Richard Beeston Bursary

Applications are invited for RICHARD BEESTON
Offered in association with The Times Newspaper

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This award of £6,000 is for an aspiring British or UK-based foreign correspondent to spend six weeks abroad, researching and reporting on a foreign news story, in association with The Times newspaper. A further award of £6,000 is available to a young journalist based in Israel, Lebanon or the Palestinian territories to undertake a six week fellowship on The Times foreign desk in London. Applicants should have at least two years journalistic experience, be under the age of thirty on the application closing date and have a professional command of English.

How to Apply

Applications should include:

For outward bound applicants: a detailed outline of the proposed destination of travel and the broad nature of the story which you are intending to report on;
For incoming applicants: an explanation of why you would benefit from this fellowship which seeks to encourage dialogue between Britain and the Middle East.

For all applicants:

A brief CV.

Five samples of published press journalism, excluding blogs.

A journalistic referee.

A scan of your passport.

The Judges reserve the right to request further information at a later stage of the application process.

Applications should be submitted by
9.00am on Monday 9th September 2019
by email attachment for the attention of Natasha Fairweather at


  • Dick & Hazel Beeston
  • Fiona Beeston & Jean-Jacques Guilbaud
  • Jennifer & Julian Browne
  • Kate & Robin Browne
  • Simon Bryan
  • Sarah & Patrick Campbell-Jones
  • Catherine Eccles
  • Marianne & Fred Emery
  • Rosie & Peter Joy
  • Cathra & Adam Kelliher
  • Amy Kellogg
  • Stephen Lambert & Jenni Russell
  • Gerard & Katrin Legrain
  • Kate & Charles Llewellyn
  • Jonathan Miller
  • Elisabeth Murdoch
  • News UK
  • Amy & Alex Richards
  • Linda Shaughnessy


  • Natasha Fairweather
  • Suzy Jagger
  • Anthony Loyd
  • Ben Macintyre
  • Roland Watson

Advisory Committee

  • Nomi Bar-Yaacov
  • James Harding
  • David Horovitz
  • Roula Khalaf
  • Sam Kiley
  • Jenni Russell
  • Jon Snow
richard beeston journalist bursary

Richard Beeston, the distinguished and much-loved foreign editor of The Times, died of cancer in 2013 soon after his 50th birthday. After a short stint as an apprentice reporter on Johannesburg's Financial Mail and the Coventry Evening Telegraph, Richard moved to Beirut at the height of the civil war in 1984, aged just 21, to work for The Daily Star. Thus began a life-long fascination with Lebanon, and the Middle East in general. Forced back to London by the spate of kidnappings of foreign journalists, Richard joined The Times in 1986 and was to work for the paper for the rest of his life. As the fireman on the foreign desk, Richard carried his passport - bristling with visas for warzones - with him at all times. He was one of the first reporters into Halabja, in Kurdistan, in 1988 after Saddam's gas attack and he covered wars, invasions, revolutions, natural and man-made disasters - and the odd good news story - in the 27 years which followed. He was posted to Jerusalem as The Times's Middle East


Correspondent in 1991, and became the Moscow Bureau Chief in 1994 during the Chechen War. His return to London shortly preceded 9/11 and a decade of reporting from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was to follow. Richard was made Foreign Editor of The Times in 2008, shortly after being diagnosed with cancer. He travelled to Afghanistan, Israel and Italy in the months running up to his death.

The bursaries being set up in his name are designed to address Richard's passionate belief that good journalists are not forged in the newsroom, but in the field. He loved to mentor aspiring young foreign correspondents and to give them the opportunity to develop their reporting and writing skills by working on a fast-breaking news story.

The RB bursaries now also honour the name and memory of Richard “Dick” Beeston senior, a life-long foreign correspondent and Richard’s father, who died on February 19th 2015.

Past Winners Of The Richard Beeston Bursaries

Layli Foroudi

Layli Foroudi

Layli Foroudi is the winner of the 2018 outward-bound Richard Beeston Bursary. After graduating from University College London with a first class degree in French and Russian, Layli moved to Moscow and worked on The Moscow Times. In 2016, she completed a masters degree in Race, Ethnicity and Conflict at Trinity College Dublin. During her studies, and since graduating, she has written on topics spanning migration, gender, culture and tech, for publications which include the Financial Times, the Irish Times, CNN and Index on Censorship. Most recently she has been freelancing for Al Jazeera English's media analysis show The Listening Post.

