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Arts & Humanities Research Council
British Academy


Objectives of the Centre

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The Centre for East European Language-Based Area Studies (CEELBAS) is a major collaboration between the universities of Bath, Birmingham, Cambridge, Kent, Manchester, Oxford, Sheffield, Warwick, the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, and UCL. The main objectives of the Centre are to realise the UK's strategic commitment to the study of Central and Eastern Europe and Russia, to help set the research agenda for the study of the region and to inform policy, nationally and internationally.

Funding and Timescale

CEELBAS was initially funded primarily by the AHRC, ESRC and HEFCE (£5.6 million), as part of the UK Funding Councils' LBAS Initiative 2006-2011. The Centre has since received development funding from the AHRC and British Academy for the period 2012-2016. An additional AHRC grant was awarded to CEELBAS in 2013 to develop a new Centre for Doctoral Training in Russian, Slavonic and East European languages and culture The CEELBAS CDT will support five cohorts of doctoral researchers commencing from the 2014/15 academic year.

Programme of Activity, 2012-2016

Knowledge Exchange

LBAS Impact Workshop, March 2011

CEELBAS hosts joint knowledge exchange events with a range of partners in business and finance, policy-making, the third sector and the media.
These events are designed to demonstrate the strategic importance and impact of area studies research - in both the humanities and social sciences - in addressing social, political, economic and strategic questions, and to create a base for sustainable and long-term collaboration between the academic and non-academic communities.

As part of its knowledge exchange porogramme, a searchable Database of Expertise has been set-up and is maintained by CEELBAS as a free resource for those wishing to locate an expert on Central and Eastern Europe and Russia (and neighbouring regions) for media enquiries, collaborative and/or consultative purposes.

Internships Scheme

CEELBAS internship scheme 2

A new internship scheme for postgraduate students and early-career scholars has been launched by CEELBAS, with a specific remit to establish internships for researchers who are undertaking advanced historical, cultural and/or language-based research. It gives researchers the opportunity to shape their work in relation to the strategic priorities of non-academic users, particularly where this addresses key areas of policy concern such as security, conflict, migration, energy, health and wellbeing, social mobility, civil society, and multiculturalism. View further details and examples of previous and forthcoming internship projects.

Research Network Workshops

'Doing Culture' and 'Situating Culture' workshops

Since 2007 CEELBAS network workshops have proved highly successful in taking research in new and interdisciplinary directions; in establishing national and international research clusters around key strategic themes; and in generating numerous scholarly outputs and successful grant applications. These events aim to stimulate the exchange of ideas and expertise between the academic and user communities, as well as between up-and-coming and established scholars, both in the UK and overseas, across and beyond the conventional boundaries of academic departments and disciplines. Full details and reports of these events and their outcomes are provided in the Research section of this website.

International Collaboration


CEELBAS has launched an international research visit scheme, tapping into the extensive international partnerships and collaborative projects in which scholars at its ten universities are involved, as well as less formal international contacts which have the potential to be developed further. These week-long exchanges are designed to build partnerships and facilitate scholarly mobility, and to promote the exchange of expertise and sharing of best practice amongst researchers, particularly with regard to knowledge exchange and user engagement. View examples of previous and forthcoming international projects supported by CEELBAS.

Language Workshops and Language Repository

CEELBAS Language Workshop, UCL

CEELBAS is developing modes of delivery and materials for advanced skills in the ‘strategically important but vulnerable’ languages of its regions. A series of Language Workshops for teachers and researchers across the CEELBAS Network is held each year, in addition to collaboration in language development and training with the other LBAS Centres and with the Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies (LLAS).

CEELBAS also supports projects to create new research-focused language-learning resources, which are then added to the open-access digital CEELBAS Language Repository – a major national and international resource, designed specifically to meet the needs of postgraduate researchers, as well as to promote pedagogic reflection on language learning and course design.

CEELBAS encourages a strategic and innovative approach to language development, including through collaboration with researchers and digital humanities experts at CEELBAS universities, and through creating mechanisms for distance and e-learning.

Research Training Workshops and Funding

Research Ethics Workshop 2010

Research training initiatives supported by CEELBAS have included a Russian Archives Training Scheme and a series of interdisciplinary area studies research ethics workshops. See our postgraduate training programme for details of forthcoming and recent events. Reports, guides and event materials are available in the Resources section.

In addition, overseas travel grants are available to assist doctoral students in undertaking specialist language and research training that is not available in the UK. In this way, CEELBAS aims to facilitate the acquisition of specialist skills and to facilitate international collaboration and research networks among up-and-coming scholars. View details of previous grants.

AHRC Doctoral Studentships

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The CEELBAS Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) pools the resources of four CEELBAS universities (UCL, Cambridge, Oxford and Manchester) to promote outstanding postgraduate research and top quality training in the specialist field of Russian, Slavonic and East European languages and culture.

Funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), a number of Postgraduate Research Studentships are awarded by CEELBAS each year. In addition, the CEELBAS postgraduate training programme is being enhanced with the support of external partners that include the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the British Library, Pushkin House and openDemocracy.

This aim of this initiative is to train a generation of scholars whose in-depth cultural and linguistic expertise will meet a major strategic need, better equipping the UK to respond to both European and global developments.

Previous Initiatives (2006-2011)

View an overview of CEELBAS activities during its first five-year phase of funding.