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Award details

Al-Qasimi PhD Studentship in Arab and Islamic Studies, Islamic Studies, Middle East Politics, Ethno-Political Studies, Kurdish Studies or Palestine Studies. Ref: 4067

About the award

The Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies is seeking applications for three PhD studentships for excellent doctoral students whose area of specialisation fits and complements the research interests of our academics.

We are looking for PhD proposals in humanities and social sciences with reference to the Middle East and the Islamicate world. This can cover Anthropology, Archaeology, Gender Studies, History, Islamic Studies, International Relations, Literature, Political Science and other relevant fields. This year we are especially interested in receiving proposals related to the theme ‘Islam in China’. We also encourage approaches that seek to develop decolonial modes of knowledge production.

The Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies (IAIS) at Exeter is the leading centre of excellence for research in Middle East, Arab and Islamic Studies in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1999 to consolidate existing strengths in the study of the Greater Middle East, the Muslim-majority world, and Islam.

The Institute has the strongest REF2014 results of any Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies department in the UK submitted to the Area Studies Panel, and they establish Exeter as the leader in the field in terms of research quality, impact and environment.

For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Ross Porter.


Entry requirements

You should have or expect to achieve at least a 2:1 Honours degree, or International equivalent, in any relevant humanities or social sciences subject area and will ideally hold or currently be working towards a Master’s degree at Merit level, or international equivalent, in a relevant humanities or social science subject.

Applicants must not already be enrolled on a PhD programme.

If English is not your first language you will need to meet the English language requirements and provide proof of proficiency. Click here for more information and a list of acceptable alternative tests.

Applicants with refugee status are especially welcome to apply.

How to apply

To apply, complete the online form. You will be asked to submit some personal details and upload:

• A detailed CV.

• A covering letter outlining your academic interests, any prior research experience and reasons for wishing to do a PhD in the context of the research interests of the Institute.

• A research proposal (maximum 2,000 words, excluding bibliography) with a clearly defined question and contribution to relevant literature, along with a timeline and overview of relevant methodological and ethical considerations.

For further guidance, see:

• One research paper of your choice (e.g. your undergraduate or master’s dissertation, a seminar paper) – please include this in the same document as your research proposal (it is not possible to upload separate documents in this section).

• Undergraduate and MA transcripts or an interim MA transcript if you are still studying.

• Details of two academic referees.

• Proof of English language proficiency, if relevant.

All application documents must be submitted in English. Certified translated copies of academic qualifications must also be provided.

You must arrange for your referees to email their references to from their institutional email accounts by the application deadline.

Please note that we will not be contacting referees to request references, you must arrange for them to be submitted by you referees. We cannot accept references from personal/private email accounts, unless it is a scanned document on institutional headed paper and signed by the referee).

All documents and references must be received by 8th March 2021, 11:59pm GMT.

Interviews will be held on Microsoft Teams in mid-April 2021.

Please quote reference 4067 on your application and in any correspondence about this studentship.
For general information about this studentship and the application process, please contact



Application deadline:8th March 2021
Number of awards:3
Value:International tuition fees and an annual maintenance allowance at current Research Council rate of £15,285 (for 2020/21 entry) per year
Duration of award:per year
Contact: PGR Admissions - 0044 1392 723044