Faculty Research Grant

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) will be offering a faculty research awards for Middle East or North African studies-related research in the United States or abroad for summer 2024. 


  • All current UA faculty, including NTT faculty and adjunct faculty.
  • Professors emeriti/ae and visiting faculty are not eligible.
  • No more than one grant may be awarded to the same individual within two (2) academic years.

The competition will be going forth for summer 2024. 

Application deadline: All materials must be received by 5pm Arizona time on Thursday, April 4, 2024; All parts can be emailed to jellison@arizona.edu as one or multiple pdfs. The letter of support from the department head/division head or dean should be sent to Julie Ellison-Speight and titled “2024 CMES Faculty Research LOS.”

Contact: CMES Associate Director Julie Ellison-Speight, (520) 621-8079, jellison@arizona.edu.

  • “Research” is meant to denote investigative activities, i.e., scholarly efforts to advance knowledge, increase skills, and improve understanding, in any academic discipline.
  • Research must be Middle East or North African studies related.
  • Amount: up to $2,000.
  • For use in the United States or abroad.
  • Can only be used for research occurring between late April and late August 2024
  • Non-transferable and will apply only towards the activities for which they were granted.
  • Evaluation criteria include scholarly merit (e.g., clarity of research question, appropriateness of methods) and significance (e.g., context and literature). Proposals that have a clear potential to provide significant benefit to the career of the candidate, or to yield long-term ties between the University of Arizona and individual scholars or research groups outside the United States are given preference.
  • Allowable expenditures include research-related travel, visas, lodging, per diem, software, research supplies, archival/database fees, payment of consultants, and research assistance. Unallowable expenditures include, but are not limited to, travel to conferences, faculty salaries, the purchase of general-purpose equipment, costs of curriculum development or work that is part of a scheduled course, and costs incurred prior to the award period. Also, grants cannot be made in support of studies leading to an advanced degree for the applicant.
  • All awards are subject to funding availability, and all expenditures are handled through the Marshall Business Center.

  1. CMES faculty research award application (typed)
  2. CV (maximum 3 pages)
  3. Proposal (maximum 4 pages). Include title, abstract, and narrative. The narrative should include the project’s objectives, proposed methodology, significance, and anticipated results. Include what opportunities this may present for you as well as the UA. [See the award specifics section for more details.]
  4. Letter of support from your department/division head or dean. - please have them title the email 2023 CMES Faculty Research LOS and email it to Julie Ellison-Speight at jellison@arizona.edu 
  5. List of other support you are receiving or for which you have applied for this research.
  6. Estimated budget of reimbursable expenditures that are appropriate to the specific needs of the research project. A detailed justification of budget items is required.
    Below are examples of good and bad justifications:
    • GOOD: I need $310.50 for an undergraduate research assistant to transcribe five interviews. My past experience with this type of transcription suggests that each interview will take about five hours to transcribe. I therefore estimate needing 30 hours for this (including five hours of training for the undergraduate transcriber). I will pay $10/hour, and the ERE on $300 for this category of employee is 3.5%. 300 (30 x 10) + 10.50 (300 x 3.5%) = $310.50.
    • BAD: I need about $300 to cover transcriptions.

  • Awards contingent upon:
    • As soon as possible after being notified of receiving the award, awardees must make an appointment with the Marshall Business Center to develop a spending plan.
    • If your research requires institutional approvals (e.g., human subjects), you must document these before funds will be released.
    • For award projects involving travel, awardees must complete and submit a UA Travel Authorization Form (signed by your department head and submitted to the Marshall Business Center, via email). (You can add Marshall Business office staff as a CC on Travel Registry forms).  Those traveling abroad must also register through the UA International Travel Registry. If your destination has a Travel Warning issued by the U.S. State Department, you must also complete the “Supplemental Travel Authorization” section of the registration. In such cases, the award cannot be disbursed without UA approval. Check current Travel Warnings at: http://travel.state.gov.

  • All research expenses must be completed within two weeks of the end of the research project.
  • Within one month of the end of the funding period, awardees are required to submit to CMES (Mahmoud Azaz, mazaz@arizona.edu and Julie Ellison-Speight, jellison@arizona.edu) a brief report on project outcomes/accomplishments (maximum 1-2 pages).
  • If you receive an award, you must credit CMES as you disseminate your research.
  • Failure to adhere to any of these requirements may result in the researcher being ineligible for future CMES funding.


Samira Farwaneh, Associate Professor ,School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies
Research Project: “Is this Arabic? Documenting the Grammar of Faifi Arabic”

Linda Darling, Professor, History
Research Project: “From Border Province to Imperial Hub: Syria’s Changing Geopolitical Roles as a New Ottoman Province”


Jennifer Post, Associate Professor, Fred Fox School of Music
Research Project: “Naming and Claiming Space in the Altai Mountains Kazakh Language Song Maps in Mongolia”


Jeannine Relly and Maggy Zanger Associate Professors, School of Journalism
Research Project: “ISIS, tradition and oil as forms of ‘capture’: The impact of violence, politics, culture and economic crisis on journalists in Kurdistan, Iraq”

Mahmoud Azaz, Assistant Professor, School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies

Research Project: “Teachers’ role in Arabic language planning in Egypt”


Leila Hudson, Associate Professor, School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies

Research Project: “Lines of Flight from Syria: A Damascus Refugee Family’s Displacement, Migration and Exile”


Maha NassarAssistant Professor, School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies

Research Project: “Palestinian Citizens of Israel and Debates over Palestinian Statehood”

Pearce Paul Creasman, Associate Professor, Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research

Research Project: “Excavation and Documentation of a Recently Discovered Egyptian Temple”


Scott Lucas, Associate Professor, School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies

Research Project: “Zaydi Interpretations of Qur’anic Laws in Yemen”


David Jones Marshall, Postdoctoral Research Associate, School of Geography and Development
Research Project: "History, Heritage, and Hope: Mediatizing Memory in Nablus, Palestine"