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06 Feb 2015

First SABIC Grant Awarded to GEM DBA Candidate

For the first time ever, a Grenoble Ecole de Management DBA candidate has been awarded the SABIC grant.  The DBA candidate, John Sandwick, proposed an original thesis project on Islamic asset management, an area of Islamic finance that has yet to be studied in depth.

John Sandwick, a Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM) DBA candidate, is the institution's first-ever recipient of the SABIC Chair grant for Islamic Financial Market Studies. Sandwick was awarded the grant for his unique thesis proposal to study Islamic asset management.

The GEM DBA program is designed to give doctoral candidates the tools and support they need to have a global impact. Receiving financial support for innovative research projects can be a key part of successfully completing a DBA. Each year candidates in GEM DBA programs around the world (France, USA, India, Switzerland and China) apply for grants both at home and abroad.

John Sandwick, a California native, is the perfect illustration of the international nature of GEM DBA programs. Having worked and lived in Switzerland for several years, Sandwick is now earning his doctorate through a French business school thanks to the GEM - Webster University DBA program. The SABIC grant adds one more international facet to this already cosmopolitan DBA candidate!

Shining a spotlight on Islamic asset management

Research at GEM always strives to create new knowledge and contribute to the international scientific community. Sandwick's thesis on Islamic asset management is a unique opportunity for a GEM DBA candidate to have a global impact. "Asset management is a massive global industry, but strangely there is no space developed yet for Islamic asset management." explains Sandwick.

The lack of attention currently given to the sharia-compliant investible universe was the key reason for the SABIC chair's support of Sandwick's work. By laying the groundwork for further study of Islamic asset management, Sandwick will be providing the international business community with the tools necessary to evaluate the viability of this subset of Islamic finance.

The supporting role of DBA workshops

"My first application was rejected [for the SABIC grant]. Only after numerous DBA workshops did I realize how inadequate my scholarship was." said Sandwick in his comments on earning this grant. "GEM helped rewire my brain, from a pure businessman to a businessman with sensitivity and knowledge of scholarly skills."

Having taught at the Paris-Dauphine University graduate school and mentored students at Webster University, Sandwick was searching for the right DBA program to earn the distinction of doctorate-level research. He chose GEM not only for its firm commitment to academic excellence, but for its supportive training program.

Workshops on fundamental scholarly topics (Research Question, Research Roadmap, Literature Review, etc.) laid the foundation for both a successful grant application and a thesis that is well on its way to influencing the world of international Islamic finance.

About the SABIC grant

Administered by the Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University (IMSIU) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, this grant is awarded by the SABIC Chair for Islamic Financial Market Studies. The grant offers Sandwick a unique opportunity to create a link between research at GEM and the world of Islamic finance.

For more information on earning a GEM DBA in Switzerland.