CFA Deadline: June 6, Doctoral Scholarship, Islamic Studies, Scotland

An Elphinstone PhD Scholarship at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland is being offered for the study of literary paradigms in the biography of Muhammad (Sira) and prophetic tradition (Hadith) . The purpose of this project is to identify, map and analyse literary patterns in Islamic literature concerning the life and image of the Prophet Muhammad. Whereas modern scholarship often applies a historical approach to early Islamic texts concerning the life of the Prophet, a close reading of the Sira and Hadith literature reveals patterns of parallels, contrasts and repetition regarding the Prophet Muhammad’s life. A literary approach to these texts might achieve a broader and deeper understanding of the Islamic texts concerning the Prophet Muhammad and the construction of his image.

This project will aim at:
(a) mapping such patterns;
(b) identifying any underlying messages that they might convey;
(c) identify possible connections between the various patterns, in an attempt to illustrate an infrastructure that underlies the Prophet’s biography;
(d) Seek to identify similar patterns in other genres of early Islam, and / or
(e) in other religious traditions.

For the purpose of a PhD dissertation, it is likely that only one such a pattern should be analyzed.

The research would entail a detailed textual study and analysis of Islamic sources from approximately the 8th–15th centuries, available through libraries around the U.K., for which purpose a good knowledge of the Arabic language is essential.

The successful candidate will enjoy a full fee waiver.

How Do I Apply?

To apply for an Elphinstone PhD Scholarship, you should apply for a PhD place at the University of Aberdeen in the normal way (at, stating:

1. ‘Elphinstone PhD Scholarship’ in the Intended Source of Funding section
2. The name of the lead supervisor in the Name of Proposed Supervisor section
3. The title of the specific research project in the Outline Summary section
4. Candidates should simultaneously register their desire to be considered by emailing the Graduate School Administrator, Ann Marie Johnston, at

The date by which the above should be undertaken is Friday 6 June 2014. Selection will be made on the basis of academic merit.

For further details please contact Dr Zohar Hadromi-Allouche (

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