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Funding and scholarships for students

Award details

Al-Qasimi PhD Studentship in Arab and Islamic Studies, Middle East Politics, Ethno-Political Studies, Kurdish Studies or Palestine Studies Ref: 5051

About the award

Duration 3-year studentship
Funding source University of Exeter Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Funding  UK or International tuition fees and an annual maintenance allowance at current Research Council rate of £18,622 (2023/24 rate) plus additional stipend top-up to help with visa fees and health surcharge costs, where applicable.

Location Streatham Campus

Application deadline 8 April 2024

Research Project Summary We are looking for PhD proposals in humanities and social sciences with reference to the Middle East and the Islamic world.

Project Description

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 £18,622 (2023/24 rate). This studentship also provides additional funds to help with visa fees and health surcharge costs, incurred for the purposes of starting the funded research programme. 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

Applicants should have at a minimum a good first degree (at least 2.1, or international equivalent) in a relevant field of the humanities or social sciences, and have obtained, or are currently working towards a Master's degree at Merit level, or international equivalent, in a relevant discipline. Evidence of relevant professional expertise can also be taken into consideration.

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.

Applicants must have identified and approached a potential supervisor and have supervision agreed in principle. To help find an appropriate supervisor please look at the staff pages of departmental webpages or use the Research Expertise search function on our Postgraduate Study pages:

• Applicants would be expected to start their studies in September 2024.
• Recipients are expected to commit to engagement beyond their doctoral studies through contributing to the research environment of their discipline and the Faculty by participating in research activities, accessing skills development training and opportunities and career development etc. Continued funding would be dependent on satisfactory evidence of this engagement having taken place.

Please note that these studentships are only open to applicants who will start their study in September 2024, not those who have already started.

Applications will only be supported for campus-based programmes as this studentship is not open to Distance-Learning programmes.


How to apply

To apply,  please click the ‘Apply Now’ button above. You will be asked to submit the following by 8 April 2024:

• 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. You should also name which programme of study you are applying for.
• A Research proposal of 1500-2000 words (exclusive of bibliography), with supervisors agreed in principle
• One research paper of your choice (e.g. your undergrade or master’s dissertation, a seminar paper)
• A detailed CV
• Proof of academic track record (transcripts/certificates)
• Two references, at least one to be an academic reference
• Proof of your English language proficiency, if relevant

Please submit all documents, apart from your references and degree transcripts, as one combined file and submit this against the research proposal section of the application form.

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

Please note that we will seek a supporting statement from named prospective supervisors for all shortlisted candidates as part of the final assessment process.

Please quote reference 5051 on your application and in any correspondence about this studentship.

Reference information
It is your responsibility to ensure that your referees email their references to, as we will not make requests for references directly; you must arrange for them to be submitted by 8 April 2024.  Please note that applications with missing documentation will not progress to shortlisting.
References should be in the form of a letter. Referees must email their references to us from their institutional email accounts. 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 8 April 2024, 11:59pm GMT.

Interviews will be held on Microsoft Teams in May 2024


Application deadline:8th April 2024
Value:UK or International tuition fees and an annual maintenance allowance at current Research Council rate of £18,622 (2023/24 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