Fellowships & Associateships

2020–2021 Postdoctoral Fellowship Program (funded/partially funded)

2020–2021 Postdoctoral Associateship Program (non-stipendiary)

Advanced Historical Research in Islamic Art and Architecture






The Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture is pleased to invite applications for Harvard-funded Fellowships as well as self-supported (unfunded) Associateships, to conduct advanced historical research in Islamic art, architecture, material culture, and archaeology at Harvard University. AKPIA Fellowships and Associateships are intended preferably, but not exclusively, for overseas scholars from Muslim countries. Our program positions do not support professional design, conservation, or urban development projects, nor are they intended for research travel. AKPIA Fellows and Associates are expected to be in residence, except for one or two short research-related trips. Please note—we offer unfunded Associate positions, and a limited number of fully funded (or partially funded) Fellowships. We will consider applications of scholars who can provide partial funding, or who have no other outside funding. Application proposals may be for up to an entire academic year in duration (9 months), with a minimum of one semester (3 months).

AKPIA Fellowship and Associateship positions are full-time, immersion research appointments, to result in a lecture delivered to the AKPIA community, and a submission to the journal Muqarnas: An Annual on the Visual Cultures of the Islamic World (published by Brill). AKPIA Fellows and Associates are expected to meet with the Director of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, to discuss their research and to consider potential submission topics for publication. We do not allow scholars from taking on any other major responsibilities during their time at Harvard, including any teaching jobs. AKPIA Fellows and Associates are expected to be active participants in the academic life of our program at Harvard University. They are encouraged to attend lectures hosted by AKPIA and HAA (History of Art and Architecture department), and to meet with faculty, students and other visiting scholars.

We welcome applications both from senior scholars and from recent graduates. AKPIA Fellows and Associates have an affiliation with Harvard University's Department of History of Art and Architecture (HAA). They are free to pursue their own research; they are expected to present a public lecture on their research project as part of the AKPIA lecture series A Forum for Islamic Art and Architecture; they are also expected to submit an article based on the research at Harvard for consideration by the editor for publication in Muqarnas. AKPIA Fellows and Associates have access to all Harvard University libraries, museums, and facilities; they are also welcome to audit Harvard seminars, if they so choose.


Click here for a list of previous visiting Fellows and Associates, and their topics of research.


Applicants must have a doctoral degree (PhD, DPhil, or equivalent). A solid command of written and spoken English is required (the AKPIA lecture will be delivered in English). Fellows and Associates must remain in Cambridge for the duration of the appointment.

Application materials must be submitted via email in a single message; the Committee will not consider incomplete applications or applications submitted after the deadline: April 1, 2020. (Please note that, because of the ongoing COVID-19 Coronavirus situation, hard copies to be delivered by mail services will experience delays; if you have already submitted your application materials this way, email
agakhan@fas.harvard.edu immediately)

The following materials are required of applicants:
   Completed, signed application form
   Curriculum vitae
   Research proposal, with timeline (for Fellowship applicants, please include a budget proposal)
   Two different writing samples of previous research publications
   * Letters of recommendation from two professors or scholars familiar with the applicant's research
   * Original transcripts--when possible--in sealed enveloped from institutions where graduate work was conducted. Please also email scans of original transcripts to ensure they are received by the deadline.

* Letters of recommendation and transcripts may be emailed directly to the Program from the institutions or recommenders (preferred), sent by a professional dossier and credentials service (such as Interfolio), or may be included with the other application materials in their original, sealed envelopes. Letter writers may email their letters directly to agakhan@fas.harvard.edu. All other materials should be submitted together in a single email message.

Materials should be sent to: agakhan@fas.harvard.edu


All application materials must be received by April 1, 2020. Results will be announced by late May.


Please direct any inquires about AKPIA Fellowships and Associateships at Harvard University to agakhan@fas.harvard.edu or 617-495-2355.


AKPIA Fellowships and Associateships

AKPIA Fellows and Associates are scholars given Harvard library and museum access in furtherance of a well-defined, specific research project. These positions enable post-doctoral scholars greater flexibility in carrying out independent research. Fellows and Associates are given access to Harvard's extensive library system as well as the University's museums, and they are given the opportunity to participate in the AKPIA lecture series, A Forum for Islamic Art and Architecture, and departmental symposia.

Residency is required for Fellows and Associates. Applicants who plan to spend a significant amount of time conducting travel research are not encouraged to apply. Fellows and Associates are responsible for finding their own housing; the Program does not provide housing for its scholars, nor does the Program assist with finding or securing lodging.

The maximum duration of Fellowships and Associateships is twelve (12) months. Minimum duration (normally 3 months) may be negotiable depending on each case. The duration of a Fellowship may also depend on the funding proposal.

Associateships are unfunded positions; Fellowships are awarded some funding. Applicants with outside sources of funding are encouraged to apply for either Associateships or Fellowships.

To view past research topics, see our previous 
Fellows and Associates.


Application Coversheet

The required application is available as a writable PDF. All applicants should download this document and complete all relevant fields.


Other Opportunities  

Given a prospective applicant’s past work and degrees, one of these programs may be more suited to her/his qualifications and interests. For useful information about all these programs, please visit the following links: