Scholarships and Student Funding

The Hugh Goddard PhD Studentship

The HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World at the University of Edinburgh is offering The Hugh Goddard PhD Studentship in Inter-Religious Relations in a Globalised Muslim World, for a January 2022 start. The studentship is named in honour of the Founding Director of the Edinburgh Alwaleed Centre in recognition of his ground-breaking work on Islam and inter-religious relations.

This is a fixed term, three-year studentship, ideal for students who have recently completed a Master’s degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. Politics and International Relations, Area Studies, Islamic Studies, Religious Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, Economics, Human Geography).

The theme of the research is contemporary interactions between Muslim religious actors, or Muslim communities more generally (be they the majority population or a minority), and other religious or non-religious actors or communities. We are particularly looking for projects that can link up local community dynamics to global, international or transnational actors, ideas or practices circulating in the contemporary context. The empirical cases and themes of the study are for you to chose and define. 

The supervisory team will be led by Professor Frederic Volpi at the Edinburgh Alwaleed Centre with additional supervisors from other Schools and Departments with relevant expertise on the selected research project. The award of the Studentship is conditional on the successful candidate applying and being accepted onto a relevant PhD programme in the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences.


The studentship will cover the required tuition fee and an annual stipend £15,690 for the 2021-2022 academic year, increasing in line with UKRI rates.


The award is open to UK and Overseas students commencing their studies in the 2021-2022 academic year, starting their programme of study in January 2022.  The successful candidate will be expected to be Edinburgh-based and, in addition to undertaking their research, contribute to the full range of the Centre's activities, including its outreach programme.  Subject to satisfactory progress, the Studentship will be awarded for a maximum of three years.

Essential qualifications

  • A UK 2:1 Honours degree and a Master’s degree in a relevant discipline, or their international equivalents
  • Proven research skills
  • Ability to undertake research which may involve both the study of texts and engaging with individuals and communities
  • English proficiency: IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module) or TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Ability to work to deadlines
  • Diplomacy, including religious, cultural and political sensitivity

Desirable qualifications

  • Knowledge of a relevant regional language
  • Experience in explaining research to a wide variety of audiences
  • Experience in designing material for websites
  • Experience of working with the media


Applications should be submitted via email to by 5pm BST on Friday 3rd September 2021 and should include the following:

  1. A one page covering letter
  2. A curriculum vitae (maximum 2 pages)
  3. A research proposal of 2000 words (for guidelines see here)
  4. A sample paper of 2000 words (this can be excerpts from a thesis, article, blog post, etc.)
  5. Two references
  6. Academic transcripts

Candidates invited for interview will be required to make a 15-minute presentation on their proposed research project and also outline the wider contribution which they would hope to make to the Alwaleed Centre.


Shortlisted candidates will be contacted within 3 weeks of the application deadline. Applicants who have not heard from the Centre by this time can assume that their application was unsuccessful.

Informal enquiries may be directed to Mr Tom Lea at, General Manager of the Edinburgh Alwaleed Centre.

Further Information

The HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World is an interdisciplinary research centre at the University of Edinburgh associated to the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies.

The Edinburgh Alwaleed Centre is committed to encouraging a better understanding of contemporary Islam and the globalised Muslim world through cutting edge research and innovative outreach projects. The Edinburgh Centre is part of a unique network of Centres at prestigious universities around the world; four in the UK and the USA (Edinburgh, Cambridge, Harvard, Georgetown) and two in the Middle East (Cairo and Beirut). For more information see here.