The Mohammed Arkoun Doctoral Scholarship

Dear Colleagues, 

Please note the following announcement of a new Doctoral Scholarship in honour of the late Professor Mohammed Arkoun. 

The Mohammed Arkoun Doctoral Scholarship

In recognition of the late Professor Mohammed Arkoun’s contribution to the the field of Islamic Studies and allied disciplines, the Institute of Ismaili Studies has established a new scholarship entitled “The Mohammed Arkoun Doctoral Scholarship”.

Mohammed Arkoun (1928-2010), originally from Algeria, was for many years Professor of History of Islamic Thought at the Sorbonne University in Paris. He was an original voice in this field, developing a critical approach to the history of Islam as well as contemporary evaluations of the field in both theological and academic writings on the subject. In particular, he advocated joint use of historical research and concepts from modern linguistics and social sciences with the aim of creating a new discipline of an anthropological history of Islam. He saw this as a further means to a unified science of religion embracing at least all faiths of ‘Mediterranean’ origin as well as modern secular ideologies, which in his view deserved an equally critical examination.

These ideas were disseminated through his many writings, lectures and informal addresses and communication. Mohammed Arkoun was also a keen contributor to practical projects aiming at cultural and intellectual inquiry about the Muslim world. Pre-eminent among these was the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. He also taught at the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London, of which he was one of the Governors for many years, up to the time of his death.

The doctoral scholarship will be awarded once every four years for a four-year period to a graduate student pursuing research in the field of Islamic Studies, preferably in areas and on questions which are of importance to Professor Arkoun’s work. These include (but are not limited to):

-simultaneous attention to historical and modern issues in Islamic thought and society.

-harnessing the tools of the social sciences and humanities (notably, linguistics, sociology and anthropology) to the study of thought and culture in Muslim societies;

-consideration of theoretical frameworks for a critical understanding of religious thought and imaginaire in Muslims communities and other ‘Societies of the Book’.

This Scholarship will cover both tuition fees and personal expenses , up to the amount of GBP 25,000 per annum, for a maximum of 4 academic years.

Deadline for applications: 15 July 2012

Applications should be sent, in English, to Dr Omar Alí-de-Unzaga at with the following documentation in PDF format:

– covering letter;
– doctoral research proposal (maximum 2000 words);
– applicant’s current CV;
– a writing sample (between 10-25 pages)
– letter of acceptance from the university where the applicant intends to study.

In addition, the applicant must arrange for three academic reference letters to be sent directly to the above address. Applicants who have already commenced their doctoral studies will be required to submit two academic reference letters AND a letter of good standing from the applicant’s principal academic supervisor.


Omar Alí-de-Unzaga
Academic Coordinator, Quranic Studies
The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London

Published by

Nassef Manabilang Adiong

Nassef is the founder of Co-IRIS (International Relations and Islamic Studies Research Cohort), PHISO (Philippine International Studies Organization), DSRN (Decolonial Studies Research Network), and BRLN (Bangsamoro Research and Legal Network). He works on interdisciplinary research between Islam and International Relations and explores the Bangsamoro society as he heads the Policy Research and Legal Services (PRLS) of the Bangsamoro Parliament. Visit for more details.