Farabi International Award, which is specifically aimed at the development of Islamic Humanities is held by the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology on an annual basis. With its goals being specified in both theoretical and applied fields, the Award has been organizationally defined in a way that enables it to receive the highest amount of support from research and educational organizations active in the field of Humanities. With this purpose in mind, the valuable experiences of Iran’s international festivals and the views and proposals provided by academies and research and scientific institutions were taken into consideration and used in designing the Award. In addition to that, all scientific and research seminaries and universities were invited to participate in the Award’s policy-making process, making up a comprehensive effort and collective action to identify and appreciate the selected works of Islamic Humanities. The Award receives, reviews, and chooses the selected works at the two young (under 35 years) and adult levels and, in terms of territory, covers both domestic and foreign areas. Where the domestic area is concerned, all the works produced by Iranians, regardless of their current location and profession, are considered, while the foreign area covers works produced by those who do not have an Iranian nationality.
The Theme of the Award
The theme of the Award includes Islamic Humanities. The only works admitted, registered, reviewed, evaluated, and introduced at the Award are those which meet the standards of a “research work”, and their method of submission can differ.
Alongside the field of “research works”, other fields that, under the right circumstances, can be activated and given an award to include:
- Correcting historical, literary, and philosophical texts;
- Theorizing and criticizing;
- Superior or influential translation or translator in the framework of the Award’s goals;
- Veterans in Humanities
- Leading figures in the field of Humanities;
- Superior scientific community;
- Superior scientific- research journal
The Necessity of Establishing and Holding the Award
- The need to strengthen the credibility of Humanities
Although Humanities-related principles and texts hold a special place in our Iranian-Islamic culture (so much so that the validity of our Iranian-Islamic civilization can be understood on the basis of the efficient and productive principles, content, and subjects of human sciences), over the past few centuries and decades, we have somehow witnessed the decline of this position and a decrease in the depth of the Humanities content, seeing it being marginalized in the mechanisms of decision-making;
an unfortunate and ominous phenomenon which has jeopardized our country’s indigenous and historical boundaries of identity and knowledge. That is why the restoration and development of Humanities and Islamic Sciences is considered a national necessity under the approach of reviewing and solution-finding, a necessity which “Farabi International Award” has put on its agenda with an emphasis on strengthening the principle of “validating the Islamic-Human Sciences”.
B. The Necessity of Theorizing in the Field of Humanities
The growing and effective role of Humanities in the development of different countries’ national strength and improvement of their international status cannot be denied. This reality leads us to the fact that national political and social units, for example without paying attention to the principle of “localized theorizing” in the field of human knowledge, cannot define and develop an appropriate and efficient module for the balanced development of their domestic state of affairs.
Therefore, in order to develop the boundaries of local knowledge and realize the powerful scientific and theoretical prospects that result from it, it is necessary to restore and pay more attention to the process of promoting and moving towards the perfection of human sciences.
C. The Necessity of Criticizing the Dominant Discourse in the Field of Humanities
For a country which has been trying to rebuild a society which is rooted in its scientific-cultural heritage and is in keeping with its traditional values, and considering the fact that localization and nurturing needs are inevitable conditions for its cognitive and physical development, the reassessment of dominant discourses in the areas of knowledge and awareness is an undeniable necessity; meanwhile, certain institutions and centers are required to take on some of the activities aimed at motivating, creating ideas, and facilitating operations that can realize this great change. Because of its motivational and infrastructural functions, Farabi International Award can play an effective role in this regard.
D. Paving the Ground for the Realization of Localized Human Sciences
Farabi International Award provides a great opportunity to stimulate ideas and strengthen the inclination towards planning research programs in the field of Islamic Humanities according to domestic and international conditions and requirements; an opportunity which strengthens the spirit of research and innovation in all scientific, cultural, and Islamic fields, and reinforces researchers and scholars’ faith in the knowledge-based development and expansion of indigenous knowledge in the field of Humanities. In this regard, Farabi International Award can be considered a motivating and energizing agent which helps to develop scientific competitions and paves the ground for upgrading the scientific value of this field’s findings and outputs, thus improving its position in the discourse and system of knowledge management and the development of our country; an important and effective mission which finds justification in the obvious necessity of these goals and the afore-mentioned prospects.
Legal Foundations, Goals, and Structure of the Award
- Legal Foundations
Putting a steadfast emphasis on the necessity of developing and strengthening Humanities, including gaining the attention of Iran’s authorities and experts to policy priorities and strategic planning aimed at the qualitative improvement and transformation of Humanities research, contributed to the realization of the first legal steps of this important issue. For example, the passage of the Act 88 of the Second Development Plan is a necessary and effective measure in this regard, which increased the share of research costs to 1.5 percent of the GDP.
When this approach was further strengthened in 1996, the “National Research Program” was adopted by the Supreme Council of Research, and the National Plan on Humanities Research was among its main programs. Adopting such measures paved the ground for the allocation of resources and legal materials, and the establishment of Farabi International Award in the framework of Iran’s decision-making system.
