SAARC Research Grant Islamic Cultural Trails: Journey through Time and Space – Minarets and Mosques, Tombs, Trade, Tradition and Technology


The “South Asian Cultural Trails” was approved by the 18th SAARC Summit in Kathmandu in November 2014.   The Islamic Cultural Trails is the third Research Grant on South Asian Cultural Trails and was approved by the 10th Governing Board Meeting of the SAARC Cultural Centre and the 56th Session of the Programming Committee of SAARC.  The Research Grants will provide an opportunity for the Member States to explore new research areas and sites along the Islamic Cultural Trails.  This will also act as a precursor to the Cultural Trails proposed for the future and lay the ground work in research to look at Cultural Trails as connected routes where ideas, information and knowledge travelled in all directions.  8 Research Grants will be disbursed, one for each Member State.


2.1    To encourage new research through the SAARC Research Grants on the Cultural Trails of the SAARC Region.
2.2    To encourage new research on identification of new sites, locations, cultural trails, tangible and intangible heritage associated with Islamic Cultural Trails.
2.3    To facilitate new research and new approaches to study the Islamic Cultural Trails as an integrated entity.
2.4    To study and analyse all different perspectives and areas which influenced the establishment, development and continuation of the Cultural Trails in the Region.
2.5    To present innovative measures for the conservation and preservation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the SAARC Region.


One research proposal will be selected from each Member State to be awarded the short-term Research Grant of US$ 1,000/=.  The selection of Research Proposals will be carried out by a team of experts selected by the SAARC Cultural Centre.

The SAARC Cultural Centre invites Academics and Researchers from Member States to submit detailed Research Proposals (along with the detailed budget breakdown for US$ 1,000/=) for new and innovative short-term research projects on the Islamic Cultural Trails.  The first instalment of the grant (US$ 500/=) will be made at the commencement of the Research Project.  The final payment is subject to the review of the final presentation made to a team of experts via video conferencing and submission of the Final Research Report.  Any suggestions / recommendations made by the SCC team of experts at this stage should be included in the research process by the respective researchers.

At the completion of the research project, each researcher will be required to submit a Research Report of academic quality to be published in the “South Asian Cultural Trails” publication series of the SAARC Cultural Centre in 2020.  Academics and Researchers are encouraged to present the Research Project at a local or international forum within one year and to disseminate the knowledge gathered with the relevant stakeholders (academic discussion, tourism industry, sustainable development, etc.).  Relevant documents with regard to the above dissemination of information should be sent to the SCC.


The following themes have been identified for the Research Seminar and Research Grant on Islamic Cultural Trails.  However, research proposals based on different themes will also be accepted depending on their content and relevance to the Islamic Cultural Trails.

4.1    Islamic Cultural Trails – (Refer to Annexure 1 for Details).
4.2    Identification of New Sites and Locations along the Islamic Cultural Trails.
4.3    Comparative Studies of Islamic sites (monuments, mosques, minarets, tombs, etc.,) in the Region.
4.4    Comparative Research and interpretation of Landscape values of Islamic gardens.
4.5    Travels of Islamic Pilgrims.
4.6    Cultural Symbolism of Islam.
4.7    Art and Architecture of ICT.
4.8    Archaeology of ICT.
4.9    Intangible Heritage of ICT (Music, dance, folk art, folk stories, traditional healing, handicrafts, etc.).
4.10   Trade and Commerce of ICT.
4.11    Manuscripts, texts and inscriptions, languages and scripts of Islam.
4.12    Technology of ICT (Irrigation, engineering, agriculture, etc.)
4.13    Cultural Diffusion of Islam.
4.14    Heritage Management of ICT sites.
4.15    Tourism promotion of ICT.


5.1    Academics, Scholars and Researchers of the SAARC Member States.
5.2    Academics, Scholars and Researchers who have received Research Grants from the SAARC Cultural Centre previously will not be eligible.


6.1    Format for the Application is attached herewith as Annexure 2
6.2    Each Member State can forward any number of Research Proposals for consideration.
6.3    Research Proposals should be for an innovative and new research based on the themes mentioned above (No. 4 of this document).
6.4    New themes related to Islamic Cultural Trails.
6.5    All sections of the application should be completed (Part A, B and C).
6.6    Incomplete applications will not be considered.
6.7    Applications must be forwarded to the SAARC Secretariat in Kathmandu, Nepal through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Ministry of External Affairs of the Member State.
6.8    An advance copy can be emailed to the SAARC Cultural Centre – with copy to
6.9    All Research Proposals must reach the SAARC Cultural Centre by 31st October 2019.
6.10    The Research Grant will be distributed in 2 instalments – The first instalment (US$ 500/=) at the commencement of the project and final instalment (US$ 500/=) after the submission of the final report with reviewers’ comments.
6.11    Each recipient of the SAARC Research Grant must submit a research report of academic quality.
6.12    The final payment is subject to the review of the final presentation made to a team of reviewers via video conferencing.   Any suggestions/recommendations made by the SCC team of reviewers at this stage should be included in the research process by the respective researchers.


7.1    Deadline for accepting research proposals – 31st October 2019
7.2    Selection of research proposals – 30th November 2019
7.3    Commencement of the research -10th December 2019
7.4    Submission of final report – 31st March 2020
7.5     Presentation of the research to the team of reviewers – May 2020
7.6    Resubmitting the research report with reviewers’ comments – June 2020