The Al-Falah Program in Islamic Studies

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  Deadline: Monday, February 3, 2020
  Eligibility: UC Berkeley undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and affiliates


grant posterEstablished in 1998 through a generous endowment from Xenel Industries Ltd. and the families of Sheikh Salahuddin Yusuf Hamza Abduljawad and Khalid Alireza, alumni and friends of UC Berkeley, the Al-Falah Program in Islamic Studies seeks to promote understanding of Islam and to encourage the reciprocal transfer of knowledge and technology between the United States and the Muslim World, particularly Saudi Arabia.

The Al-Falah Program awarded its first grants in 1998. In this cycle, the Al-Falah Program will support (I) a Research and Scholarship Program and (II) an Outreach Program.  Priority will be given to research, teaching, and outreach projects that focus on building academic and cultural bridges between the United States and the Middle East and broader Islamic world. Current recipients of Al-Falah grants are not eligible to apply.

Program Components and Eligibility

Members of the UC Berkeley academic community—faculty, students, and other affiliates—are invited to submit proposals for consideration within these categories:

1. The Yusuf Hamza Abduljawad Student Fellowship

UC Berkeley graduate students conducting research on topics related to Islam and the Islamic world may apply for fellowships to be used for research travel, fieldwork, and dissertation writing.  Awards will be in the form of stipends, with proof of departmental tuition grants. A maximum of $10,000 per grant may be awarded. Up to 2 fellowships may be available.

2. Outreach Fund

  • Lectures and Conferences.  Proposals are accepted for collaborative conferences, symposia, workshops, public lectures, and multi‑media projects on Islamic subjects whose intended audience includes both the scholarly community and the general public. A maximum of $5,000 per grant may be awarded. 
  • Higher Education and Pre‑Collegiate Outreach Workshops and Colloquia.  Proposals are accepted for the development of workshops and colloquia for teachers at institutions of higher education and/or pre‑collegiate teachers, to be offered through UC Berkeley, relating to the historical or contemporary development of Islamic religious, cultural, and social life in different world settings, including the United States.  Proposals should identify the topic, presenters (who should ideally include members of the local Muslim community), and target audience. Proposals should also include a budget for workshop or colloquia costs covering: honoraria, travel, and accommodations for presenters; curriculum materials preparation; purchase of resources for distribution to teachers; and stipends for participating pre-collegiate teachers.  A one‑time stipend for the principal faculty applicant and appropriate remuneration for staff and advanced graduate students may be included. A maximum of $5,000 per grant may be awarded.  
  • Cultural Programs.  Proposals are accepted for programs to be conducted on the UC Berkeley campus that deal with Islamic and Arab culture.  Especially encouraged are activities that help disseminate information about Muslim cultures through exhibits, films, and performance events. A maximum of $3,000 per grant may be awarded.

UC Berkeley undergraduates are eligible to apply for proposals within the Outreach category only.

Application Deadline

The application deadline is Monday, February 3, 2020. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. Awards will be announced in mid-spring semester 2019. Grant recipients are required to provide a short report and financial accounting within three months following the conclusion of the grant term. Further dissemination of materials produced under the auspices of this program may also be carried out by the CMES.

To Apply

An application form is required. Please submit a concise proposal including all of the following: 1) Application form; 2) a one-page executive summary specifying the program category to which you are applying; 3) a detailed project narrative not to exceed five double-spaced pages outlining all proposed activities during the grant term; 4) a current C.V.; 5) a complete project budget clearly indicating the amount of funding being requested from the Al-Falah Program and other funding sources. Proposals with full of partial matching funds from other sources, within and outside of the University, will be given priority.

Applicants for the Student Fellowship are required to submit at least one letter of recommendation with their application. All other applicants are encouraged, but not required, to submit letters of recommendation.

Please include your name on every page of the application. Applications should be submitted as a single PDF via email to with “Al-Falah Application 2020” in the subject line. Recommendations can be submitted directly to

For additional information about the Al-Falah Program, please contact the CMES at (510) 642-8208 or

Center for Middle Eastern Studies
University of California, Berkeley
340 Stephens Hall, Berkeley, CA  94720-2314


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