The Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies investigates the plurality, changeability, and global connectedness of Muslim cultures and societies. The area of study includes Muslim societies in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, as well as Muslim communities in Europe and North America. The Graduate School examines, in a systematic and comparative way, concepts, practices, and institutions variously understood as Islamic. Special attention is given to relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, as well as forms of inter- and intra-cultural communication.
To structure research, the Graduate School is organised into five research areas: Plural traditions; Travelling traditions; Rethinking social order; Governance contested; Sacred topographies.
To promote interdisciplinary research, the Graduate School aims to systematically connect cultural and social studies in each research area. Its study programme also addresses a number of cross-cutting themes underlying all research areas and the doctoral projects pursued within their framework.
Funded by the Excellence Initiative of the German Federal and State Governments, the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies will admit a maximum of fifteen new students to its next doctoral programme, which begins on 1 October. Up to ten of these students will receive a grant from the Graduate School; the other candidates will be supported in their search for funding.
The formal prerequisite for application to the programme is a university honours degree reflecting a level of attainment that is above average (typically an M.A., or diploma degree, with a grade of “very good”; with ranking, where applicable). The degree should be in one of the disciplines represented at the Graduate School (see List of PIs with an overview of their specialist fields and areas of research). Candidates are expected to submit an outline of their proposed dissertation project (maximum 6 pages, with a summary of no more than half a page), to include a short description of the topic, the current state of research, and its theoretical and methodological orientation, as well as a preliminary work schedule and an indication of whether the work is to be conducted via archival or field research.
As English will be the primary language of communication, students are expected to have advanced English-language proficiency. In addition, students must demonstrate proficiency in the language(s) relevant to their projects. It is assumed that language skills can be improved over the course of the doctoral programme.
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The Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies awards ten scholarships per year for the three-year programme of study. The award may be extended after the first year, contingent upon positive evalution of a fir st chapter of the dissertation.
Scholarships are approximately EU1400 per month.
Students admitted to the programme who cannot be offered a scholarship by the Graduate School will receive administrative assistance in applying for third-party funding.