IMEIS, in the School of Government and International Affairs (SGIA) is an academic institute of excellence, research-led in ethos, with a track-record of internationally acclaimed research output across all sub-areas of its activity. Success in this respect obtains largely from the multi-disciplinary nature of the Institute's operations and the fruitful interaction of political economists, political scientists, historians and Islamicists - all linked together by their collective focus on the study of the Middle East and the Muslim world in the widest sense. SGIA's range of specialists and its community of researchers are assisted in their research endeavours by mechanisms put in place to encourage, maintain and monitor progress, and by strong support structures such as the existence of one of Europe's best bibliographical, archival and documentation collections on the Middle East.
SGIA prides itself on its vibrant culture of research, nurtured by a thriving academic community of staff members, research students and visiting fellows. The recruitment of first-rate research students whose interests lie in one or more of the following sub-areas: Political Economy of the Middle East, Strategic and International Relations of the Middle East, Domestic Politics of the Middle East, Islamic Studies and whose chosen topics correlate with the research interests of staff members, remains one of the main priorities.
Importance is also attached to the attraction of high calibre visiting fellows, many of international renown, and SGIA has continued to enjoy the benefit of externally-funded research and visiting fellowships. Both research students and visiting fellows are able to enjoy a wide range of facilities provided to facilitate and support research within the SGIA community, including: access to Durham's library and archival holdings; access to the IT network and the wide range of online services provided; the provision of bursaries for travel to, and participation in, seminars and conferences at both national and international levels; participation in the active, researcher-led seminar series; and the existence of research support groups in the various research sub-areas.
As a measure of national and international standing in the field, staff are engaged in a wide range of invited and peer-driven external activities and are regularly called upon by the media (radio, television and newspapers from across the world) to provide expert commentary and advice.