The Boniuk Institute awards research grants ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 to current graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, or faculty at Rice University in support of research relating to course development and support, research, speaker funds, writing, and experiential learning projects focused on religious tolerance with a public or youth education component as an output.
Funded grant projects focus primarily or substantially on religious tolerance and include a public or youth education component as an output. Applications from all disciplines and methodologies are considered for this award.
2018-2019 Research Grant Recipients
Research grants were awarded in May 2018 for the 2018-2019 academic year and brief descriptions of the projects can be found below. Funding will conclude in June 2019, after which findings will be made available online.
Beyond Islamaphobia: The Effect of Discrimination on the Everyday Lives of Muslim and Sikh Americans
Sharan Kaur Mehta Graduate Student, Department of Sociology
This project examins how recent social and political events - from 9/11 to the 2016 presidential election - have shaped the experiences of South Asian and Arab Muslim and Sikh Americans. A compartive study via in-depth interviews with members of both communities and participant observations at masjid (mosque) and gurdwara (Sikh temple) in Houston, TX will produce narratives about how discrimination affects indivisuals' lived experiences at work, school and other aspects of their lives, while unveiling how faith communities converse about issues of safety, security and community outreach. Collected narratives will be analyzed to examine patters of discrimination across gender, generation and religious trandition. Community-level activism to address misconceptions about faith will also be examined to consider how adherents engage with the broader Houston community.
Muslims Knowing the Muslim Other: Unpacking the Theology of Intra-Islamic Intolerance
Abdulbasit Kassim Graduate Student, Department of Religion
This ongoing project explores the perspectives of Muslims whose interpretation of Islam is humanist in spirit and influenced by traditions of ecumenism and who have been willing to embrace other Muslims as their co-religionists, even though they may be unable to understand or agree with their doctrines and eitual practics. Research performed in Nigeria is intended to develop a theology of intra-Islamic pluralism based on core Muslim teachings which will aid policymakers at the global, national and local level to better understand the roles they can perform to support the development of a theology of intra-Islamic pluralism.
Read more about past Boniuk Research Award recipients: