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Recipient of FIS Best Ph.D. Dissertation Award for 2014 Announced

The Best Ph.D. Dissertation on a Topic of Iranian Studies, 2014

November 20, 2014

The Foundation for Iranian Studies is pleased to announce that the Committee on Selection of the Best Dissertation of the Year on a Topic of Iranian Studies of the Foundation for Iranian Studies has chosen Dr. Eric Sander Lob’s dissertation “An Institutional History of the Iranian Construction Jihad: From Inception to Institutionalization (1979-2011),” submitted to the Faculty of Princeton University as the recipient of the Foundation's annual Ph.D. dissertation award for the academic year 2013-2014.

In making its decision, the Committee, following the criteria established by the Foundation’s Board of Directors, noted that Eric Lob has made an "exceptional contribution to the field of Iranian and Middle Eastern Studies” by, among other achievements, “stating clearly the study’s problematic… constructing an adequate and efficient theoretical framework…developing and using successfully a rigorous methodology to bring together a significant array of primary and secondary sources, including critical information secured through interviews judiciously conducted in the field in Iran and abroad, to support an innovative approach to the empirical study of postrevolutionary politics in general and politics of the Islamic Republic in particular, using the evolutionary history of the Iranian Construction Jihad (jihad-e sazandegi) as a case … methodically connecting data, text, and speech to achieve a credible framework for studying the ways and means states may employ to achieve and maintain control over otherwise chaotic and uncertain post-revolutionary conditions ... successfully tracing the political and administrative outlines for, and establishing the importance of, routinizing revolutionary rigor  into efficient institutions in support of state domestic and foreign policy ... excellent organization of the work."

The Committee also cited Michael Shenkar’s dissertation “Anthropomorphic Iconography of Iranian Deities in the Pre-Islamic Iranian World” submitted to the Senate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Shawhin Roudbari’s dissertation “Transnational Transformation of Archtecture Practice: Iranian Architects in the New Geography of Professional Authority, 1945-2012” submitted to the Graduate Division of the University of California at Berkeley, with honorable mention for superior scholarship, originality, clarity, and significant contribution to Iranian Studies.

Notice of the awards will appear on the Foundation’s interactive web, in Iran Nameh, MESA and ISIS journals, and in various Persian and English language academic publications.

Gholam Reza Afkhami


Ph.D. Dissertation Awards Committee

Foundation for Iranian Studies


Inviting Applications for Best Ph.D. Dissertation in a Field of Iranian Studies Award 2015

The Foundation for Iranian Studies invites applications for its annual award of $1000 for the best Ph.D. dissertation in a field of Iranian Studies. Students completing their dissertations between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015 are eligible to apply for the 2015 award.  


Dissertations must be nominated by the author's advisor and be accompanied by the Dissertation Committee's letter of acceptance. Both documents may be emailed provided they contain appropriate official insignias and signatures.


Applicants for the 2015 award should submit a digital copy of the dissertation, either mailed on disc to


Foundation for Iranian Studies
4343 Montgomery Avenue
Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814


or emailed to:

fis@fis-iran.org or



Deadline for Submissions is August 15, 2015.


For further information about the award, selection criteria, and previous winners consult the Foundation’s Website at www.fis-iran.org, Programs, Dissertation Awards. Inquiries should be emailed to fis@fis-iran.org.

Gholam Reza Afkhami


Dissertation Award Committee


Foundation for Iranian Studies

4343 Montgomery Avenue

Bethesda, Maryland 20814





To view the announcement of the winner of the best Ph.D. award for the academic year 2012-2013 please visit http://fis-iran.org/en/programs/dissertationaward