspace as well as access to other resources FIME provides for its staff, which includes our small library, technical equipment and seminar room. As well as conducting their own research, the resident scholar will execute an activity aimed at the academic and/or general audience (e.g. organizing a small academic or cultural event, popularizing their own research in the form of writing or a podcast).

How to apply

Call for applications is now open! See the full call and apply for the residency here.

To learn more about the program, see the Resident Scholar 2024 – FAQ page.

Previous resident scholars

Mariam Al Hasbani (2023)

Mariam Al Hasbani is a researcher and faculty member at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the University of Balamand in Lebanon. She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from the Lebanese University in 2019, where her doctoral research delved into “The Interrelationship between Gender and Lebanese Social Scientists’ Educational Migration Determinants and Effects on Employment in Academia”. Mariam worked at various universities in Lebanon, including the Lebanese American University and the American University of Beirut. Throughout her career, she has led and collaborated on numerous research projects alongside interdisciplinary teams of researchers. She has also undertaken research residencies at distinguished institutions such as the Center for Population and Development and Aix-Marseille University in France, and participated in many local, regional and international conferences and seminars. Her research interests include, but not limited to the following areas; sociology of education, academic mobility, gender and migration studies. Currently, Mariam is part of a dynamic research consortium dedicated to examining the critical issues surrounding higher education in Lebanon amidst multifaceted crises. She is specifically in charge of the research project on the international mobility of Lebanese students and academics.

Dima Smaira (2022)

Dima Smairan kuva.

Dr Dima Smaira is a part-time lecturer at the Political Studies and Public Administration Department at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and an independent researcher. She was a post-Doctoral Research Associate at Durham University’s Geography Department and a Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London. Dima is interested in the spatial and everyday turns in International Relations and Peace & Conflict Studies. She uses both traditional qualitative and participatory ethnographic methods, including digital storytelling and mapping. Her research is looking into youth and citizenship in deeply divided societies and on everyday peace and security in Lebanon, particularly across Beirut’s Southern Suburbs (known as Dahiyeh). Dima is also a member of Khaddit Beirut (Beirut Shake-up), an initiative for reform and recovery launched following the Beirut 2020 port explosion.

Vana Kalenderian (2021)

Vana Kalenderian

Vana Kalenderian is an osteoarchaeologist who studies ancient mortuary practices in the Near East, with a focus on Roman Lebanon. She earned her Master of Science degree in Human Osteoarchaeology from the University of Edinburgh in 2013 and completed her PhD in Archaeology at the University of Groningen in 2020. Her PhD thesis, Resurrecting Berytus: a Contextual Analysis of Burials from Roman Beirut, examined a large subset of burials from Roman Beirut and explored patterns of change and continuity in mortuary practice following the colonisation of the city. 

Vana has been involved in multiple excavation projects both in Lebanon and abroad. She continues to work closely with the Lebanese archaeology teams under the jurisdiction of the Lebanese Directorate General of Antiquities. In addition to field work, Vana is passionate about advancing local archaeological research and public outreach in Lebanon, and more broadly in the Middle East.

In addition to the archaeological sciences and exploring ancient health and lifestyles, her research interests include themes of imperialism and colonialism; migration and mobility; sociocultural change; expressions of individual and group identity; and ancient rituals and belief systems. Vana also runs a history and archaeology blog where she publishes articles aimed towards general audiences. During her residency at the Institute, Vana expanded her research on Roman Beirut by examining ancient diet and its links to health conditions, social status, geographic origins, and cultural practice.

Rima Majed (2021)

Rima Majed is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Sociology, Anthropology and Media Studies Department at the American University of Beirut (AUB). Her work focuses on the fields of social inequality, social movements, sectarianism, conflict, and violence. Rima has completed her PhD at the University of Oxford where she conducted her research on the relationship between structural changes, social mobilisation, and sectarianism in Lebanon. She was a visiting fellow at the Mamdouha S. Bobst Center for Peace and Justice at Princeton University in 2018/19.

Rima is the author of numerous articles and op-eds. Her work has appeared in several journals, books and media platforms such as Social Forces, Mobilization, Routledge Handbook on the Politics of the Middle East, Middle East Law and Governance Journal, Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of the Middle East, Global Dialogue, Idafat: The Arab Journal of Sociology, Al Jumhuriya, OpenDemocracy, Jacobin, Middle East Eye, CNN and Al Jazeera English.

She is the co-editor of the upcoming book The Lebanon Uprising of 2019: Voices from the Revolution (I.B. Tauris), on which she worked during her residency at the Institute.

Published 3 March 2022; updated 20 September 2023