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Center of Islamic Studies at Cambridge University

The Centre of Islamic Studies at the University of Cambridge aims to promote a constructive and critical understanding of the role of Islam and Muslims in wider society in the current global age.

The Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre of Islamic Studies is at the forefront of research and public engagement on the role of Islam in wider society. Working with partners across the University of Cambridge and beyond, from academic institutes to civil society organisations and the government, the Centre has developed a reputation for enriching public debate and knowledge through high-profile and innovative research projects about Islam in the current global age.

The Centre’s commitment to high-quality research and public outreach builds on a well-established foundation at Cambridge. It was established in 2008 as the successor to the Centre of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, which was founded in 1960 by Professor Arthur Arberry. That Centre fostered an interest in the Middle East and in Islam among generations of Cambridge scholars, students and the broader public.

The Centre of Islamic Studies is firmly rooted in this twin tradition of research and public engagement. Supported by a generous donation from Alwaleed Philanthropies, it is committed to translating its research into high-quality informative outreach initiatives to policy makers and the public, and makes all of its publications available online to download for free.

The Centre is currently pursuing research projects into Muslim perspectives on end-of-life care in the UK, and into Muslim offenders’ experiences of the criminal justice system. The first explores the variety of experiences of end-of-life care from faith perspectives, and the way that different forms of knowledge, authority and trust interact in decision-making. The second explores how experiences of the Criminal Justice System in England shape identity, belonging, and opportunities for substantive citizenship, and how offenders and ex-offenders reimagine and navigate their own selfhood in relation to society and the state.

The Centre’s other initiatives include contributions to graduate and undergraduate teaching on the Islam in the contemporary world; annual symposia of postgraduate work on Islam in society in the UK and Europe; educational outreach to schools; regular seminars on political developments following the uprisings that began in the Arab world in 2011; and the provision of Arabic teaching to graduate and undergraduate students across the University of Cambridge whose research interests include the Arab and Islamic world. Previous work includes a project on “contextualising Islam in Britain” which won plaudits from the House of Commons culture committee; a research project on anti-Muslim hate crime; and reports on conversion to Islam which generated considerable public and media interest.

The Centre of Islamic Studies has developed a global reach through its activities and partnerships and in particular its ‘Cambridge in…’ series. This initiative disseminates the results of its research projects and explores new perspectives on Islamic studies through a series of joint events with international universities around the world. The Centre also boasts an international fellowship of respected scholars, who contribute to its research and outreach activities.

Studentships at the Centre of Islamic Studies

Every year the Centre of Islamic Studies invites applications for graduate research studentships whose research is connected to the theme of contemporary Islam in the global age. It particularly welcomes applications from graduate students whose research is connected to Muslims in the UK or Europe and the current work of the Centre. The proposed research may be at Masters or PhD level, and may be in any discipline.

The studentships will make a contribution towards maintenance costs and are likely to be in the range of £4,500 to £14,000. In order to be considered, candidates must be enrolled in a Department or Faculty of the University of Cambridge and their course of research must begin or continue in the new academic year. Successful candidates will be required to take part in the seminars and research and outreach activities of the Centre of Islamic Studies.

Academic and administrative staff at the Alwaleed Centre

Professor Yasir Suleiman: Director

Professor Yasir Suleiman is the Director of the Centre of Islamic Studies, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Sa’id Professor of Modern Arabic Studies, and a Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge.


Dr Paul Anderson: Assistant Director

Dr Paul Anderson is the Assistant Director of the Centre of Islamic Studies, Prince Alwaleed Lecturer in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Darwin College, Cambridge.

Contact: psa27@cam.ac.uk

Dr Ryan Williams: Research Associate

Dr Ryan Williams is a Research Associate at the Centre of Islamic Studies

Contact: rjw202@cam.ac.uk

Dr Mehrunisha Suleman: Research Associate

Dr Mehrunisha Suleman is a Research Associate at the Centre of Islamic Studies.

Contact: ms520@cam.ac.uk

Shahla Suleiman: Teaching and Outreach Associate

Shahla Awad Suleiman is the Teaching and Outreach Associate at the Centre of Islamic Studies

Contact: sa654@cam.ac.uk

Committee of Management

·       Professor Martin Millett (Chair)

·       Dr Christine van Ruymbeke

·       Professor David Abulafia

·       Professor Charles Melville

·       HRH Princess Lamia bint Majed

·       Ms. Nauf Al Rawaf

·       Professor Yasir Suleiman CBE (Director)

Contact the Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre of Islamic Studies

University of Cambridge
Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Sidgwick Avenue
Cambridge, CB3 9DA

Telephone: +44(0)1223 335103
Fax: +44(0)1223 335110

Email: cis@cis.cam.ac.uk
Website: www.cis.cam.ac.uk

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