Academic Committee

Since its inception, The Barakat Trust has supported projects, students and scholars — in various ways, each has contributed to a greater understanding of the culture of the Islamic lands. The grantees have come from over thirty countries and their grants have covered academic research, archaeological excavations, architectural conservation, major exhibitions, scholarly publications, surveys and documentation, lectures and conferences, schools and educational programmes and travel grants.

Academic Advisory Committee

Hamida A. Alireza

Trustee & Founding Member

Professor James W. Allan

Emeritus Professor of Eastern Art, University of Oxford, UK

James Allan read his degree in classical Arabic at Oxford, and spent most of his career in the Ashmolean Museum as curator of the Islamic collections and latterly Keeper of Eastern Art. He also set up an Inter-faith Exhibition Service. For the last 6 years before his retirement in 2012 he continued to teach Islamic art in the Khalili Research Centre. He leads tours in the Middle East, and has published numerous articles and books on Islamic art, his most recent book being, “The art and architecture of Twelver Shi’ism: Iraq, Iran and the Indian Subcontinent

Dr. Teresa Fitzherbert

Faculty Tutor in Islamic Art, Khalili Research Centre, Oxford, UK

Is interested in Persian illustrated manuscripts particularly those produced in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries under Mongol and Timurid rule. Other interests include the artistic interface of Eastern Christianity and Islam in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries; the figural buff ware of mediaeval Nishapur; and before retirement also curated the Creswell Photographic Archive at the Ashmolean Museum. Recent publications include articles on Jalayirid painting, the Freer Canteen, and depictions of the hunt on Ilkhanid metalwork.

Professor Jeremy Johns

Chairman of the Academic Advisory Committee, Director, Khalili Research Centre, Lecturer in Islamic Archaeology, University of Oxford, UK

Interested in relations between Muslim and Christian societies in the medieval Mediterranean as manifested in material and visual culture. My research has focused upon the archaeology of the transition from late antiquity to early Islam in the Levant and, especially, upon the archaeology, history and art history of Sicily under Islamic and Norman rule, from the Muslims' conquest of the island in the 9th century to the destruction of the Islamic community of Sicily by Frederick II in the 13th century.

Dr Mariam Rosser-Owen

Curator Middle East, Asian Department, Victoria & Albert Museum, UK curator responsible for te Arab World Collections at the V&A

I specialise in the Islamic Mediterranean, especially al-Andalus and the Maghrib, but more generally I am interested in material culture connections around the Mediterranean during the medieval period. I am interested in how people commission works of art and what messages they express through these commissions. Completed my DPhil at the University of Oxford (Oriental Institute) in 2002, supervised by Prof. Jeremy Johns. The title was "Articulating the Hijaba: 'Amirid Artistic and Cultural Patronage in al-Andalus, circa 970-1010 AD". I am now preparing this for publication. Interests range widely, and I am increasingly working to promote a more integrated role for the material culture of North Africa within the art history of the medieval Mediterranean - both through my own research and by providing forums for others.

Dr Zeynep Yürekli-Görkay

University Lecturer in Islamic Art and Archaeology, University of Oxford, UK

Interested in Islamic architecture; illustrated manuscripts; Sufi shrines; hagiography and historiography. 'Sufi Shrines under the Ottomans', in The Cambridge World History of Religious Architecture, ed. R. Etlin et al (Cambridge University Press).'Architectural Patronage and the Rise of the Ottomans', in The Companion to Islamic Art and Architecture, ed. G. Necipolu and B. Flood, Volume II: From the Mongols to Modernism (Wiley–Blackwell).

Shahnaz Bagherzade

Trustee and Founding Member. Phil Islamic Art, Oxford University, UK

Shahnaz Bagherzade was born in Iran and educated in Germany with a degree in 'Abitur'. She pursued her passion for Islamic art and culture at Oxford University with an MPhil in Islamic art & architecture and has supported numerous charities and projects promoting Islamic art and culture. She is an avid collector and patron of the arts.

