Call for scholars and professionals from around the world to join the British Library as Chevening Fellows

(10 November 2015)  The British Library will offer fellowships to professionals and scholars from around the world, thanks to a new collaboration with the UK Government announced today.

The agreement is the first of its kind between Chevening, the international awards scheme funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and a cultural institution.  Applicants from Africa and South Asia, with the relevant qualifications and an interest in libraries and digital innovation, are invited to apply for the fellowships from today.

These fellowships will give applicants the opportunity to take on the year-long professional research placements at the British Library in London. For the inaugural year, 2016/2017, the fellowships on offer include an opportunity to explore the Library’s collection of newspapers and periodicals related to South Asia, and a placement investigating how the Library could harness the power of big data.

Established in 1983, Chevening offers outstanding individuals with leadership potential the chance to pursue one-year Master’s degrees and a selection of short courses in the UK. Chevening has over 44,000 alumni around the world and many have risen to leadership positions in diverse fields including politics, business, academia, media, and civil society. The new collaboration takes this a step further, by offering a one-year placement opportunity in one of the best research libraries in the world under the reintroduced fellowship award category.

Managed by the Chevening Secretariat, the partnership with the British Library will commence in September 2016. Recipients of this Chevening Fellowship will be appointed as Chevening Visiting Fellows, with full access to the Library’s world-class research facilities, and will work on projects uniquely designed for this programme. The fellowships will capitalise on the breadth and depth of the Library’s collections and expertise, enabling new types of research, informing strategy, and fostering international collaboration.

The two fellowships on offer in 2016/2017 are:

News and Media in South Asia: Past and Present

Working in the British Library’s Asian and African Collections department, a Chevening Fellow will work with the UK’s national collection of historic and contemporary South Asian newspapers and periodicals. The fellow will work closely with curators to review historic collections of South Asian news, consider how to make them more accessible and widely-known, and develop a strategy for the acquisition and preservation of news, including both print and digital publications.

Big data and libraries

Working with teams across the British Library, a Chevening Fellow will play a key role in broadening understanding of how developments in big data and open data might benefit libraries across the world. The fellow will review policy developments and innovations related to big data and cultural institutions, help the British Library develop its own strategy on big data, and organise an international workshop to discuss these challenges and opportunities.

If you are interested in applying for the Chevening/British Library Professional Fellowship programme, visit, or for more details visit the Library’s Living Knowledge blog.

In South Asia the Fellowship will be available to nationals of  Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka.

See more here.