Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Visiting Scholars

Visiting ScholarsThe Center welcomes visiting scholars from all academic disciplines whose work focuses primarily on the study of Islam and/or Muslim societies/communities, past and present. The purpose of the visiting scholars program is to enable our academic guests to make substantive progress on a personal research project while contributing to the scholarly life of the Center and George Mason University. The Center emphasizes the study of Islam as a global tradition. We therefore particularly welcome applications from scholars whose work helps to contextualize Islam as a world culture, work that contributes to current focus areas in the Center’s portfolio of projects and programs, or projects that introduce research innovation or help the Center to establish institutional collaborations that advance its research agenda.

The Center hosts visiting scholars for either a semester or a full academic year. Under some circumstances a visiting scholar position may be renewable for a second year. Our visiting scholar positions are offered on a non-compensated basis. It is preferred that scholars obtain institutional funding during their residency. International scholars must provide a financial guarantee based on minimum maintenance figures needed to meet basic living expenses in the US for themselves and any dependents. Subject to availability, scholars will be provided with office space (may be shared), a computer and local telephone access. Scholars will also be issued a university identity card that will provide access to campus facilities and libraries and enable them to use other libraries within the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC). Scholars are expected to cover all travel and living expenses for themselves and any dependents, including local accommodation, transportation, and health insurance.

It is expected that during their time at the Center visiting scholars will be engaged primarily in research and writing on the project specified in their application. Scholars should plan to be resident at the Center and work regularly from its offices for the majority of their visiting period. Over the course of their time at the Center, scholars will be expected to give a guest lecture based on their research, contribute a short article to one of the Center’s online publications, and participate regularly in the intellectual life of the Center.

We welcome applications from scholars of all nationalities. It is normally expected that scholars will hold a PhD in a field of study commonly associated with Islamic Studies (such as history, religious studies, anthropology, sociology, or political science) although scholars with other academic backgrounds may also be considered. Under certain exceptional circumstances, the Center will consider applications from doctoral students (appointed as ‘Dissertation Fellows’) working on dissertations whose subject matter would benefit from time spent at George Mason University or in the Washington DC metropolitan area. All visiting scholars are expected to possess professional competency in the English language and to be able to interact and communicate with members of the Mason community about the substance of their work.

Scholars wishing to be considered for a Visiting Scholar position at the Center should submit the following materials to the Center’s Assistant Director, Ann Birkelbach (abirkelb@gmu.edu) by the below deadlines:

   - Cover letter detailing candidate background and interest in visiting the Center/GMU; this cover letter should specify as precisely as possible the range of dates a scholar proposes to be in residence at the Center

   - Full academic CV

   - Research proposal of 3-5 pages, detailing:

  • Nature and significance of research to be conducted while visiting the Center
  • Outline of work to be completed while in residence at the Center and expected outcomes/deliverables at culmination of visit

   - Two letters of reference, one of which should come—if possible—from a GMU faculty member affiliated with the Center

Application Deadlines: March 15 for Fall applications, September 15 for Spring applications

Applications are reviewed and assessed by the Center’s academic Steering Committee and visiting scholar candidates will be notified in a timely fashion.

The Center’s Director, Huseyin Yilmaz, welcomes informal inquires from interested scholars, as do the Center’s affiliated faculty. His bio and contact information can be found here on the Center’s website.

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