Nematollah Azizi - Leverhulme Visiting Professor within CR&DALL


We are very pleased to announce that Nematollah Azizi from the University of Kurdistan, Iran, has been appointed as Leverhulme Visiting Professor within the School of Education at the University of Glasgow, hosted within CR&DALL. We are most grateful to the Leverhulme Trust for funding this position from January 2023 for 12 months, and very much look forward to Nematollah's stay with us. He was previously a collaborator in our British Academy, Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF)- funded project, Strengthening Urban Engagement of Universities in Asia and Africa (SUEUAA).

The core aim of his new programme of research is to enhance understanding of how universities can better contribute to sustainable economic, social and cultural development of their host cities through analysis of distinct approaches that have been taken in Iran in the context of Islamic thinking around culture and spirituality, identifying practices that are transferable to the UK. By contrast, the programme also seeks to explore potentially transferability of practices from the UK to Iran.

The specific objectives of his work are to examine the factors within universities that lead to successful knowledge exchange between universities and cities, in both Iran and the UK aligning these to the localisation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including the influence of:

  • national and regional policy frameworks
  • economically and socially driven performance targets
  • culture and spirituality
  • university and urban structures for leadership
  • the embeddedness of service to local communities within learning programmes 
  • mechanisms to promote engagement.

There will be particular attention given to what can be learnt and practiced by university academics, students and administrators at the University of Glasgow as they strive for more effective knowledge exchange with urban communities through assessing principles of teaching and learning, and of engagement from an Islamic perspective. There will be a particular effort given to approaches that will enhance engagement with Muslim communities in Glasgow, and that will make contributions to the university’s efforts in decolonialising the curriculum. Contributions will also be made to similar endeavours in community engaged research in other nations of the UK. Lessons learnt from UK practices will be analysed for potential transfer to Iran.

Since its foundation in 1925, the Leverhulme Trust has provided grants and scholarships for research and education, funding research projects, fellowships, studentships, bursaries and prizes; it operates across all the academic disciplines, the intention being to support talented individuals as they realise their personal vision in research and professional training. Today, it is one of the largest all-subject providers of research funding in the UK, distributing approximately £100 million a year. For more information about the Trust, please visit and follow the Trust on Twitter @LeverhulmeTrust

Discussion topics: 

CR&DALL Themes: