The first Seminar for the IIS Doctoral Scholarship recipients was held in London at The Institute of Ismaili Studies on 23 -24 October. The Seminar provided a platform for the Institute’s scholarship students to network, share knowledge and information, and learn more about the work of the IIS and how they can further contribute to its work.

Twelve scholarship recipients who are at various stages of their doctoral studies gave their colleagues an overview on their individual research areas, whilst connecting with other recipients and IIS scholars who had an interest or level of expertise in the field.  Subjects covered by the presenters included alternate views of ethics in Islam, hadith literature, study on the recent history of Salamiyya, places of worship, and artistic and musical expressions.  

Dr Omar Ali-de-Unzaga, Deputy Head of the Department of Academic Research and Publications and Coordinator of the Scholarships and Fellowship Programmes, commented:

“Bringing our PhD scholarship recipients together has highlighted the wide range of topics covered in their research. This includes history, manuscript studies, anthropology, ethnomusicology, and literature. The geographical spectrum reflects the breadth of interest of the IIS, from Syria to Central Asia, from Iran to the Sub-Continent.”

Many of the scholarship recipients developed their interest in Islamic Studies at the IIS, whilst undertaking the Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities, before specialising in a specific aspect of Islamic Studies. 

The seminar was hosted by the Department of Academic Research and Publications, in collaboration with the Alumni Relations Unit, and facilitated by Dr Ali-de-Unzaga. It is expected that this event will be the first of many opportunities for scholarship recipients to showcase their research.

The Institute of Ismaili Studies Doctoral Scholarship Programme was established in 1997 and has since granted forty-two scholarships. Twenty-seven of these recipients have completed their PhDs and have established careers in academia, not-for-profit and media sectors, to name a few.  Some scholarship recipients have continued their academic career with the IIS and are playing integral roles in furthering the research agenda of the Institute.