UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Islamic Public Value Scholarship

Islamic Public Value: Theory, Theology, and Practice of Indigenous Cooperative Governance Institutions is a new research project within UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP). It has funding for two scholarships in the Master of Public Administration (MPA) in Innovation, Public Policy and Public Value programme. 

IIPP’s work is informed by our research pillars, focusing on rethinking public value, shaping innovation, transforming institutions, and directing finance. This one-year MPA programme teaches the competencies and critical skills needed for purpose-driven organisations in the public, private and civic sectors. As part of the programme, you will be equipped to help reshape organisations to be mission-led, experimental, and driven by public purpose; and understand the explorative and risk-taking processes that structural change, innovation, and socio-economic transformation require. 

The Islamic Public Value project works to broaden understanding of indigenous forms of governance in the Islamic world, including theory, theology and practice, to give a non-Western perspective on public value. The field of governance (both in policy and in administration i.e. implementation) encompasses various sciences and traditions to address the demands and challenges of structured human living-together. There is a growing emphasis in policy debates and academic literature on the importance of governance institutions and actors in creating public value – achieving broad and widely accepted societal goals. However, this is largely defined by the dominant Western paradigm at the exclusion of all other religious and cultural traditions – in particular Islam. 

The goal of the scholarship is therefore to diversify the unidirectional global-Western understanding of governance and administration standards and paradigms, by investigating autonomous indigenous institutions, both historic (sometimes centuries-old) and/or still operating across the Islamic world – some notable examples include Zawāya and Mahadhir in North and West Africa, Mahalla and Aul in Central Asia, Khanqah in Turkey, and Dargah in South and Southeast Asia. Scholarship recipients will assist on project research and work closely with Project Manager Dr. Salah Chafik. 

Scholarship applicants are assessed across four areas:

  • Academic and/or professional excellence
  • Interest in one or more of IIPP’s research themes (i.e. rethinking public value, shaping innovation, transforming institutions, or directing finance) as well as the topic of Islamic Public Value.
  • Financial need
  • Successful application to the MPA programme* (scholarships can only be awarded to successful MPA applicants).

This MPA scholarship is supported by the John Templeton Foundation, who give special attention to research and projects in cultural evolution, Islam, Science, and Society, and areas where these themes might overlap, such as in science-technology studies. The Foundation has a strong focus on cultivating Islamic perspectives on human flourishing for the present and coming age and seek projects which leverage unique insights from Islamic thought in service of positive cultural change in the three areas of education, community and “living-together”, and urban life in its various aspects. 


Further information on the Islamic Public Value project and the MPA can be found on the website.

Award amount: Fully funded tuition fees + annual stipend of £13,595.00. [Based on UCL rates for a 52-week private rental, and includes a 52 week total of essential costs.]
Duration: 1-year full time (starting September 2023)
Deadline: 10 April 2023 [*Your separate MPA application must be submitted by Friday 31 March 2023]
Queries: If you have any questions about this MPA Scholarship, please email iipp.studentenquiries@ucl.ac.uk