Institute for Middle East Studies

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Middle East Studies

*The 2015-2016 Postdoctoral Fellowship competition is now closed and the successful candidate has been notified. Thank you to all who applied*

The Institute for Middle East Studies (IMES) at the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs invites applications for the position of Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Middle East Studies. Fellows may come from any discipline in the social sciences or humanities, as long as their primary substantive specialization is in the Middle East/North Africa (to include Iran and Turkey). Candidates should receive their Ph.D. on or before September 1 of the fellowship year, and must be in residence at IMES for the duration of the fellowship period (September 1 - May 31). Fellows are expected to take an active part in the intellectual life of the institute, including giving a research presentation and attending other institute events. This position offers a salary of $45,000, medical benefits, access to the GW library system, a computer, and office space. The fellow may also be invited to teach an M.A. level course at the Elliott School in an area related to his/her research.

To Apply:
The candidate is required to submit the following materials in PDF format to

- CV (not to exceed 2 pages)
- Statement of Research (not to exceed 1,000 words)
- Writing Sample (an article or a chapter of the dissertation)
- Three letters of recommendation (emailed directly from the recommender to with subject heading “Postdoctoral Fellow Recommendation_Applicant Name”)

For full consideration, please submit the complete application by January 31, 2015.  The successful candidate will be notified via email by 1 March 2015.

The George Washington University is located in downtown Washington, D.C.

The Institute for Middle East Studies houses a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Middle East Studies every academic year. Our 2014-2015 Fellow is Aaron Jakes.

postdoc Aaron Jakes comes to IMES from New York University’s Joint PhD Program in History and Middle Eastern Studies. His research interests include the histories of the modern Middle East and South Asia, the historical geography of capitalism, agrarian studies, comparative methodologies for the study of large-scale historical transformations, the social and environmental history of public works and infrastructural projects, and state theory. His dissertation, entitled State of the Field: Agrarian Transformation, Colonial Rule, and the Politics of Material Wealth in Egypt, 1882-1914, is a study of both the political economy of the British occupation of Egypt and the role of political-economic thought in struggles over colonial rule in the decades prior to World War I. Drawing on nearly three years of archival research in Egypt, England, India, Pakistan, and the United States, State of the Field explores how the agrarian reform policies that anchored British rule helped to make Egypt a key site for investment and experimentation in a moment of global financial expansion at the close of the 19th century. Ultimately, the abstract and uneven character of financial boom and bust played a central role in shaping the concepts with which nationalists advocated independence and influenced their understandings of what a sovereign nation-state would look like.

Jakes graduated summa cum laude from Yale University with a BA in History. He also holds an MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Oxford, where his research focused on the influence of the scouting movement on youth culture in inter war Egypt. He has previously held fellowships from the Center for Arabic Study Abroad, the Foreign Language and Area Studies Grants (for advanced Urdu), the Social Science Research Council, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at New York University, Fulbright Hays, and the American Council of Learned Societies.

Previous IMES Postdoctoral Fellows

Kevin Jones, 2013-2014 (University of Michigan, University of Georgia)
Sarah Parkinson, 2012-2013 (University of Chicago, University of Minnesota)
Guldem Buyuksarac, 2011-2012 (Columbia University, Istanbul University)

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Institute for Middle East Studies
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