Leiden University: Three Leiden PhD candidates awarded Mosaic 2.0 scholarships

Three PhD candidates from Leiden University have been awarded a Mosaic 2.0 scholarship for their PhD research. The Dutch Research Council (NWO) Mosaic 2.0 programme is aimed at an underrepresented group of graduates with a migrant background.

A total of 13 PhD candidates have been awarded a scholarship. The three Leiden PhD candidates are Sam Botan (Archaeology), Sara Bolghiran (Leiden University Institute for Area Studies) and Ruya Akdag (Psychology).

Sam Botan (Archaeology)
Across the oceans from Aksum: a comparative analysis of Aksumite pottery at the time of the ancient Indian Ocean trade network (100 BC – 800 AD)

The Kingdom of Aksum had vast power in antiquity but because of East Africa’s European colonial past has received little archaeological attention. This PhD research will fill this gap by mapping Aksum’s role within the Indian Ocean trade network from 100 BC to 800 AD.

Chemical and statistical analyses of pottery from various regions (such as India, Oman and Somaliland) will make it possible to reconstruct Aksumite trade routes and interpret import and export patterns. The result will then be compared with textual sources and studied within the wider framework of ancient globalisation theory.

Sara Bolghiran (Leiden University Institute for Area Studies)
The other Muslim: a study of Muslim subjectivity in the Netherlands

This research is about a growing group of young Muslims in the Netherlands – and the rest of the world – for whom texts and rules are not central to their faith. As such, their view of Islam differs from the generally accepted one. This is also the reason why they do not openly profess their faith. This study will show, on the one hand, the diversity and complexity of what it means to be a Muslim and, on the other, that this relationship with Islam is not new but was already a topic of discussion in Medieval Islam.

Ruya Akdag (Psychology)
The role of emotions and cognition in the development and prevention of social anxiety in young people

Adolescents with social anxiety avoid social situations and are often rejected by their peers, which results in loneliness, low well-being and a low quality of life. To prevent this this project will research whether social anxiety is influenced by cognitive and affective disorders. It will also look at whether the regulation of both disorders via accessible digital interventions can help adolescents learn to cope with their social anxiety.