Honorary Member

Dr. Julian Raby

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Smithsonian Institute, Washington, USA

Grant Types

  • The Barakat Trust's Grant applications for 2018 opened on 3 January 2018 and closed on 31 March 2018.

Applicants will be informed of a decision shortly after the end of April 2018.

The next round of awards will open on 2 January 2019 and close on 31 March 2019.

Scope of Awards

  • The Barakat Trust awards are open to applicants worldwide in the fields of Islamic Art History, Architecture, and Archaeology. Support is given for a diverse range of projects, programmes and studies. They include financial assistance for: 
  • • Conservation programmes

    • Documentation of archives

    • Events, exhibitions and museums

    • Lectures, colloquia and conferences

    • Scholarships towards a MPhil in Islamic Art and Archaeology at the University of Oxford

    • Scholarships and grants for post-graduate and post-doctoral study and research Fellowships

    • Travel and field trips

    • Archaeological projects

    • Prizes to students at accredited schools and universities

    Research grants at post-doctoral level are intended principally to help overseas scholars conduct research at the University of Oxford or elsewhere in the UK. No scholarship or grant is offered for more than one year at a time, and no guarantee of renewal can be given. 

    The Barakat Trust does not support the applied arts.

  • Categories of Awards

    The Academic Advisory Committee annually defines the categories and values of awards within which applications may be made, and retains the right to adjust the number and value of awards, according to the funds available and the quality and quantity of applications received.

  • To be kept informed of future grants as well as events, conferences and news then signup to our mailing list here.

  • For grant related queries email:

  • Only consider applying if you meet the criteria in the Scope of Awards.


  • A1. Barakat Senior Scholar

    One visiting scholarship of £10,000 to enable an established Muslim scholar from the Islamic world to come to Oxford for three months to carry out a specific programme of research and to deliver a lecture on their research.

    Apply Now »

  • A2. Barakat International Studentship
  • One scholarship of £15,000 to a Muslim student from the Islamic world who has already been accepted on one of the following taught Masters courses. Where a student has been accepted on a two-year course, the grant may be awarded or renewed for the second year of the course, on the condition that the student is able to demonstrate outstanding performance during the first year of the course.

    • American University in Cairo, MA in Islamic Art and Archaeology
    • School of Oriental and African Studies, MA in History of Art and Architecture of the Islamic Middle East
    • University College London, MA in Managing Archaeological Sites
    • University College London, MA in Museum Studies
    • University College London, MA in Principles of Conservation
    • University College London, MSc in Conservation for Archaeology and Museums
    • University of Durham, MA in Museum and Artefact Studies
    • University of Durham, MA in Conservation of Archaeological and Museum Objects
    • University of East Anglia, MA in Museum Studies
    • University of Leicester, MA in Museum Studies
    • University of Sussex, West Dean College, Graduate Diploma/Postgraduate Diploma/MA in Conservation Studies
    • University of York, MA in Conservation Studies
    • University of York, MSc in Digital Heritage

    Apply Now »

  • A3. Barakat Doctoral Student & Postdoctoral Scholar Grants

    Doctoral students, and early career scholars who were awarded a doctorate after 30 June 2012, may apply for grants with an upper limit of £1,500 towards the costs of travel for fieldwork and study, attending conferences, and participating in educational and/or training programmes.

    Apply Now »

  • A4. Barakat Major Awards

    Established scholars attached to research institutions, including but not restricted to universities, museums and libraries, may apply for awards with an upper limit of £10,000 each for research, educational and/or training programmes, and other projects relating to the archaeology, the conservation and the history of the material and visual culture of Muslim societies.

    Apply Now »

  • A5. Barakat Conservation Awards

    Grants with an upper limit of £7,000 each towards a conservation project or the training of a conservator in the fields of Islamic art and architecture.

    Apply Now »

  • A6. Barakat Publication Grants

    Grants with an upper limit of £6,000 towards the costs of a major publication on Islamic art, architecture, archaeology etc.

