Research Excellence Fellows

Dr. Yaqoob Khan Bangash is a historian of Modern South Asia. His current research interests are in the emergence of Pakistan as a post-colonial state, with broader interests in decolonization, modern state formation, formation of identities, and the emergence of ethnic and identity based conflicts. His DPhil thesis was on the accession and integration of the princely states in Pakistan, which has been published by Oxford University Press as A Princely Affair: Accession and Integration of Princely States in Pakistan, 1947–55. He has just finished a history of the Lahore High Court which will be published in 2020. Dr Bangash is currently working on a monograph on the imagination of Pakistan as a country after its creation, using the debates of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan (1947–56) as the basic primary material. He has published in South Asia Research and the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, and has written articles for two edited volumes. He also regularly writes for The News, The Express Tribune and other publications. In 2018, he was a British Academy Visiting Fellow at Royal Holloway, University of London. 

Dr Bangash’s BA degree is from the University of Notre Dame, USA, and his DPhil from Oxford. He is Director at the Centre for Governance and Policy, Information Technology University, Lahore.

Dr. Gholamreza Jafari received his Ph.D. degrees from Sharif University of Technology at the department of physics in 2005. Now He is a faculty member at the Physics Department and Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences of Shahid Beheshti University. He was fellow of the Central European University in 2016. After his research fellow, he has kept his close collaboration with the Department of Network and Data Science at CEU. He has done several projects and published many papers in the fields of social and financial networks in these years. His fields of research are complex networks and social science. His focus of research is in a system with a large number of interacting agents, whose aggregate behavior is nonlinear. However, most appreciated data-driven approaches to study them try to infer the complex interaction network of the system agents, neglecting the cause and consequences of the macroscopic collective modes of the system. He is interested in understanding and modeling the modern society with respect to the perspective of culture, market, business and management with the tools of different disciplines. Problems, which historically were dedicated to special fields are now common topics of research amount different disciplines. Internet, especially social media, is playing a crucial role in this new scenario of doing interdisciplinary research. Here you can find out more about his activities, researches and some courses on his research group page the Center for Complex Networks & Social Cognition.

Dr. Suleiman, Mohamed Ahmed is assistant professor at the faculty of arts, Beni Suef University, Egypt. His main fields of interest are patristic theology, medieval Christian philosophy, history of religions and the interreligious dialogue between Christianity and Islam. He got his first academic degree in philosophy with (Summa Cum Laude), after obtaining the premaster degree from Cairo University; he joined the monastery of Dominican fathers, consequently, the monastery of Jesuit fathers and Franciscan fathers in Cairo to start his master degree. He started hisPhD in Christian theology. Hetravelled to Greece and stayed 4 years for the preparation of hisPhD dissertation at the University of Ioannina. During his stay inGreece he worked asinstructor of Arabic language for foreigners, also as an interpreter and translator in the Greek police and the Greek judicial court. He is recognized officially as translator and interpreter in the list of the international translators and interpreters in Greece. He is also the ambassador of Greekinstitute of cultural diplomacy in Africa and the Middle East. He is the coordinator of the supreme committee of scholarships inministry of higher education in Egypt, also the director of the international relations office at Beni Suef University, Egypt. He is a Reviewer and member of the cultural Journal InterArtes, and member of the scientific board of the international journal for religious and philosophical studies, (IJRPS), also the international journal of Cultural and Religious Studies. He participated and wasmoderator and member of scientific committees in many international conferences and seminars in Europe, he worked also as visiting doctor in some European universities, Romania, Hungary, Greece, Sweden, Austriaand Italy. Dr. Suleiman speaks Arabic, English, French, Modern Greek and Italian; he has also a good knowledge of the Ancient Greek and Latin. His main research afterPhD focuses on the interreligious and intercultural dialogue between Judaism, Christianityand Islam; the aim of his research interest is to achieve peace and stability in the framework of religions and society, especially after the global socio-political and religious changes after the Arab spring period.


