Following the success of Fobzu's first writing residency in 2019 when Professor Hala Nassar from Bethlehem University was hosted at Oxford, Fobzu is delighted to announce that we have now formed an official partnership with the Middle East Centre at St Antony's College, Oxford University and are launching the first Fobzu-Oxford University MEC Writing Residency. The Residency is dedicated to promoting Palestinian scholarship and building links between UK and Palestinian higher education by supporting an academic based at a Palestinian university to complete a writing project in Oxford.

The Writing Residency supports visa procurement, travel from Palestine, accommodation and access to Oxford University libraries and the archive at the Middle East Centre during the scholar’s stay for a period of six to eight weeks during either the summer or autumn. The recipient will also benefit from a stipend of £2000 to cover living costs during the residency. For information about eligibility and how to apply, please see below. Applications open today and close on 24th February.




Friends of Birzeit University

Friends of Birzeit University (Fobzu) was founded in the UK in 1978 to support Palestine's first internationally accredited university. Since then, Fobzu has been working to promote the advancement of Palestinian education under occupation and in exile. We believe in the liberating potential of education and the value of supporting Palestinian students, teachers and scholars as they confront obstacles to realising their rights.

Over more than 40 years, Fobzu has furthered the cause of Palestinian education by raising awareness in the UK about the needs and struggles of Palestinian students and scholars, supporting educational projects and providing scholarships and bursaries to students in financial need at universities across occupied Palestine.

In 2020, Fobzu partnered with the Middle East Centre (MEC) at Oxford University to launch the Fobzu-Oxford University MEC Writing Residency for Palestinian Scholars. The partnership reflects the historic links between the two institutions, which date back to Fobzu’s founding and first Chair, Middle East Centre Fellow Elizabeth Monroe and early committee members such as Roger Owen, as well as a commitment held by both institutions to supporting Palestinian higher education.

The Fobzu-Oxford Writing Residency is dedicated to supporting Palestinian scholarship by facilitating the completion of a writing project at the Middle East Centre in the University of Oxford by a Palestinian scholar. The Residency aims to further links between UK and Palestinian scholars and thereby contribute to challenging the international isolation faced by Palestinian higher education under occupation.


About the Residency

The Fobzu-Oxford Writing Residency will support a Palestinian scholar from a Palestinian university in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) to spend up to six weeks at St Antony’s College, Oxford completing a proposed writing project in the humanities, arts or social sciences. The residency may be undertaken during the Summer vacation or Fall Semester 2020, according to the preference of the successful candidate.

The residency supports visa procurement, travel from Palestine, accommodation and access to Oxford University libraries and the archive at the Middle East Centre during the scholar’s stay. The recipient will benefit from a stipend of £2000 to cover living costs during the residency.

An initial orientation will be arranged, and introductions made to research and academic networks in Oxford, London and the vicinity relevant to the scholar’s field of study.

Where appropriate, a public talk or reading by the writer will be organised.



Application to the Fobzu-Oxford Writing Residency is open to all Palestinians holding a position or affiliation at any Palestinian university in the oPt. Applications are welcome from scholars undertaking writing projects for publication in disciplines across the humanities, arts and social sciences.

Applicants must possess a working command of written and spoken English and be able to obtain a leave of absence from their home university to undertake the residency in the UK. Applicants must hold a current passport, Palestinian Authority or other, and should support the aims and objectives of Fobzu.



One scholar will be selected by a committee comprising members of the Fobzu Board of Trustees and prominent and emerging UK-based scholars and researchers. Applications will be assessed according to the quality and viability of the writing proposal. Priority will be given to scholars who can demonstrate the additional benefit of access to archival or research facilities and networks in Oxford and the UK. Fobzu cannot, as yet, support the accompaniment of dependents or spouses.



Fobzu will begin accepting applications on 23rd January. Completed applications should be sent to by no later than the 24th February and must include:

  • A writing proposal and plan for the duration of the residency, for a period of between 4 to 6 weeks. (Two pages maximum – 11-point font Times New Roman). The proposal should describe your writing project, include a proposed writing schedule, an explanation of how you believe the residency would benefit your work, and a plan for publication.
  • A current academic CV.
  • The name and contact details of two professional referees.

For any queries, please contact Fobzu Director, Omar Shweiki:




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