The legal foundations set up for the establishment of the Award include the following legal provisions:
- “Farabi International Award” was established under Paragraph 4 of Article 3 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, where as part of the country's highest legislative charter “strengthening the spirit of research and innovation in all scientific, technical, cultural, and Islamic fields through the establishment of research centers and encouragement of researchers” is put forwards as an important mission.
- “Farabi International Award” is held to realize the goals of the 1404 Vision Plan, where, the “Islamic Republic of Iran” becomes the first scientific and technological power in the region, a promise that will inspire the Islamic Republic of Iran in identifying and developing the scientific potentials of the country and the Muslim world at the international level.
- “The Eighth Farabi International Award” is held as part of the implementation of the Resolution 161902/T52716H passed by the government in 2015.
- Goals of the Award
The overall goal of Farabi International Award is to strengthen potentials, pay enough attention to the necessity of knowledge production in accordance with the local needs of the leading Islamic community, and build motivational and supportive capacities for research and innovation.
In conformity with the latter goal, two sets of concrete and longitudinal goals are mentioned briefly here:
- Macro and Long-term Goals
- Paving the ground for the production of local Islamic and Iranian knowledge;
- Creating a positive attitude towards Humanities in the country and leading and motivating young talents in this field;
- Introducing and deepening the views regarding the role of Humanities in the production of science and civilization-building in the Iranian society and the Islamic world;
- Strengthening and developing ideas and plans regarding the localization of Islamic Humanities in Iran and the Islamic world;
- Representing the scientific capabilities of Iran and the Islamic world in the field of Islamic Humanities;
- Helping to explain the importance, function, and effective role of Humanities in national and international planning and policymaking processes.
- Practical Goals
- Providing favorable conditions to encourage and guide young talents to study and research in the field of Islamic Humanities;
- Contributing to the application of Humanities by identifying the most important issues in the expansion of the Iranian society and the Islamic world;
- Identifying and introducing top talents in the field of Islamic Humanities in order to benefit from their potentials in developing the boundaries of knowledge
The Structural Features of the Award
“Farabi International Award” is held on an annual basis by the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, and in collaboration with UNESCO and ISESCO and several domestic scientific and research centers. The internal relations and organizational connections of the Award are in line with its defined goals in two theoretical fields, and are organized in a way that gains the maximum support of the Ministry of Science, Research, and Technology and other academic-research centers active in the field of Humanities. In order to realize this goal, the valuable experiences of Iran’s international festivals and the views and proposals provided by academies and research and scientific institutions were taken into consideration and used in designing the Award.
In addition to that, all scientific and research seminaries and universities were invited to participate in the Award’s policy-making process, making up a comprehensive effort and collective action to identify and appreciate the selected works of humanities and Islamic studies. The Award receives, reviews, and chooses the selected works at the two young (under 35 years) and adult levels and, in terms of territory, covers both domestic and foreign areas. Where the domestic area is concerned, all the works produced in the field of Humanities profession are considered, while the foreign area covers works produced on Islamic civilization, Iranology, and the Islamic Revolution. All in all, if we are asked to point out the most important structural features of Farabi International Award which contribute to its functional and substantive roles, we can mention the following points:
Being Periodic: The Award is held annually in Iran. The first Award was held in February 2007, the second Award was held in December 2008, and third Award was held in November 2009, the fourth Award was held in November 2010, the fifth Award was held in November 2011, the sixth Award was held in November 2012, and the seventh Award was held in April 2015.
Being International: The Award provides an opportunity for scientists, researchers, artists, and cultural and scientific institutions in the Islamic world to exchange opinions, introduces Iran’s cultural, scientific, art and literary achievements to the world, and facilitates the introduction of new global cultural achievements to Iranian researchers.
Process Transparency: The type of activities and the processes carried out by the Award to realize them have been determined and approved to avoid non-scientific judgments and base them on expert decision-makings. According to the rules of the Award, the following steps are taken by the Secretariat before holding each Award:
- Establishing a Policymaking Council to study and approve the Award’s macro principles and policies in each term and choose the heads of scientific groups;
- Establishing a Scientific Council to review and approve the scientific criteria for judging research works in each Award;
- Identifying and selecting the members and establishing the scientific groups tasked with making the necessary preparations for judging and studying the received research works;
- Widespread invitation call for participating in the Award through various means inside and outside the country and carrying out the measures necessary for its universal coverage and registration of all received works;
- Assessing and introducing top research works selected in five stages carried out according to judgment procedure regulations.
Observing Justice in Judgment: In order to guarantee judgement accuracy and impartiality in the assessment of the received works, order to ensure the accuracy of judgment and assessment works, the Award’s Policymaking Council has determined that all the people involved in the Award’s scientific councils or administrative activities should be denied participation in the Award held that year.
Being Comprehensive: Farabi International Award takes different aspects of research activities into consideration, and therefore has a very diverse program. The titles of its main programs highlight the fact that the Award goes beyond “research works” and puts all aspects of research activities on its agenda.