Dr. Rodrigo Illarraga is Assistant Professor at the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Political Science at the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina). He holds his MA in History and his Ph.D in Philosphy from University of Buenos Aires. He have obtained grants for stays and short stays at University of São Paulo (Brazil), Princeton Univesity (USA), and Universty of Sevilla (Spain). He has been Jacobi Fellow at the Kommission für Alte Geschichte und Epigraphik des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts (Germany) and he is Research Excellence Fellow at the Central European University (USA and Hungary). He also was recipient of research grants from University of Buenos Aires and The National Scientific and Technical Research Council (Argentina). His research interest concerns Ethics and Politics in Socratic Philosophers (Plato, Xenophon, Aristippus and Antisthenes). About this topics he has wrote books and several papers in peer-review journals as Méthexis (Brill, USA) and Quaderni Urbinati di Cultura Classica (Fabrizio Serra Editore, Italy). At present, he ismember of the Executive Committee (2019-2022) of the International Society for Socratic Studies.

Dr. Viktoriia Svyrydenko, Deputy Director of Marin Drinov Centre for Bulgarian and Balkan Studies at the V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University (Ukraine). She earned her MA (2011) and BA degrees (2010) in History from V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University (Ukraine). During her PhD studies at the Department of Ukrainian Studies at the V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University (2011–2015) she was twice (in 2013/2014 and 2015) Erasmus Mundus doctoral grantee at Humboldt University of Berlin. She holds Ph.D. degree in History (2016) from M. S. Hrushevsky Institute of Ukrainian Archeography and Source Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in Kyiv (dissertation “The Politics of Memory of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria towards the Epoch of National Revival: Source Complex”). In 2016/2017 she conducted post-doctoral research at St. Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia, about the myths of the “Turkish yoke” and national Revival in shaping the national identities of the nations, previously dominated by the Ottoman Empire. From August 2018 till January 2019 she was Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies at the University of Tartu (Estonia), studying memories and identities in contemporary Ukraine. Her research interests focus on East and Central Eastern European history, history of Ukraine, memory studies, entangled history/memory, borderland studies.

Dr. Fardin Alikhah is Assistant Professor at the Department of social sciences at the University of Guilan in Iran. He holds a PH.D in sociology from Allameh Tabatabaei University, Tehran. His research interests are social media, celebrity, city, gender, everyday life, lifestyle changes, consumer culture, dance, fashion, music, car culture, and public spaces. Parallel to teaching at the university, Fardin has been trying to bring sociology beyond the university and share it with non-sociologists and non-academic audiences. His public writings are widely followed on Persian social media. Geographically, his studies focus on Iranian society. Fardin is interested in studying Iranian everyday life with an interdisciplinary approach. He has published various articles in academic journals. The Transformation of the Cities, The Street, and Consumerism as a way of life are books he has translated into Persian. They wrote a book after divorce, which is a collection of Fardin‘s public writings will be released soon for Persian language readers. The center of Media, Data and society at the CEU is host of Fardin and his research topic is Media Consumption and Acculturation among Immigrant Iranians.

Dr. Nyo Nyo received PhD degree from Bangalore University at the department of geography in 2004. She serves as the professor and head of geography and environmental studies department at University of Mandalay. She was a fellow of the Central European University in 2014. She has done about 3 projects withe collaboration of CEU and also with the Institute of geography from Cologne University (Germany) and Florence University (Italy). So far she has 13 international publications. Her interest is varied disciplines of land use and human geography which are related to the environment.

Dr. Olena Babinova received her Ph.D. degrees from National Academy of Public Administration under the President of Ukraine. After it she was a post-doctoral researcher at the Academy. The main fields of her research interests are democracy and good governance, local and regional development, public administration reforms, European integration and neighborhood policy. About these topics she has wrote 4 books and more that 60 papers in national and international peer-review journals. She has significant experience as a governmental consultant in Ukraine. As a member of different working groups she has participated in the creation of the drafts of law and conceptions of development in the fields of her main research interests. In Ukraine she worked as an Adviser to the Head of the Foundation for Local Self-Government of Ukraine, Chief Consultant at the National Institute for Strategic Studies of Ukraine. She was a participant of international conferences in Greece, Canada, Belgium, Bulgaria, Italy, Hungary, Czech Republic, Latvia, etc. She had professional internship at the Ryerson University in Canada (Toronto) and Council of Europe, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe (Strasbourg). She has been a research fellow at the Pantheon-Sorbonne University Paris 1, GRALE (Paris, France), National School of  Administration (Strasbourg, France), Charles University, Department of Political Science (Prague, Czech Republic), Latvian University, Department of Political Science (Riga, Latvia), etc.

