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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: 4661

About the award

The Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies is seeking applications for two 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 Islamic world. This can cover Anthropology, Archaeology, Gender Studies, History, Islamic Studies, International Relations, Literature, Political Science and other relevant fields.

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 REF2021 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.

We particularly welcome applications from candidates in the Global South.

Exeter offers PhD students exceptional support:

• A teamed approach to supervision combining research expertise from across our disciplines and access to a pastoral tutor

• A dedicated Doctoral College, a single point-of-contact for all programme and practical needs

• Access to a Digital Humanities Lab

• Research and career development opportunities within the Faculty and across the University

• Dedicated study space for HASS postgraduates

• A well-established postgraduate research culture including conferences, seminars and journals

• Funding opportunities for individual research needs

Awards will be granted to the strongest applicants based on an assessment of the applicant’s

• Academic excellence

• Research potential

• Research proposal

• Fit with research environment and supervision team

Applications will be assessed in line with the university’s commitment to supporting equality, diversity and inclusivity in postgraduate research.

Duration and value of award:

The studentship will be for a period of up to 3 years (36 months), dependent on satisfactory progress, and will cover full tuition fees and an annual maintenance grant of £17,668 (2022/23 rate). This studentship also provides additional funds to help with visa fees and health surcharge costs. Successful applicants will need to initially pay the cost of these fees themselves and top-up funding to cover these costs will be provided upon registration with the University.

Entry requirements

You should have 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.

How to apply

To apply,  please click the ‘Apply Now’ button above.

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 11:59pm GMT.Monday 3rd April 2023.

Interviews will be held on Microsoft Teams in May 2023

Please quote reference 4661 on your application and in any correspondence about this studentship.

For general information about this studentship and the application process, please contact 


Application deadline:3rd April 2023
Number of awards:2
Value:UK or International tuition fees and an annual maintenance allowance at current Research Council rate of £17,668 (2022/23 rate) plus additional stipend top-up to help with visa fees and health surcharge costs, where applicable
Duration of award:per year
Contact: PGR Admissions Team