University of Leeds and Pears Foundation partner to create new lecturer / senior lecturer post in Israel & Middle East Studies


Pears Foundation is investing £150,000 in a partnership with the University of Leeds to create a new post for a lecturer / senior lecturer in Israel and Middle East Studies.

The partnership is the latest development in Pears Foundation's long term vision to increase the level of academic scholarship in this area, and follows on from its recently announced partnership with SOAS and support for the European Association for Israel Studies (EAIS), which will hold its inaugural conference on 18 September this year.

The new post has been created to support the expansion of undergraduate modules and postgraduate programmes in this area at the University of Leeds' School of Politics and International Studies (POLIS). The partnership is seeking a recognised figure in the field of Israel Studies and Middle East Politics for the post, to develop and lead research with the aim of having a significant impact at national and international levels, attracting research students to the University and securing further research funding.

As well as issues surrounding the politics of Israel and its relations with the global community, the postholder's work will examine other key topics depending on their specialism.

The University of Leeds has a tradition for research and teaching on Israel stretching back many decades and its academic experience in this area is unmatched in the UK. First established through the Centre for Hebrew and Semitic Studies, it continues in the Centre for Jewish Studies and Department of Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies, both based in the Faculty of Arts. 

Charles Keidan, Director, Pears Foundation, is delighted with the new partnership: "This is another significant step in improving the level of academic insight and scholarship in this important area. We are delighted to be working with Professor Clive Jones, who has been a driving force behind this partnership and the whole area of academic study on Israel and the Middle East. There is an urgent need to broaden the debate on Israel and its role in, and relationship with, the global community, and more rigorous academic scholarship is a hugely important step towards achieving that."

Clive Jones, Professor for Middle East Studies and International Politics at Leeds, believes the post would enable a step-change in the study of the region at the University: "This post will allow for the expansion of one of the most popular modules in Politics and International Studies, and will enable us to develop new streams of research and teaching activity in the politics of Israel and the Middle East. We are pleased to be working with Pears Foundation to make this possible."

This investment forms part of a wider programme of support from Pears Foundation for Israel Studies, with posts currently operating in other British universities including the Pears Fellowship in Israel and Middle Eastern Studies at Manchester University, the Pears Fellowship in Israel and Mediterranean Studies at Oxford University, the newly created Pears lectureship and Pears Senior Research Fellowship in Israel Studies at SOAS, and the development of the European Association of Israel Studies (EAIS).  

For further information:

Please contact the University of Leeds Press Office on +44 (0)113 343 4031 or email

Pears Foundation: Peter Gilheany, 020 7403 2230,

Notes to editors

Pears Foundation

  • Pears Foundation is a British family foundation rooted in Jewish values. Its work is concerned with positive identity and citizenship.

  • Pears Foundation is building the capacity of Israel Studies as an academic discipline in British and continental European Universities. Pears Foundation currently supports Higher Education posts in Israel Studies at Oxford University, Manchester University and SOAS as well as start up funding and support to the European Association of Israel Studies.

For further information, please see


  • The European Association of Israel Studies (EAIS), to be launched at a conference on 18 September 2011, is an independent, international and scholarly association devoted to the academic study of Israel.
  • The EAIS will be based for an initial period of 4 years at SOAS
  • The Steering Committee of the EAIS comprises:
  • Professor Colin Shindler, Chair, (SOAS)  

  • Professor  Rory Miller, Director of the Middle East and Mediterranean Studies Program, Kings College, London

  • Professor Clive Jones, Chair of Middle East Studies and International Politics, University of Leeds

  • Dr. Amnon Aran, Lecturer in International Politics of the Middle East, City University, London

  • Dr Raffaella A. Del Sarto, Pears Fellow in Israel and Mediterranean Studies OCHJS / Middle East Centre, St Antony's College University of Oxford

  • Professor Alain Dieckhoff (CERI/Sciences Po Paris).  

University of Leeds

The University of Leeds was founded in 1904, but its origins date back to the nineteenth century with the founding of Leeds School of Medicine in 1831 and the Yorkshire College of Science in 1874.

The University of Leeds is acclaimed worldwide for the quality of its teaching and scholarship.  An emphasis on innovative research, investment in high quality facilities and first rate infrastructure means that no fewer than 35 departments are rated internationally or nationally as 'excellent'.  Many of our research initiatives cross traditional subject boundaries, and Leeds currently promotes projects through 58 interdisciplinary centres and seven research schools.

In 2005 we launched an ambitious strategy to rank amongst the world's top 50 universities by 2015 and to use our outstanding research and teaching to make a positive difference to the world. 

The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise showed the University of Leeds to be the UK's eighth biggest research powerhouse. The University is one of the largest higher education institutions in the UK and a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. The University's vision is to secure a place among the world's top 50 by 2015.