Dr. Sumita Sarkar is Dean (Academics & Research) at IBSAR group of colleges, a leading Business school included among top 100 B schools in India. She represented IBSAR at University of Frostburg in USA, UKHM University, Bangi, Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, Universitas Pancalsila Jakarta, , Indonesia and DAKAM Institute of Mediterranean Studies , Turkey and ISI Bangalore, India. She has been teaching post graduate students “Research Methodology”, CSR (corporate social responsibility) and “Culture and Social change” in a dynamic context of India and these courses have been well received. She is a sociologist by profession. Dr Sarkar has over two decades of experience in academics and action research. She received her M.Phil and PhD from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. For M.Phil she was awarded Dorabji Merit Fellowship and she did her Doctoral studies under fellowship of Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. Subsequently, she pursued her Post-Doctoral Fellowship from London School of Economics (LSE), UK, for which she was awarded Sir Ratan Tata Asia Research Fellowship, 2008-09. For her Doctoral work she was awarded “Best British Post-Graduate Research Award” especially for methodological uniqueness and anthropological narrative at the University of Hull, UK, 2002. She has shared her research expertise and experience widely across several international universities as a guest speaker and fellow, especially in, UK, Australia and South East Asia. In 2016, she was invited as Visiting Professor Fellow at the Department of Sociology, Charles University, Prague. Her research interests are in the areas of development studies, gender and evelopment, social exclusion and marginalisation, gender and labour (organised/unorganised sector), Qualitative Research Methods and in the areas of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). She has several research publications to her credit in national and international journals. She has also conducted several research projects in the field of City Traffic Policing, City Space and Crime, Counter Cultural impact on Gaddi Tribe of Himalayas, Women in Micro-Finance, Women in BPO/KPO (Organized labour), Media and Women Image – Body and Sexuality, Women labourers in Brick kilns (Unorganized sector), women workers in urban housing construction (unorganised sector), Resettlement & Rehabilitation of PAP (project affected People), City, Gender & victimization, etc. funded by ministry of Urban Development (MMRDA/CIDCO), University Grant Commission, and Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), Government of India. More significantly her longitudinal research study on women and tea plantation of North Bengal is noteworthy as it has been acknowledged by the Indian council of social scientist forum (Govt. India, New Delhi). She has authored two books, titled: Globalization & Gender, by Rawat Publications 2010; Gender Inequality & Discriminatory Practices in India – Discourse & Dilemmas, by Rawat publications (in press), 2019. She has been awarded Visiting Research Excellence Fellowship at the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at CEU (2019)to extend her ‘work’ in this area of women labour force in tea plantation economy based on anthropological methodologyleading towards a qualitative narrative of her working research paper’.


Dr. Ye Qing is a post-doctor researcher in the School of Architecture, Tianjin University, and a lecturer at Hebei University of Technology. She obtained her PhD from Tianjin University in 2015(China). During her doctoral period, she obtained the scholarship Urban Knowledge Network of Asian from the Marie Curie Foundation (2013), and spent 15 months in Delft University of Technology as a visiting scholar (the Netherlands). Currently, her research fields include old residential community renovation, green building assessment systems, and green campus. She obtained the 3 fundings based on these fields: Study on Multi-purpose Comprehensive optimization Numerical model of Existing City Communities green transformation- the case of Tianjin(2018-2020) , National Natural Science Foundation of China(NSFC). Study on the comprehensive optimization method of the multi-purpose of the green transformation - the case of residential area in Tianjin, (2017-2020), Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of the People’s Republic of China (MOHURD). Study on Green Campus Construction Strategy and Methods in Tianjin,(2017-2018),Tianjin Municipal Science and Technology Commission. She has been granted the Research Excellence Fellowship at PD CEU in 2018, and started the fellow in April, 2019. During the fellow research, she will focus on renovation of old districts in Tianjin and interact with the Naturvation project team at CEU.