Alumni Research Grant
Terms of Reference:

The Institute of Ismaili Studies has established an Alumni Research Grant. The purpose of this grant is to support alumni who wish to pursue further research, present research papers at academic conferences (not including papers that are based on research undertaken during their studies at the IIS), publish articles, or undertake field studies in areas of relevance to the IIS.

The Alumni Research Grant will be awarded based review of applications. The deadlines for applications will be the 15th of March, June and September of each year. All applications received during the preceding quarter will be reviewed collectively by an Alumni Grant Committee, appointed by the IIS and comprising four of its scholars. The Alumni Grant Committee will communicate their recommendations to the IIS Co-Director who will make the final decision. Under normal circumstances, the decision will be communicated within two weeks following the deadline for each quarter (i.e., by 30th March, June and September).

Each grant would be for an amount not exceeding £1,000 for field research/publication and not exceeding £500 for presenting papers at academic conferences. Please note that any individual who has received a grant is not eligible to re-apply for a period of three years.


  • The award is made towards the named alumnus/na conducting field research, presenting at an academic conference, or publishing.
  • All applications for support to present at a conference must be submitted at least three months prior to the date of the conference. Preference will be given to alumni attending conferences within their region. Please note that the IIS will not consider applications to present papers that are based on research undertaken by the alumnus/na as part of their graduate programme at the IIS.
  • The alumnus/na is required to supply the Alumni Relations Unit with a detailed abstract/report, along with an assessment of the contribution made by the alumnus/na, together with a final statement of expenditure, within one month of the conclusion of the project/conference.
Since its creation, grants have been awarded to the following  members of the alumni body:
2015 Recipients
Seema Lalani, Class of 2010
Presented a paper entitled “Investigating Children’s Spiritual Development by Using Narratives in Religious Education Classrooms” at the Fifth International Conference on Religion and Spirituality in Society, Berkeley, USA. 
Shelina Adatia, Class of 2014
Presented a paper entitled “Toques and Tea, or Chappals and Chai: Muslims, Media, Masti, and Meaning”, at the 2015 conference of the British Research Association for Islamic Studies (BRAIS), London. 
Tanya Panjwani, Class of 2012
Conducted the second phase of her field work which was centred on Sufi poetry in Pakistan, particularly Sindhinfo-icon and Punjab. 
Zohra Surani, Class of 2014
Presented a paper entitled “Facilitating Reflexivity: A Study Promoting the Use of Discussion and Debate in the context of Mumbai” in the Annual Conference of International Journal of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Medical School, USA. 
2014 Recipients
Dagikhudo Dagiev, Class of 2003
Conducted field research in Tajikistan to collect materials relating to Ismaili Studies for the Bibliographical Studies of Russian, Soviet and post-Soviet scholars
Azmeena A Goawala, Class of 2010
Presented a paper entitledUnderstanding the ways and the impact of students making personal connection with the content of the curriculum in Pakistani Religious Education context” at the International Journal of Arts & Sciences (IJAS) Conference for Academic Disciplines, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA
Abdulmamad Iloliev, Class of 2002
Presented a paper entitledMigration and Racism: A Case Study of Tajik Labour Migrants in Russia” at a Joint Regional Conference of the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies and the Central Eurasian Studies Society, Astana, Kazakhstan
Munir Jaria, Class of 2012
Presented a paper entitled International Islam On The Crossroads Of Religio-Cultural Appropriation: Case Of Nairuzi (Mwaka Koga) And Pomeri Chid (Pamiri House)” at the International Journal of Arts and Science Conference, Ryerson University's International Learning Center, Toronto, Canada
Shahida Khan, Class of 2010
Presented a paper entitled An Investigation of the Impact of Active Learning Approach within an Ismaili Religious Education Class in Karachi, Pakistan” at the International Journal of Arts and Sciences Conference for Academic Disciplines, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA
Parvez Kotadia, Class of 2012
Presented a paper entitled Use of Problem-Based Learning Approach to teach Islamic Ethics: An Action Research in the Indian context” at the International Academic Forum, International Conference on Social Sciences, Brighton, UK
