The Institute Project on Decoloniality

The Institute Project on Decoloniality 2021-2024 (IPD ‘24)

IASH is pleased to announce a new three-year project examining a variety of topics centred on decoloniality. The Institute Project on Decoloniality 2021-2024 (IPD ‘24) is now open for applications, with deadlines for project proposals in February 2021 (for the first year’s cohort of mid-career and senior scholars) and April 2021 (for the first year’s cohort of postdoctoral and Early Career scholars).

In the past fifty years, IASH has overseen many large-scale projects in which the majority of Fellowships have been focused on specific themes. These have included 1986’s Institute Project on the Scottish Enlightenment (IPSE ‘86) and 1988’s Technology, Communication and the Humanities (TeCH ’88).  The Institute is launching a similar thematic project on decoloniality, understood inclusively and expansively. The following is a working definition, not intended to exclude any decolonial scholars or theoretical frameworks:

Informed by the work of a variety of writers in both the Global South and Global North, and spanning Indigenous rights, Africana thought, and movements for reparatory justice, decolonial inquiry contends that knowledge generated within what is termed a ‘colonial matrix of power’ has left us with a narrow, patriarchal and contested understanding of ourselves and the world. One means of addressing this is to challenge accepted theories of knowledge about the modern and the global, understood as ‘epistemic disobedience’, with a view to re-imagining and reconstructing our world, something in which university-based teaching and learning, research and wider community engagement is pivotal.

Therefore the Institute and its partners warmly encourages Fellowship applications from scholars in the UK, EU and around the world, exploring issues including but not limited to:

  • decolonising gender and sexuality
  • decolonising the curriculum
  • anticolonial and decolonial theory
  • intellectuals in and from the Global South
  • intersectionality and multiple inequalities
  • race and racialisation
  • de-centering Western feminist knowledge production
  • Scotland’s role in the British Empire
  • the University of Edinburgh’s colonial legacy and alumni roles in the slave trade
  • the histories of Edinburgh graduates and staff of colour

IPD ‘24 will run for three years, from 2021 to 2024, seeking to augment existing work by RACE.ED, UncoverED, the Centre for African Studies, the Centre for South Asian Studies, the Edinburgh Centre for Global History and many others. Around 35 Fellows per year will be appointed, as well as a one-off commission for a playwright to create a script inspired by the themes above.

Each Fellow is expected to give a work-in-progress talk at IASH, and more senior Fellows would also be expected to deliver a public lecture. Three annual conferences will be held over the course of the project, as well as exhibitions and concerts showcasing work by contemporary and historical artists of colour. IASH will provide financial resources, office space, and most importantly, a safe space beyond individual schools for researchers both from the university and the wider international academic community to collaborate and disseminate their responses to the themes. IPD ’24 will result in outputs in the form of three volumes of conference proceedings as part of our Occasional Papers series, and a major edited publication and/or a special issue of Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power.

We are therefore issuing thematic calls across the following funded Fellowship programmes (further information on how to apply, stipend levels, eligibility, special conditions and submission deadlines are available on each page linked below):

  • African Fellowship (by invitation only).
     
  • American Philosophical Association Fellowship: for members of the APA working in any area of the humanities and social sciences, especially those working in decoloniality, digital humanities, environmental humanities, gender and sexualities studies or medical humanities; visits of 2 - 6 months; unfunded.
     
  • American Philosophical Society Fellowship: for residents of the United States or American citizens resident abroad working in any aspect of the humanities and social sciences, especially decoloniality; visits of 2 - 4 months; $6,000 stipend.
     
  • British Council Decolonising Digital Fellowship: for postdoctoral and early-career researchers from Africa who are living and working on the continent; visits of 7 months (in 2020-21); stipend of £1,300 per month plus travel grant.
     
  • Catalyst Fellowship (by invitation only).
     
  • Charles Wallace India Trust Fellowship: for Indian citizens under 45, working in arts and humanities research (including South Asian film, literature, history, etc.) but not in social science; visits of 3 months; stipend of £1,300 per month plus travel grant.
     
  • Combe Trust Fellowship: for senior researchers in the following areas: decoloniality, public theology, religion and religious education, physiology and health, Scots law, peacebuilding, prison reform, psychiatry, psychology and neuroscience, moral philosophy, natural sciences or the arts (e.g. theatre, film, dance, visual arts); visits of 2 - 3 months; stipend of £1,300 per month.
     
