Call for Applications

Academic Writing Workshops

Building Research and Publication Capacity of Emerging Scholars in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq


Nawroz University- Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University- UK invite applications for virtual writing workshops to be held between September 2021 and March 2022. The workshops are supported by the British Academy and will be led by Dr. Mohammedali Yaseen Taha (Nawroz University) and Associate Professor Bahar Baser (Coventry University).


The workshops are open to early career scholars (that is, PhD students or postdoctoral fellows within five years of completion of a PhD) based in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Throughout the workshops, the candidates are expected to work on a paper which they aim to publish in an international peer-reviewed journal. The applicants are expected to join all workshops and complete the assignments.


These workshops bring together emerging scholars from the Kurdistan Region of Iraq to build their research and publication capacity with the help of senior scholars who are prominent academics in social sciences and humanities, and editors of prestigious international journals that publish high quality work on peace and security related topics in the Middle East. The aim is to provide training, networking opportunities and one-to-one mentoring in order to develop long-term and sustainable connections between the scholars of Global North and South while contributing to the career development of emerging Kurdish researchers as well as enriching the scholarship on Kurdish Studies with indigenous insider knowledge. One of the workshops will also dedicate a session to training on developing research projects and writing grant applications.


In the long-run, the workshops will enable the participants counter the asymmetries and structural inequalities in international publishing and contribute to the decolonisation of knowledge production by increasing the contributions of Kurdistan-based scholars to knowledge about Kurdish realities through increased publication and dissemination of their research.


Virtual Workshops (VW)

VW1 (September 2021): The first workshop will be structured so that it offers sessions where journal editors provide presentations about common reasons for success and failure on a variety of topics including “what a solid journal article looks like”, “how to identify a suitable journal”, “how to pass the desk process”, how to draft response letters to the editors” as well as “how to cope with rejection”. The participants will be asked to bring a draft paper (3000-5000 words) which will be circulated to the journal editors leading their workshop group. In these mentoring sessions, the participants will receive individual feedback on the potential of their paper and how to improve it towards an eventual publication. A specific session will be dedicated to academic writing.

VW2 (September 2021): The second workshop will be dedicated to bid writing. The training will be given by Coventry University’s Research Development Staff. British Academy’s funding opportunities will be specifically mentioned and the participants will be made familiar with the application process.

VW3 (December 2021): The third workshop will bring journal editors and participants together in a one-to-one mentorship format, this time to discuss the progress of their draft papers. The participants will be asked to share their full drafts with the editors in advance so that they can receive feedback about the strengths and weaknesses of their outputs.

VW4 (January 2022): The fourth workshop will be organised in collaboration with Coventry University’s RISING Peace Forum. It will create a platform for the participants to present their work in different panels. The sessions will be in the format of webinars and will be open to the public.


The presented papers will be evaluated by the project team and the journal editors, and a special issue proposal will be submitted to the British Academy’s open access journal (February 2022). Remaining papers will be included in an edited volume (co-edited by Dr. Baser and Dr. Taha) to be published by Lexington Books’ Kurdish Studies Series. The participants will also be encouraged to co-author articles with their mentors and target high ranking international journals.


Mentors and editors involved in the project: Emeritus Professor Jeffrey Haynes (Democratization), Professor Mehmet Gurses (Politics and Religion), Professor Matt Qvortrup (European Political Science Review), Dr. Wendy Hamelink (Kurdish Studies), Dr. Omer Tekdemir (New Middle Eastern Studies), Associate Professor Ahmet Erdi Ozturk (International Journal of Religion), Dr. Mari Toivanen (Former Editor of ACTA Sociologica), Associate Professor Deniz Senol Sert (International Migration), Dr. Catalina Neculai (Centre for Academic Writing).


How to Apply

The applicants are asked to send their CV, a 200-word personal statement explaining why they want to participate in these workshops and a 1000-word essay which outlines the academic article that they want to develop to a full journal article throughout this project. The participants should indicate any target journal they are considering for their paper in their application. Fifteen participants will be selected by means of a competitive, merit-based application process in consultation with the journal editors and the project team. The participants will be PhD students or postdoctoral researchers (Max 5 years since PhD) and their research focus will be in social sciences and humanities in the Middle East. The team will place extra emphasis on the promotion of female scholars in particular, as such inequalities are another key aspect of unequal representation in scholarly output in Kurdish Studies and beyond.

The application documents should be sent to:


[email protected] and

[email protected]  

by 31 May 2021.

For more details see the attached PDF :


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