Nacim Pak-Shiraz, Class of 2002
Presented a paper entitled Constructions of Masculinity in Iranian Cinema” at the Tenth Biennial Iranian Studies Conference, International Society for Iranian Studies, Montreal, Canada
Muzaffar Zoolshoev, Class of 2004
Conducted research to identify archives and material relating to the Panjebhais in the state library and regional archives in Tajikistan
2013 Recipients
Karim Javan, Class of 2004
Conducted research to identify Ismaili texts and manuscripts in library collections in Iran
Anisha Lakhani, Class of 2011
Presented a paper entitled Kohlberg in Mumbai: A Study of Cultural Implications of the Moral Reasoning of Indian Secondary Religious Education Students” at the Joint National Conference, Centre for Islamic Studies, Baton Rouge, USA
2012 Recipients
Sultonbek Aksakolov, Class of 2002
Conducted field research on the Soviet state policy towards Islam (Ismailis) 1941-1991 in archives and libraries in Russia and Tajikistan
Karim Mitha, Class of 2011
Presented a paper entitled A Place Where Everybody Knows Your Name: The Role of the Faith-Based Community in Developing Mental Health Resiliencies amongst Diasporic and Post-Diasporic Muslim Youth in Australia” at the Health and Mental Resilience Conference, Krakow, Poland
Presented a paper entitled “The View ‘Down Under’: Australian Ismaili Muslim Youth and the Quest for Identity” at the International Conference ‘Interculturalism, Meaning and Identity’, Lisbon, Portugal.  
2011 Recipients
Shezeleen Kanji, Class of 2011
Presented a paper entitled Addressing Challenges of Globalisation Faced by Ismaili Muslim Students of Gujarati Ancestry in Toronto, Canada” at the Gujarat Studies Association 4th Biennial Conference, Dubai, UAE
Dr Khurshid Sana Khan, Class of 2002
Presented a paper entitled Community Connectedness and School Choice of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) Ismailis in Karachi: A Story of Success or Encapsulation?” at the European Society for Central Asian Studies Conference, University of Cambridge, UK
Presented a paper entitled Social Capital and Community in the Lives and Education of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) Ismailis in Karachi” at the 4th International Social Science Research Society Conference, Izmir, Turkey
Sharaf Oshurbekov, Class of 2005
Conducted doctoral research on Ismaili Muslim Shrines in Tajikistan  
2010 Recipients
Sehreen Noorinfo-icon Ali, Class of 2006
Participation in the Concordia Forum in Spain
Dr Zuhal Avzalshoeva, Class of 2005
Participation in the International Summer School at Osnabruck University, Germany
Aziz Ali Dad, Class of 2003
Conducted research on material culture across Gilgit-Baltistan focussing on music, Pakistan
Nazmin Halani, Class of 1998
Conducted doctoral research in ethnographic field work to investigate the religious nurture of Muslim children growing up within mixed faith families in the UK
Dr Anil Khamis, Class of 1992
Participation in Action Research study on quality of education in Puntland, Somalia
Dr Miriam Ali-de-Unzaga, Class of 2000
Presented a paper entitled Travelling Motifs and Motifs of Travel: Andalusi and Fatimid Textiles (Two Case Studies) at the International Medieval Congress, Leeds, UK
Presented a paper entitledBridging the Gap between Muslims, Christians and Jews: Andalusi Textiles” at the Third World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies, Barcelona, Spain
Dr Amal Sachedina, Class of 2000
Conducted doctoral research at the British Library (India Office Records) and the National Archives in London
2009 Recipients
Dr Karim Gillani, Class of 2003
Presented a paper entitled New Sufi Trends in the Popular Music of India and Pakistan” at the 54th Annual Conference of the Society for Ethnomusicology, New Mexico
Dr Otambek Mastibekov, Class of 2002
Presented a paper entitled The Leadership and authority of Ismailis: A case study of the Badakhshani Ismaili community in Tajikistan” at the Central Asia and Caucasus Studies Conference, University of St Andrews, Scotland
Mehmonsho Sharifov, Class of 2003
Conducted research in Tajikistan
Application Process:

Please send the following information to the IIS address by post or via email (

  • Current CV
  • Completed application form
  • Details of methodology used along with a detailed abstract of the paper (1000 words).
  • Any other information relevant to the project, conference, publication or field trip – please include acceptance letters and/or publication contracts (if relevant).

Please note: Applications submitted without the above mentioned documentation will not be considered by the Alumni Grant Committee. Completed applications must arrive at the IIS no later than 5 pm of the deadline date for each quarter. Late applications will be considered in the following quarter. Please plan your application submission accordingly. 

To download the application form, click below: