Chevening Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Fellowship (OCIS) and OCIS Abdullah Gül Fellowship

Hosted by the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies

Closed for applications

The Chevening Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (OCIS) Fellowships are aimed at mid-career academics or professionals who are dedicated to the promotion of academic activities which encourage a more informed understanding of the culture and civilisation of Islam and contemporary Muslim societies.

The following fellowships are a collaboration between the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and OCIS:

  • Chevening OCIS Fellowship
  • Chevening OCIS Abdullah Gül Fellowship (for Turkish citizens)

Programme structure

Fellows will undertake a 5-month period of self-directed research focusing on their own project on the culture and civilisation of Islam and contemporary Muslim societies in a global context.

Fellows will benefit from meeting a multi-disciplinary group of scholars focusing on the Islamic world and have the opportunity to develop contacts with relevant individuals, discuss issues relating to the Islamic world, including Islamic history, classical Islamic sciences, economics and Islamic finance, public health, science and technology in the Muslim world, and the study of Muslims in the West. Fellows will contribute to the Centre’s objective to encourage and promote sustained dialogue and collaboration within the global academic community of the culture and civilisation of Islam and contemporary Muslim societies.

OCIS is an institution for the advanced study of Islam and the Muslim world and provides a meeting point for the Western and Islamic worlds of learning.

This fellowship programme will commence in October 2024. Fellows will need to develop their own research project to focus on during their fellowship prior to arriving in the UK.

Fellows must reside in Oxford for the duration of their award. OCIS can provide information about accommodation options in Oxford upon selection.

Applications are closed

Subscribe to the Alphagram for more information or view the application placement timeline below.



  • Six-month period of research at OCIS.
  • Living expenses for the duration of the fellowship.
  • Return economy airfare from home country to the UK.
  • Allowance package for research-related activities.
  • Access to a programme of cultural events and activities organised by the FCDO and the Chevening Secretariat.


The Chevening OCIS Abdullah Gül Fellowship is available to applicants from Turkey .

To be eligible for a Chevening OCIS Fellowship, you must:

  • Demonstrate the potential to rise to a position of leadership and influence
  • Demonstrate the personal, intellectual and interpersonal attributes reflecting this potential
  • Be a citizen of Afghanistan (please see note below on additional eligibility criteria), Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Philippines, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, or Uzbekistan
  • Return to country of your citizenship at the end of the period of the fellowship
  • Hold a postgraduate level qualification (or equivalent professional training or experience in a relevant area) at the time of application
  • Have significant professional and/or academic research experience (at least five years)
  • Have a good working knowledge of English to be assessed in your application form and if you are invited to interview
  • Not hold British or dual-British citizenship
  • Not be an employee, a former employee, or relative* of an employee of His Majesty’s Government, or have been within the last two years from the opening of Chevening applications (including the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, all British Embassies/High Commissions, the Home Office, the Ministry of Defence, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Department for International Trade and the UKVI), the British Council, a sponsoring UK university, or a staff member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

* Note: Immediate relatives are defined as parents or step-parents, siblings or step-siblings, children or step-children, spouse, civil partner or unmarried (where the couple have been in a relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership for at least two years).

Please note that applicants who have previously received financial benefit from a HMG-funded scholarship or fellowship are eligible to apply after a period of five years following the completion of their first HMG funded award. In these cases, applicants will be required to demonstrate their career progression from that point.

Applicants should be prepared to outline a short proposal on the area of academic research they would like to conduct at the time of application submission. The proposal should include a main research question and how the applicant intends to conduct this research while in residence at the Centre.

Additional eligibility criteria for Afghanistan applicants

The UK Government and Chevening are fully committed to the safety and security of Afghans residing in Afghanistan.

The FCDO has completed a full assessment of the viability of offering eligible Afghans the opportunity to apply for a 2025/2026 Chevening Award. We have concluded that prospective applicants currently residing in Afghanistan would likely face serious security risks, and financial and logistical implications, over which the UK Government has no control.

As a result, we are offering Afghans, resident outside of Afghanistan, the opportunity to apply for a Chevening Scholarship or Fellowship to study in the UK.

For the 2025/2026 academic year, we will only be able to accept applications from Afghans who are resident in a UK Overseas Development Aid eligible countrywhere we run Chevening, other than Afghanistan.

This decision will be kept under review for the 2026/2027 academic year.

If you choose to apply for a Chevening Scholarship or Fellowship you acknowledge the following:

  1. Applicants for Afghan Chevening Awards will be expected to provide proof they are legally resident in an ODA eligible country other than Afghanistan.
  2. A Chevening Fellowship is not an offer of resettlement to the UK and participants will be expected to follow standard Chevening policy once they’ve completed their studies.

Application timeline

Key dates for the Chevening OCIS Fellowship

Applications open at 12:00 BST 6 August 2024
Applications close at 12:00 GMT 5 November 2024
Applications are sifted against eligibility criteria From 6 November 2024
Reading Committee assessments

Independent reading committees assess all eligible applications. Their scores and rankings are then passed back to local British embassies/high commissions.

Mid-November 2024 to January 2025
Applicants shortlisted for interviews

Once the embassy/high commission has reviewed the applications, they produce a shortlist of those who they will invite to interview. Notifications will then follow.

Mid-February 2025
References and education documents deadline 19 February 2025
Interviews take place

Candidates from all over the world are interviewed by panels at British embassies and high commissions.

26 February to 25 April 2025
Results announced From May 2025
2025/26 Chevening Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (& Abdullah Gül) Fellowship runs October 2025 to March 2026

Please note this timeline is subject to change.

For my work on my book, I couldn’t have thought of a more perfect place than OCIS. I found myself in the company of colleagues who have published many books and I got to learn handy tips from them about my own project. Pursuing research at the University of Oxford, I was afforded many opportunities to attend talks on a large number of topics organised by the different colleges across the city.

Dr Abdur Rehman Cheema
Chevening OCIS Fellow


Meet OCIS fellows

Find out more

Got a question about Chevening Fellowships?