  • Centre for Research Collections Fellowship: for postdoctoral scholars in any area of the arts, humanities and social sciences, to examine special collections held at the University of Edinburgh; visits of 3 - 6 months; stipend of £1,300 per month plus travel grant.
     
  • CSMCH-IASH Visiting Postdoctoral Fellowship in Modern and Contemporary History: for postdoctoral scholars working in the broad field of modern and contemporary history (c.1750-present); visits of 3 months; stipend of £1,100 per month plus travel grant.
     
  • Daiches-Manning Memorial Fellowship in 18th-Century Scottish Studies: for scholars at all career stages, working on 18th-century Scottish studies; visits of 2 - 3 months (with possible unfunded extension to 6 months); stipend of £1,300 per month plus travel grant.
     
  • Digital Scholarship Visiting Research Fellowship: for outstanding, digitally-focussed, interdisciplinary research, international scholarly collaboration, and networking activities with a specific focus on the digital; visits of 2 - 4 months; stipend of up to £1,000.
     
  • Digital Scholarship Postdoctoral Fellowship: for postdoctoral scholars working in digital arts, digital humanities, digital education, digital design and digital social sciences; visits of 3 - 6 months; stipend of £1,300 per month.
     
  • Environmental Humanities Fellowship: for scholars at all career stages, working on environmental humanities' visits of 2 - 4 months; stipend of up to £1,000.
     
  • IASH-Alwaleed Research Fellowship: for established scholars working in the field of contemporary Islam and Muslim culture; visits of 2 - 4 months; stipend of up to £3,500 plus travel grant.
     
  • IASH-Alwaleed Postdoctoral Fellowship: for postdoctoral scholars working in the field of contemporary Islam and Muslim culture; visits of 3 - 10 months; stipend of £1,300 per month.
     
  • IASH-CTPI Duncan Forrester Fellowship: for postdoctoral researchers working in public theology, in relation to areas such as decoloniality, peacebuilding and the arts, politics and migration, environmental ethics, and law and justice; visits of 3 - 10 months; stipend of £1,300 per month.
     
  • IASH-SSPS Research Fellowship: for outstanding interdisciplinary research, international scholarly collaboration, and networking activities together with academics in the School of Social and Political Science (SSPS); visits of 2 - 4 months; stipend of up to £3,900.
     
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship: for postdoctoral researchers working in any area of the arts, humanities and social sciences, especially decoloniality; visits of 3 - 10 months; stipend of £1,300 per month. Please note that this is our most competitive programme, and applicants may wish to consider applying for the more targeted postdoctoral schemes listed here, if appropriate.
     
  • RACE.ED Archival Research Fellowship: for postdoctoral scholars working in any area of the arts, humanities and social sciences, to examine specific special collections held at the university which provide evidence for research which will be part of the Institute Project on Decoloniality 2021-2024; visits of 3 - 10 months; stipend of £1,300 per month.
     
  • Stuart Hall Foundation Fellowship (from 2022-23; details to be announced).

You can apply for the majority of these schemes via our application portal. Applicants for the American Philosophical Society Fellowship and British Council Decolonising Digital Fellowship should visit the linked pages, as these schemes are administered by our partners.

The stipends offered will match or exceed RCUK minimums. We expect to offer around £250,000 in stipends per year, with the project offering a total of around £750,000. We would like to thank our funders and partners for their generous support.

As well as in-person Fellowships, we are happy to accept applications for hybrid / remote-working Fellowships for applicants who are unable to travel to Edinburgh.

It is important to note that we still welcome applications on all topics and in all areas of the arts, humanities and social sciences to continue IASH’s traditional interdisciplinary work across CAHSS schools, alongside IPD’24.


A Steering Group oversees the project, including representatives from CAHSS schools and outside bodies. The Steering Group members are:

Professor Tommy J. Curry (Personal Chair of Africana Philosophy and Black Male Studies)

Dr Rama Salla Dieng (Lecturer in African Studies and International Development)

Dr Omolabake Fakunle (Teaching Fellow in Education)

Dr Julie Gibbings (Lecturer in the History of the Americas)

Dr Hephzibah Israel (Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies)

Dr Arkotong Longkumer (Senior Lecturer in Modern Asia)

Professor Nasar Meer (Professor of Race, Identity and Citizenship)

Dr Désha Osborne (Department of Africana, Puerto Rican/Latino Studies, Hunter College, City University of New York; former IASH Fellow)

Professor Diana Paton (William Robertson Chair of History)

Dr Shaira Vadasaria (Lecturer in Race and Decolonial Studies)

Professor Steve Yearley (Professor of the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge; IASH Director)