According to Dr Zulfikar A Hirji, Co-ordinator of PhD Scholarship Programme, “the expertise that can be gained from doctoral studies should not be regarded as knowledge for the benefit of academicians alone. This programme has and will continue to produce expertise that can assist human societies generally, and be used to critically examine the particular challenges facing Muslim societies and assist in addressing some of these challenges.”

Last year’s recipients, who include Maryam Rezaee (York University), Karim Gilani (University of Alberta, Canada) and Otambek Mastibekov (School of Oriental and African Studies - SOAS), are making good progress in their respective programmes and have presented papers at various professional conferences this past year.

Former recipients of the PhD Scholarship Programme have shared interests in the study of Islam and Muslim societies, within the disciplinary areas of Philosophy, Education, Anthropology and Law. Five recipients, Zulfikar Hirji, Omar Alí-de-Unzaga, Fahmida Suleman, Amin Mahdavi and Laila Halani have completed their doctoral studies and are working in their respective areas of research interests. Some of these recipients have also joined the Institute.

For more information on doctoral scholarships as well as previous recipients of these programmes, please visit the Doctoral Scholarship Programme page. The dissertation writing and the Zahid Ali scholarships are currently accepting applications for the next award cycle; the deadline for receipt of applications for both scholarships is October 15th 2005.

Zoulfia Achourmamadova will conduct her DPhil research at The University of Oxford’s Department of Educational Studies where she will explore the process of transition in education in Tajikistan. She will focus on the aspects of policy reforms and development, with a particular reference to the issues of financing and privatisation.

Jamil Kassam will undertake doctoral work in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at The University of Chicago. His research interests include: Islam during the medieval period, particularly Ismaili history and thought, Sufism and Shi'ism.

Nourmamdcho Nourmamdchoev will undertake his doctoral studies in the Department of Islamic Studies at The University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). His research will focus on the political and social history of the Ismailis of Badakhshan from the 13th to 19th century.