Program/Funding: The Asian Sphere: Call for applicants

The Asian Sphere offers a unique opportunity for outstanding candidates, at the MA and PhD level, to enroll in a multidisciplinary and inter-university graduate program that deals with the Asian continent.

The Asian Sphere is a joint Israeli program between the University of Haifa and the Hebrew University, funded by the Humanities Fund of the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education in Israel (VATAT) and Yad Hanadiv. It is a structured graduate program of excellence that deals with the entire Asian continent as a continuous civilizational zone and addresses cross-regional contacts and processes among Asian societies, cultures and states and to a lesser extent between Asia and other continents throughout history until present time.

Apart from a dynamic and exceptional environment of learning and research, the program offers a large number of scholarships for outstanding graduate students. The scholarship for PhD students are in the amount of 60,000 NIS per year + full tuition for three years.

The Asian Sphere accepts students from different disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, such as Asian Studies, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, Art History, Archaeology, Geography, Political Science, International Relations, Cultural Studies, History, Religious Studies, Philosophy, Anthropology, Sociology, Economics, and more. Research topics are open and can deal with past or current societies. The core of the Asian Sphere teaching activity revolves around introductory core courses and high-level seminars on trans-regional, trans-continental and trans-cultural themes, each taught by two or more internationally renowned scholars. In addition, students that are accepted to the program will participate in yearly academic retreats, research trips in Israel and abroad, academic conferences and other activities.

For more information visit our web site:

Criteria for the selection of candidates for the Asian Sphere Program scholarship:

  • Proven academic excellence.
  • Preliminary research topic and interest that address cross-Asian topics such as analysis of contacts or comparison between two or more regions or cultures in Asia.
  • Candidates should secure in advance the agreement of potential advisor (or advisors) of their thesis, from the University of Haifa or the Hebrew University.

Registration for the Asian Sphere Program:

Interested individuals are requested to send the following documents (combined into one electronic file) to our mail address. Documents in languages other than English or Hebrew should be translated.

  • Curriculum vitae.
  • Report of grades (BA, MA).
  • Abstract of one’s Master’s
  • A writing samples in English (recommended).
  • A document describing one’s research interests, presenting the research questions that interest the candidate, the research context, the research methodology and how the research topic is related to the goals and scope of theAsian SphereProgram (up to 500 words).
  • Two letters of recommendation to be sent separately to the program coordinator
  • A written consent from the proposed thesis advisor(s) from the University of Haifa or the Hebrew University.

Requirements of the Asian Sphere Program and Renewal of the scholarship:

  • Doctoral students must participate in our two core courses and in at least three of the program’s interdisciplinary seminars (16 course credits all together) as well as actively participation in the program yearly academic retreat and other activities of the program.
  • Annual renewal of the scholarship will be dependent on demonstrated progress of theAsian Spherefellows and on continued recommendation from their thesis supervisor.
  • To pass from the first to the second year Ph.D. students will have to participate in one core course and at least two of the program’s seminars, write at least one seminar paper, complete their Ph.D. proposal which will be approved by their advisor(s), and successfully advance from stage A to stage B in their doctorate program.
  • To pass from the second to the third year Ph.D. students will have to submit a report with regard to their academic progress and complete at least one chapter of their dissertation approved by their advisor(s).
  • D. students will be encouraged to submit research articles to refereed journals and required to present at least one paper in an international conference held during either the second or the third year of the program.

For additional information regarding terms of acceptance and the procedures, contact Prof. Gideon Shelach ( and Prof. Rotem Kowner (

All the documents should be sent to the Asian Sphere Scholarships Committee by January 31, 2016 to this email address:

Contact Info:

The Asian Sphere Program
The Hebrew University, Mt Scopus
91905 Jerusalem

Contact Email:


About Paula

Paula lives in the vortex of academic life. She studies medieval Japanese history.
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