Resident scholar – programme

Beirut skyline during sunset.

FIME launched a new Resident Scholar Programme for Lebanon-based Academics in spring 2021.

We will announce the next application period in due time on our website and social media.

During the three-month residency, the researcher can pursue their own academic research without any administrative duties as a full member of our small collegial work community in Badaro, Beirut. The term runs from September until the end of November and from February until the end of April. The researcher will have their own workspace as well as access to other resources FIME provides for its staff. These include our small library, technical equipment and seminar room. In case the corona pandemic continues to pose restrictions, conducting remote work is advised.

As well as conducting their own research, the resident scholar will also execute an activity aimed at the academic and/or general audience. This can take the form of organizing a small academic or cultural event in Lebanon or online or, for example, popularizing their own research in writing or in podcast-form through FIMEs platforms.

Who can apply

A Lebanon-based scholar fluent in English, who holds a PhD in a relevant field of study and has a solid track record of conducting academic research on the Middle East. While the position is not limited to junior scholars, we are especially interested in applications from scholars who have received their PhD within the last five years (30.04.2016 or later).


As a resident scholar, you will receive a monthly salary of 3 000 USD.

How to apply

Please send your application containing the following documents in English to

  • Academic curriculum vitae (max 4 pages)
  • Official graduate transcripts
  • Description of the research project and its outputs to be worked on as a resident scholar (max 5 pages), including the relevance of this position for its successful execution
  • Proposal for a small activity aimed at local academic and/or general audience (max 1 page)
  • Two reference letters

See the Resident Scholar 2021 – FAQ page for answers to most frequently asked questions.

For further inquiries concerning the position and the application process, please contact:

Current resident scholar (2022)

Dima Smaira

Dima Smairan kuva.
Dima Smaira.

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.

Previous resident scholars

Vana Kalenderian (2021)

Vana Kalenderian
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)

Profile picture of Rima Majed.
Rima Majed.

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 3.3.2022.