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Competitions

On the suggestion of the then newly formed BRISMES Graduate section, we launched two competitions in 2006 for undergraduate and graduate students in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies.

1. The Graduate Article Competition in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies 2011

The Graduate Article Prize will be awarded to the best article in the area of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies submitted by a postgraduate student at a UK university. The winner will receive a prize of £500 and his/her article will be published in the prestigious peer-review journal, the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. He/she will also be invited to a presentation ceremony and also invited to present the article as a paper at the next the BRISMES conference. The judges also have the option to award a second prize of £100. The closing date for entries is 31st March 2012.  

2.  The Undergraduate Essay Prize

The Undergraduate Essay Prize will be awarded to the best essay in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies submitted as a part of the assessment for an undergraduate degree at a UK university. The winner will receive a prize of £100, and his/her essay will be distributed to all BRISMES members, usually as an insert with the BRISMES newsletter. The closing date for entries is 31st July 2012.

Specifications for each of the prizes are available below.

The Graduate Article Competition in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies 2011

Submissions are invited from postgraduate students at any stage of their study. Both students at both Doctoral and Masters level can make submissions. Students within ONE CALENDER YEAR of receiving their postgraduate degree are also allowed to submit. Entrants must be registered, or have been registered, at a UK Higher Education Institution for a programme of postgraduate study.

The submission should be between 8000 and 10000 words, and fall into the usual subject domain of BRISMES - that is, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies broadly conceived. If a potential submitter is unsure as to whether their subject falls within the remit of the prize, they should contact the Executive Director of BRISMES (at the address below).
Submissions must follow the conventions for citation and transliteration used in the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, a copy of which is available on request (to the Executive Director). Adherence to these conventions forms an element in the judges' assessment, and consequently the award of the prize.

Submissions must be in English, and the standard of the English and general presentation also forms an element of the judges' assessment.
Submissions will be blind peer reviewed and follow the established peer-review procedures for the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. A judging panel of BRISMES council members will then make the award of the prize. The judging panel's decision is final. The prize consists of a cheque for £500, an invitation to the award ceremony to be heldin 2010 and expeditious publication in the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. The judges also have the option to award a second prize of a cheque for £100.

The closing date for the electronic element of submissions is 31st March 2012. Hard copy elements of submissions must reach the Executive Director by 7th April 2012. Late submissions will not be included in the competition. Submissions are encouraged in advance of this date.

Entries should be submitted, with a letter of introduction giving the student's e-mail contact details for the period April to July 2012, student career to date, programme on which the student is (or has been) enrolled, and supervisor's name (if applicable). The letter does not form part of the judge's assessment. The judge's assessment will be made on the basis of the article submitted alone.

Submissions must be made in BOTH electronically (by e-mailing a WORD attachment to the Executive Director at the e-mail address below) AND in hard copy, sent to the Executive Director (at the address below). The electronic copy must be submitted by the closing date (12.00 midnight on 31st March 2012). Hard copy can follow by post within one week of the closing date (7th April 2012). Submissions will receive an e-mail acknowledgement from the Executive Director.

Any queries regarding the competition should be addressed to the Executive Director at the address below:

Professor James Dickins

Department of Arabic & Middle Eastern Studies
University of Leeds
Leeds
LS2 9JT

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Previous Winners

The first BRISMES Graduate Article Competition was won by Ms Hilary Kalmbach for her article "Social and Religious Change in Damascus: One Case of Female Islamic Religious Authority". The judges described the article as containing "original insights into female study circles in Damascene mosques". Kalmbach, they report, "intriguingly suggests an unconscious subversion of the moral system by female submissiveness, an idea of an enormous intellectual interest." Ms Kalmbach was awarded the prize by Sheikh Abdullah Mubarak on 5th July 2007 at Wolfson College Oxford, and the article was published with minor revisions, in the first 2008 issue of BJMES.

The second winner, in 2008 was Margaret Graves (University of Edinburgh) Margaret's papers was on
'Visual Culture as Historical Document: Sir John Drummon Hay and the Nineteenth Century Moroccan Pottery in the National Museum of Scotland' and she was presented with the Award by HE Mr Khaled Al-Duwaisan, Kuwaiti Ambassador, during the 2008 Annual Conference.

The winner in 2009 was Ahmad Khan for his article entitled:

‘Ibn Qutayba and the Proto-Sunni Traditionalist Movement in the 9th century’

 

This thesis was originally submitted on 12.02.09 to University of Edinburgh, Graduate School of Literatures, Languages, and Cultures

The assessors evaluated it as: 'Highly analytical and scholarly; very neatly structured; lots of Arabic primary sources; good knowledge, too, of the secondary literature; overall, impressive!'

Ahmad is now studying for an M.Phil in Medieval Islamic History (1st Year), Pembroke College, University of Oxford (Oriental Studies) (Supervisor Dr Christopher Melchert.)

