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New scholarship to honour 2021 Nobel winner Professor Abdulrazak Gurnah

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A new PhD scholarship has been named in honour of Emeritus Professor Abdulrazak Gurnah, winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature, and a former student and member of staff in the University of Kent’s School of English.

The Abdulrazak Gurnah Doctoral Scholarship will cover overseas fees.

The scholarship is one of two within the University’s Migration and Movement Signature Research Theme, a vibrant community of scholars and practitioner academics working in the field of migration and movement. Professor Gurnah’s work and personal life have long been recognised and celebrated for highlighting the condition of migrants and refugees.

Both scholarships are open to candidates interested in pursuing a PhD programme in any discipline at Kent on a research project directly linked to the themes of migration and movement. Interdisciplinary projects are warmly encouraged, but applications that fall within a single discipline are also welcome. Entry is for the academic year 2022-2023, starting in September 2022 or January 2023.

The submission deadline for applications is 11 March 2022. Further information and how to apply for the Abdulrazak Gurnah Doctoral Scholarship, and the Migration and Movement Signature Research Theme Scholarship is available at

Professor Abdulrazak Gurnah was born in Zanzibar, Tanzania. He is the author of the highly acclaimed novels Memory of DeparturePilgrims WayDottieParadise(shortlisted for the 1994 Booker Prize), Admiring SilenceBy The SeaDesertionThe Last Gift, and Gravel Heart. His latest book, Afterlives was published by Bloomsbury in 2020. Until his recent retirement, he was professor of English and postcolonial literatures at the School of English. Professor Gurnah was a member of the Man Booker Prize judging panel in 2016.

He was awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature for ‘his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents.’

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