Which on the Richard Beeston Bursary in the spring of 2019 Layli will travel to Tunisia in an election year to report on the crisis caused by economic stagnation, austerity measures and the fallout from Islamic terrorism. She also plans to write about the movement of young Tunisians attempting to reach Europe and ISIS fighters and their families who want to return home.

Mohamed Ezz

Shira Rubin

Mohamed Ezz is the winner of the 2018 incoming Richard Beeston Bursary. An Egyptian journalist born in the Delta city of Mansoura, Mohamed's passion for journalism burgeoned when the Arab Spring broke out in Egypt. Though still a student at the time, he co-founded the Egypt Report website, exploring how the revolution was changing the lives of people in the Delta. After graduating, he moved to Cairo and embarked on a professional career as a journalist and political analyst. Fluent in Arabic and English, he has spent the past six years covering Egypt and much of the Middle East for several international media outlets, including The Times, The New York Times, The Economist, The Guardian, The Telegraph, VICE, and The Christian Science Monitor.

As the recipient of the bursary, Mohamed will spend six weeks in London during the spring of 2019 working on The Times foreign desk, editing and reporting, and experiencing the challenges of publishing a physical paper daily while remaining part of the 24 hour news cycle.

Oscar Lopez

Oscar Lopez

Oscar Lopez was the 2017 recipient of the outward-bound Richard Beeston Bursary. Originally from Mexico himself, Oscar had previously spent two years reporting from nearly every continent while completing a part-time Masters in writing at Oxford University. Under the bursary, Oscar spent 6 weeks in Mexico in the summer of 2018 reporting on the country's presidential elections, which saw leftist firebrand Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador win an historic landslide victory. Oscar's reporting focused on some of the key issues facing the country including political violence, corruption and violence against women. Oscar also reported on the increasingly complex relationship between Mexico and the United States, particularly in relation to migration.

Shira Rubin

Shira Rubin

Shira Rubin was the 2017 Incoming Richard Beeston Bursary winner. A journalist. living and working in Tel Aviv, Shira was born in the U.S. and returned to Israel in 2010. When the outbreak of the Arab Spring complicated her plans to study Arabic in Syria, Shira remained in Israel, where she began reporting. In 2015, she received an MA degree in Middle Eastern and Islamic studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and published thesis research on Syrian refugee single mothers living in Jordan. Shira has won several awards for her coverage of Israel, the Palestinian Territories, and the region that has been featured in the Atlantic, USA Today, Newsweek, Foreign Policy, Slate, the Los Angeles Times and others. While working on The Times foreign desk for 6 weeks in the spring of 2018, Shira contributed several news stories. She is currently back in Tel Aviv working as a freelancer.

Lucinda Elliott

Lucinda Elliott

Lucinda Elliott was the recipient of the 2016 Outward-Bound Richard Beeston Bursary. Born in 1990, Lucinda has dual British and Uruguayan nationality. Leaving Bristol University with first class joint honours in Spanish and Portuguese, Lucinda began working for the FT immediately after graduation, first in their emerging markets research service, FT Confidential, then writing about finance and business across Latin America. She live blogged key events for the paper including the Brexit vote and the Chilcot Inquiry. While on The Times bursary in the spring of 2017 Lucinda spent six weeks in Venezuela reporting on the political and social upheaval that resulted from hyperinflation, acute recession, and the deeply unpopular government of Nicolas Maduro. She had 9 pieces published in the paper during her time on the bursary and more recently has reported for the paper from Uruguay as a freelancer.

In the spring of 2017 Lucinda travelled to Venezuela on the RBB reporting on the political and social upheaval that resulted from hyperinflation, acute recession, and the deeply unpopular government of Nicolás Maduro. She had 9 pieces published in the paper during her time on the bursary and continues to write regularly for the foreign desk.

