Start of Hamida Barmaki Scholarship: Twelve candidates selected

The Max Planck Foundation has finalised the selection process for their new Ph.D. programme for Afghan professors

The Max Planck Foundation has selected twelve scholars for the Ph.D. programme for Afghan professors so far. This programme was established to respond to the need of Afghan universities for doctorally qualified professors who remain cognisant of the latest international teaching and research methodologies.

Highly qualified active professors from universities in multiple provinces of Afghanistan have been selected to participate in a three-year Ph.D. scholarship program, where the candidates will study under the supervision of a leading international academics in their area of research. This programme is not merely a scholarship programme but also includes an integrated course of study to prepare the candidates for extensive research and assist them in the progression of their work.

The candidates’ areas of research expand on topical issues in law and within current legal research, in particular with relevance to Afghanistan and legal development in Afghanistan. Over the next two years’ candidates will be analysing topics from accession of Afghanistan to the WTO to legal basis for women’s protection in Afghanistan.

As an example of the valuable research one candidate will be looking into questions of viability of judicial reform in a pluralist legal system, by carrying out field research in all 34 provinces of Afghanistan, interviewing government officials and conducting public opinion surveys over the course of his research. Another candidate will conduct his research in legal history, expounding on the constitutional history of Afghanistan and the influential role of customary law, by dissecting historical legal documents from Loya Jirgas. Another yet, will be researching and analysing the mandates of the Afghan Supreme Court and the Commission for overseeing the implementation of Constitution (ICOIC) through a comparative lens.

The exuberance and dedication of the candidates is prevalent even at these early stages of their research, as many have travelled to Heidelberg to begin their preliminary research. Many have fully developed their ideas, plans and have consulted the Max Planck team or their topics, research methodology and progression schedule.

Additionally, in preparation of their Ph.D. studies and anticipation of registration at their chosen university, the Ph.D. candidates will attend several preparatory courses in Kabul and in Heidelberg, Germany at the Max Planck Foundation. These preparatory studies are conducted in both English and Dari to familiarise the candidates with possible research techniques and to prepare them for their research.