    Apply Now »

  • A7. Barakat Digitisation Grants
  • One grant of up to £50,000 per year, for a maximum of three years, towards the costs of making available online any major collection of Islamic art, architecture and archaeology. The grant is made from zakat, and therefore only Muslims and Islamic institutions (including libraries and museums in Islamic lands) are eligible to apply. Institutions which can raise matching funds may receive priority. Successful applicants must undertake: (1) to adhere to the standards of digitisation agreed with the Barakat Trust; (2) to store all data with a cloud storage provider approved by the Barakat Trust; (3) to make the digitised data freely available over the web, save only that, with the agreement of the Barakat Trust, the institution shall be entitled to publish low resolution and/or watermarked images of artefacts, and to levy reasonable charges for the supply of high resolution images and for the reproduction of images.

    Apply Now »

  • B1. Barakat Postdoctoral Scholarship
  • One or more awards of £18,000 each to enable a Muslim post-doctoral scholar, who was awarded a doctorate after 30 June2012, to spend nine months (normally October to June) in Oxford to carry out a specific programme of research or to prepare such research for publication. Please see the separate guidelines to this grant.
  • B2. Barakat Oxford Studentship

    One studentship to cover one year's university and college fees for a Muslim student already accepted by the Faculty of Oriental Studies of the University of Oxford to read for an M.St or M.Phil in Islamic Art and Archaeology. Renewal for the second year of the M.Phil may be granted to candidates who perform well in the qualifying examination, but the grant may not be extended to cover doctoral studies.

    Apply Now »

Grantee Profile

Dr Ahmad Mustafa

 Oxford University
 PHD Islamic History
 Exhibition at The Royal College of Art

Read more »

Robert Hillenbrand

 Islamic Architecture, Form, Function, and Meaning

Read more »

Ali Omar Ermes

 Central Scool of Art
 Art Exhibition at Ashmolean Museum, Oxford University

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British Museum

 Conservation Internship
 Barakat Trust conservation internship at the British Museum

Read more »

Mehreen Chida-Razvi

 Travel Grant
 Jahanghir's funerary Complex in Lahore and comparative research

Read more »

Yasmin Kathrada

 Prince of Wales Institute of Architecture, VITA
 Visual Islamic & Traditional Arts Depts
 Kufic calligraphy and hand etched glass

Read more »

Lamia Balfaraj

 University of Aix Marseille
 Study Illustrated Persian manuscripts
 Study Illustrated Persian manuscripts of Sa'di at the British Library and Chester Beatty Library

Read more »

Paul Hepworth

 Religious Foundation, Ankara
 Conserve 17 Ottoman endowment deeds from the 16th-19th centuries : a collaborative art historical and conservation approach

Read more »

Mariam Rosser Owen

 Oxford University
 Post Doctoral Research
 Arts & Archaeology of the Islamic World

Read more »


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The Barakat Trust works on a wide range of projects, events, exhibitions and workshops across the world - get involved:

Please send your CV and a cover letter outlining your area of interest to:


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News & Events

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Literary and visual themes in 17th century manuscript of the Divan of Baki

date: Tue 11 December 2018

Unrequited Love and the Beauty of the Beloved: Literary and visual themes in a 17th century manuscri......  More »
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Misr and Mosque: Architectural Splendour and Political Authority in Medieval Cairo

date: 19 July 2018

Misr and Mosque: Architectural Splendour and Political Authority in Medieval Cairo Illustrated talk ......  More »
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The Barakat Trust's Lectures with Leighton House Museum

date: Thursday 4 October 2018

The vast Muslim cemeteries of Cairo, known as the “City of the Dead”, were always also meant to be a......  More »
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The Arabesque in the Architecture of Islamic Cairo (9th – 16th Century) 

date: Thursday, 11 October 2018

The arabesque was a common design used in the architecture of Islamic Cairo. In the early periods, i......  More »