NISIS is a collaboration between nine Dutch and one Belgian universities with a substantive scholarship on Islam and Muslim societies.
In 2009, eight Dutch universities decided to join forces in a national research school for Islamic studies: the Netherlands Interuniversity School for Islamic Studies (NISIS), which was officially established on 1 January 2010. In 2013 Maastricht University joined the partnership, which means that NISIS now includes all Dutch universities with a substantive scholarship in Islamic studies. Since 2018, the KU Leuven joins the NISIS partnership and is therefore the first Belgian university to join the partnership. NISIS is the first successful Dutch endeavour to connect researchers and students from all disciplinary backgrounds working in the field of Islamic Studies.
NISIS covers the field in its broadest dimension, by acknowledging that Islam can only be properly studied from different disciplinary angles and with a multidisciplinary sensitivity, without ignoring its doctrinal, cultural and historical specificities. Students and researchers participating in NISIS activities have disciplinary backgrounds in law, history, religious studies, theology, anthropology, sociology, political studies, media studies, security studies and philology. NISIS covers a wide range of regional expertise, as geographically, NISIS members work on the Middle East, Africa, Turkey, Iran, Indonesia, Central Asia, Russia, China and Western Europe.
NISIS aims at:
- Enlarging and deepening already existing knowledge of Islam and Muslim societies;
- Creating an academic community in which research in the field of Islam and Muslim societies can be optimally pursued;
- Mediating between a new generation of researchers and innovative disciplinary and interdisciplinary developments, theoretical and methodological initiatives and explorations in the field.
Through its training programme, NISIS facilitates education for PhD candidates and research master students in the Netherlands doing research on Islam and Muslim societies. The NISIS training programme aims at the following:
- To provide insight and stimulate participation in the current academic debate;
- To encourage students to write about and present projects throughout their PhD and Research master trajectory;
- To introduce students to an international network of scholars in the field.
To achieve these aims NISIS organises seasonal schools, network days and other educational activities on themes that are fundamental to the study of Islam and Muslim societies. NISIS is part of the network of Dutch national research schools in the Arts and Humanities (Landelijk Overleg Geesteswetenschappelijke OnderzoeksScholen, LOGOS) under the authority of the assembly of Deans of the Faculties of Arts and Humanities (Disciplineoverleg Letteren en Geschiedenis DLG).