Linah Alsaafin

Linah Alsaafin

Linah Alsaafin was the 2016 Incoming Richard Beeston Bursary winner. A Palestinian journalist, she was born in the U.K. in 1990, and returned to Ramallah with her family when she was 13 years old as the second Intifada drew to a close. Her first piece of journalism was published when she was still an undergraduate studying for a degree in English at Bir Zeit University on the West Bank. She went on to become the youngest editor of a Palestinian local news website. After obtaining a Master's degree in Middle Eastern politics from SOAS in 2014, Linah worked at the London-based Middle East Eye website for a year and a half before returning to the West Bank to work as a freelance reporter for The Arab Weekly. While working on The Times foreign desk for 6 weeks during the spring of 2017, Linah wrote several news stories and she subsequently has also contributed to the TLS. She is currently working as a producer at Al Jazeera in Qatar.

Samira Shackle

Samira Shackle

Samira Shackle was the 2015 recipient of the outward-bound Richard Beeston Bursary. She is a London-based freelance journalist who writes on politics, terrorism, and gender, with a particular focus on the Indian Subcontinent. After graduating from Oxford with a first class honours degree in 2008, she spent nearly four years as a staff writer at the New Statesman, then was based in Pakistan (2012-13) before returning to London where she specialises in long-form reports, and works part-time as deputy editor for the New Humanist magazine.

In the spring of 2016 Samira travelled to Pakistan on the RBB to explore the rise of ISIS in South Asia, with a particular focus on the role of women. She also covered a range of other stories, including Chinese investment in Balochistan and a major terror attack in Lahore.

In 2018, Samira won the Portobello Prize for Narrative Non-Fiction, for a book proposal about the ordinary citizens of Karachi. She is currently working on this book, which is due for publication in 2020.

Elhanan Miller

Elhanan Miller

The recipient of the 2015 incoming Richard Beeston Bursary was Jerusalem-born Elhanan Miller.

Fluent in English, Hebrew, Arabic and French, Elhanan began his career as a linguist and translator, before becoming a journalist and working as the Arab Affairs correspondent at The Times of Israel. Elhanan's opinion pieces have also been published in The Wall Street Journal, Haaretz and the Jerusalem Post and he regularly appears as a commentator on Israeli politics for Al-Jazeera, BBC, CTV News Canada and Sky News Arabia. He has participated in interreligious dialogue groups with Palestinians in Jerusalem and interned with Knesset Member Colette Avital (Labour) as a Legacy Heritage fellow. In 2012 he completed research on the political aspects of the Palestinian refugee issue as an Atkin Fellow at Kings College, London.

During his time on The Times foreign desk in early 2016, Elhanan was able to put his language skills to work by travelling to Calais to interview young people in the Jungle Refugee camp.

Ayman Oghanna

Ayman Oghanna

The 2014 recipient of the outward-bound Richard Beeston Bursary was London-born Ayman Oghanna. Half-British, half-Iraqi, Ayman is a multi-media journalist who specialises in the Middle East. After earning an M.A. in International Relations and Middle East Studies from the University of St Andrews, he studied journalism at Columbia University in New York. Since beginning work as a journalist in 2009 Ayman’s stories, photographs and videos have appeared in many publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Sunday Telegraph, Newsweek, National Geographic, VICE and Al Jazeera America. While on the RB Bursary in the spring of 2015, he reported from Baghdad and Ramadi.

Abeer Ayyoub

Abeer Ayyoub

The 2014 winner of the incoming Richard Beeston Bursary was 28 year old Abeer Ayyoub from Gaza City. Having received a BA in English literature from The Islamic University of Gaza in 2010, she began her career as a human rights consultant at Human Rights Watch the following year. Since 2012 she has been working as a journalist, based in Gaza, for Haaretz newspaper, Al-Monitor and freelancing for other international media outlets including The Guardian and The Mirror. She has been working part-time as a researcher for GISHA, the Legal Centre for (Palestinian) Freedom of Movement an Israeli NGO, and studying Hebrew as well as working towards a master's degree in International Relations.

Abeer had nine pieces published in The Times during her internship in the spring of 2015 and she has continued to write for the paper now that she is back in Gaza.