The Kurdish Political Studies Program (KPSP), hosted at the School of Politics, Security, and International Affairs, is the first and only academic program dedicated to the study of politics of Kurds and Kurdistan in the United States. The KPSP promotes academic studies and public awareness of Kurdish politics, organizes events addressing contemporary issues affecting Kurdish people, facilitates exchanges and collaborations between UCF and Kurdish universities, and develops curriculum focusing on themes related to the Kurdish experience. The KPSP is integrated with the Security Studies doctoral program. A review of the KPSP activities is found here.

The KPSP is also the home of the Jalal Talabani Endowed Chair of Kurdish Political Studies, the only such position in the country, which was inaugurated on October 29, 2015. The mission of the Chair includes teaching, research and scholarly pursuits centering on Kurdish Political Studies, and further developing recognized excellence in that field. It also facilitates fellowships, distinguished visitors, public forums, courses, workshops and other offerings that objectively present and discuss policies and conditions affecting the security, peace and democratic governance of the Kurdish people, including episodes of mass violence such as the Anfal genocide.


Dr. Najmaldin Karim Fellowship in Kurdish Political Studies

The Kurdish Political Studies Program (KPSP) sponsors the Dr. Najmaldin Karim Fellowship for undergraduate students at UCF. The fellow is provided a research space conducive to educational and professional development and conduct a research project related to Kurdish politics, broadly defined, under the supervision of KPSP faculty in every spring semester. This research has the aim of producing a final paper that is worthy of publication.  It aims to enrich the fellow’s academic credentials, providing a unique opportunity to gain in-depth insights about Kurdish politics through independent research. The fellow will receive $500 for the semester.  All financial aid rules and regulations apply.

Application Requirements
• A minimum GPA of 3.5
• A one-page letter of interest
• A writing sample (e.g., term paper submitted in a class)
• An unofficial copy of transcript
• A resume with two listed academic references

Students should submit their application to kurdish@ucf.edu. The application deadline for Spring 2020 is October 31, 2019. A committee of UCF faculty will select the fellow. The winner will be announced November 21, 2019 at the KPSP’s Kurdish Forum.

Previous Fellows

Jenna Dovydaitis – Spring 2019

Margaret Morgan – Spring 2018

Kellan Ritter – Spring 2017


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