Frequently Asked Questions: Fully Funded Internships to Study Satpanth Ismailism at the University of Toronto, Canada

Few weeks ago, Ismailimail broke the news about University of Toronto, Canada led by Prof. Shafique Virani offering once in a lifetime, fully funded internships opportunity to learn about Satpanth Ismailism. That news of ours immediately went viral and created lot of excitement within Ismaili community worldwide.

While our original post (click here to read) covered all the details one needs in order to apply, we received lot of follow up inquiries via our email and social media feeds. Based on the massive response, we reached out to Prof Virani and worked with him directly to create Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list. We hope that following Questions (asked by our readers) and Answers (by Prof. Virani Research Team administration) gives our readers detailed insight about this great opportunity.

Don’t delay, apply today. Application deadline is Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at 1 PM PT. 

Q1: I would love to participate in the program, but I am not from one of the countries listed. Can you tell us a bit more about how the eligibility criteria is determined?

A:  We would love to be able to accept applications from all countries around the world.  However, at present, our sponsor, Mitacs, has negotiated agreements to sponsor students from India, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Mexico, Tunisia, and Ukraine. In future years, other countries are expected to be added.

Q2: How can I be informed of future opportunities for which I may be eligible?

A: You can follow the profile of Professor Virani on This way you can also be informed whenever new articles, videos or other materials are added. Sign up here.

Q3: What is it like to study as part of a research team?

A: A number of previous students from the “Virani Research Dream Team” have documented their experiences in a series of short videos titled (click title name to watch video):

Why We Exist” “Who We Are” “What We Do” “What It’s Like” “Teamwork and Pluralism”  and “Dream. Research. Discover” 

Q4: Can you tell us more about the organizations involved in this opportunity?

A: Professor Virani’s fellowships are being sponsored by Mitacs, a Canadian not-for-profit organization that has designed and delivered research and training programs in Canada since 1999. With support of both the federal and provincial governments, it works with some 70 universities and builds partnerships that promote innovation and attracts international talent to Canada. The University of Toronto, which is hosting these fellowships, is one of the world’s premier universities and Professor Virani was asked if he would volunteer to host international students in his field of research, which includes Ismaili Studies. Professor Virani’s internships are among the very few offering research experiences in the Humanities.

Q5: Professor Virani does a lot of research with Arabic and Persian materials as well. I noticed that this opportunity focusses on Gujarati, Kachchhi and Sindhi. Will there be future opportunities in other languages?

A: We certainly hope so!  Professor Virani continues to offer research opportunities in Arabic and Persian, but not through this particular program.  As Mitacs currently doesn’t have agreements in countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, Iran or Tajikistan, for this fellowship, it was decided that the focus would be Satpanth Ismailism, the cultural form of Ismailism that developed in South Asia. This is particularly due to the demographics of many Mitacs-sponsored countries, such as India, the UK, France, and Australia.

Q6: How can I apply for this fellowship and learn the full details of the program?

A: For more information, please visit the following URL:

To complete the Mitacs Globalink Research Internship 2020 application, please visit the following URL, and click on the “Register,” “Login,” or “Projects” tab. In the “Projects” tab, you may search for these projects using the search term “Virani” under the filter “Professor’s Last Name”:




Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

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