The Undergraduate Essay Prize
(Academic Year 20010-11)

Submissions of excellent undergraduate essays and dissertations are invited from tutors of undergraduate students at any stage of their study, providing they are studying for an undergraduate degree qualification at a UK Higher Education Institution.

Submissions must be in UK English. Essays and dissertations should not exceed 8000 words. The length of the piece, however, does not form part of the judges' assessment. Assessment will be made on the submission's quality alone, taking into account the point in the degree programme when the essay was submitted. The competition is not, therefore, limited to final year undergraduate students. The standard of the English and general presentation also forms an element of the judges' assessment. There is no requirement for the students to adhere to specific citation and transliteration conventions beyond those demanded by the module for which the essay was submitted.
The essay may be a formative or summative element of the module assessment. That is, it need not contribute to the final assessment mark of the module.
Submissions should not be made by the student themselves, but by the tutor of the undergraduate module (or equivalent). The tutor must obtain the student's consent before making a submission and include a consent note from the student (a copy of an e-mail will suffice).
Tutors are limited to ONE submission each academic year - tutors should therefore select what he/she considers to be the best undergraduate essay or dissertation he/she has received in the academic year 2008-2009, bearing in mind the level of study of the various pieces he/she has marked that year. Tutors should also ensure that they obtain an electronic copy of the essay, as both electronic and hard copy must be submitted.
The closing date for the electronic element of the submission is 1200 midnight, 31st July 2011. The closing date for the hard copy element of the submission is 7th August 2011. Late submissions will not be included in the competition. Submissions are encouraged in advance of this date.

The prize will be awarded by a panel of judges drawn from the BRISMES Council. The judges' decision is final. The prize consists of a cheque for £100 and the distribution of the winning submission to all BRISMES members as an example of undergraduate excellence in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies.

The winning essay or dissertation may need to be edited.

Submissions should consist of:

  1. a copy of the essay
  2. the marksheet or feedback form for the essay
  3. a brief covering note from the tutor detailing the character of the module for which the essay was submitted and the degree programme for which the student is enrolled
  4. a note of consent for the submission from the student him/herself.

The essay element of the submissions MUST be made electronically (by the tutor in the form of an e-mail with a WORD attachment sent to the Executive Director at the address below). As many as possible of the other elements of the submission (marksheet, covering note and consent note) should also be submitted electronically. The electronic element of the submission must be submitted by the closing date (1200 midnight on 31st July 2011). Submissions will receive an e-mail acknowledgement from the Executive Director.

The hard copy element of the submission should consist of a copy of the essay, the marksheet (including any second markers comments and external examiners comments if available), the tutor's covering note and the student's consent note. The hard copy submission must reach the Executive Director by 7th August 2011.

The winning essay will be announced in September 2011, and the student's tutor will be notified. The tutor should ensure that for non-returning students, they have their contact details so that the prized can be forwarded to them.

Any queries regarding the competition should be addressed to the Executive Director at the address below:

Professor James Dickins

Department of Arabic & Middle Eastern Studies
University of Leeds
Leeds
LS2 9JT

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Previous Winners

James Kaye from Durham University was the winner of the undergraduate essay competition in its first year. James' essay was entitled: How successful were the Ottomans in resisting the Safavid challenge to their authority in Anatolia during the sixteenth century?

James was presented with his cheque during the 2007 Annual Lecture.

The winner in 2008 was Andrew Wilcox of Exeter University. Andrew's essay was on: The Dual Mystical Concepts of Fana' and Baqa' in Early Sufism. Andrew was presented with the award during the 2008 Annual Lecture.

The winner of the 2009 competition was Nadia El-Anis of Leeds University for her essay entitled 'Muslim Women and the Veil with Special Reference to the West'.

Reviewers’ comments:

 

'This is a fine piece of work on veiling in general and with particular reference to women in Leeds; the subject is treated both thoroughly and perceptively. Very well-referenced; use of quantatative method (questionnaires) with valuable field-work; good appendices and bibliography'.

 

ICMR Essay Competition

Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations is pleased to announce a competition for early-career scholars and researchers.

A prize of £500 will be awarded for an essay that in the editors' opinion makes and original contribution to the research aims of ICMR, and is of sufficient quality to be published in the journal.

It is open to students who are currently registered for doctoral research at a higher education institution, and those who have obtained a doctoral degree in the past two years.

Essays will be on a topic within the general scope of the journal:

 the religion and culture of Islam, historical and contemporary

 Islam and its relations with other faiths and ideologies

 Christian-Muslim relations.

The prize winning article will be published in a forthcoming issue of ICMR.

All submissions must be in English, between 8,000 and 12,000 words long, and must conform to the guidelines for the journal.

The deadline for submission is 31 December 2012.

Essays should be sent together with proof of eligibility to either Professor David Thomas, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or to Professor Greg Barton, mailto: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it %20either of whom can give further information.