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Home / Cities / University of Birmingham seeks expert for Guru Nanak Chair

University of Birmingham seeks expert for Guru Nanak Chair

The post was announced by Union minister for civil aviation Hardeep Singh Puri during a lecture at the university’s India Institute in November 2019 to coincide with the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism.

cities Updated: Feb 10, 2020 22:20 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Hindustantimes

The University of Birmingham has advertised to appoint an expert with an outstanding research profile in the field of Sikh Studies with a record of world-leading publications to the new Guru Nanak Chair funded by the Indian government.

The post was announced by Union minister for civil aviation Hardeep Singh Puri during a lecture at the university’s India Institute in November 2019 to coincide with the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism. Applications for the post close on March 16.

“Setting up a prominent chair in a prominent university is one of the most cost-effective ways of carrying forward Guru Nanak’s message. It will be identified with a place where researchers can send their research, where they can turn to,” Puri had said while announcing the chair.

“We are spending a fair amount (on the chair). It is a question of continued support. When you set up a chair, you have to plan for a number of years. I think, the initial funding is for five years but it is likely to be extended and the university has committed itself for an even longer period.”

Besides a prominent research profile, the chair holder will be expected to have the ability to work closely with the India institute and other university centres to build new teaching programmes, networks and research grant applications, the advertisement says.

It is also expected that the post holder will have an understanding of the importance of international collaborations, networks, and contacts; a demonstrable commitment of leading international and research grant applications; strong awareness of and interest in public engagement and the potential wider social, political and/or cultural impact of their research’ and experience of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and supervision to doctoral level.

The advertisement says: “We have a longstanding engagement in Sikh Studies in particular, reflecting the size of the Sikh community in Birmingham. We were the first UK University to establish a lectureship in Sikh studies and we are still the only Russell Group University to have a programme (our masters in Sikh studies) in this field.”

“It is anticipated that the Chair holder will extend and develop the University’s work in Sikh studies, interfaith relations, religion and politics, and peace and reconciliation. The successful candidate will also engage in international networking and public engagement, raising the profile of Sikh studies in terms of research, education, and impact,” it adds.

The Guru Nanak Chair is the latest of Indian government’s funding and support to centres and chairs in British universities.

They include the IG Patel Chair at the London School of Economics, Jawaharlal Nehru Professorship at the University of Cambridge, the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Imperial College London, the Tagore Centre for Global Thought at King’s College London and the Oxford India Centre at Somerville College.