Salam Initiative

USA National Taleem Department Salam Initiative

Salam Fellows Designation FAQs

“But man attempted not the steep ascent.” [Balad 90:12]

What is the Salam Initiative and the Salam Fellows designation?

The Salam Initiative is a program, setup by the USA National Taleem Department, to accelerate the pipeline of Ahmadi Muslim scientists and innovators who will InshaAllah lead the next Islamic Golden Age of science and technology.

A Salam Fellow is an elite designation given to:

  1. A USA Ahmadi Muslim scientist, which includes a technology innovator, or student of science who (a) has an ardent desire to follow in the footsteps of Professor Abdus Salam and (b) is driven by his/her faith as an Ahmadi Muslim to pursue excellence in science.
  2. He/she has either committed to or is interested in pursuing a career path in scientific research and in advancing new knowledge and technology in his/her discipline. The sciences are broadly defined as any fundamental or applied field that has a scientific approach. Examples include STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), economics, and quantitative social sciences.

What is the current category of Salam Fellows that has started?

Salam Fellow (SF):

  1. Salam Fellow
  2. Salam Fellow Trainee (SFT)

What defines the Salam Fellows and their eligibility criteria?

A Salam Fellow is a USA Ahmadi Muslim scientist or student of science who has excelled in his/her scientific discipline or study. Candidates must be a trainee or a professional.

We have selected our Salam Fellow first cohort for 2024 from the Talent Award applicants. We are working with them on the core component of the Salam Fellows program, which is the Mentor-Mentee relationship.

When the 2026 cycle begins, we will have an open call for Salam Fellow applications, but in the meantime, if you have the desire and believe you qualify to be a Salam Fellow, we encourage you to apply to the Talent Award or Taleem Scholarship program. We will use the Talent Award applicant pool as a short list for the 2025 cycle.

What are the future envisioned categories of Salam Fellows designations?

There are 3 Salam Fellows designations envisioned, and they are the:

  1. Senior Salam Fellow (SSF)
  2. Salam Fellow (SF):
    • Salam Fellow
    • Salam Fellow Trainee (SFT)
  3. Junior Salam Fellow
    • Tier 1: 5th-8th grade
    • Tier 2: 9-12th grade
    • Tier 3: Undergraduate

When will the future categories be launched?

We have started with the middle category of Salam Fellows and based on the mentorship network and outcomes of these first few cohorts, we will have a better sense of when the other categories will be launched.

What will define each of the other types of envisioned Salam Fellows and their eligibility criteria?

The Senior Salam Fellow is a USA Ahmadi Muslim scientist who is recognized through his/her research impact or accolades as having played or is on the verge of playing an “outstanding or extraordinary role in the scientific and intellectual development of the world.” The latter quote is from an epic address at the 2019 AMRA UK conference by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV (aba). Senior Salam Fellows are selected through nominations to a committee. The details of the nominations and vetting process are currently work in progress.
A Junior Salam Fellow is a USA Ahmadi Muslim student fifth grade to undergraduate, who has expressed an interest in pursuing a career path in science. Currently, Tier 1 Junior Salam Fellow candidates are identified as having placed at the top level of the Taleem Math Challenge and can opt in to be considered for selection. We are looking into an application process for 9th grade and above. Stay tuned for more information.
The selection process for the Salam Fellows is currently work in progress. 

What are the term limits for the Salam Fellows and each of the other envisioned types of Salam Fellows, and can members renew their term or go from one type to another?

Senior Salam Fellows have no term limit. Salam Fellows or Junior Salam Fellows have a 3-year term and may reapply without a term limit. Depending on eligibility (e.g., education level), Junior Salam Fellows can either renew their term through an application process or apply to become a Salam Fellow.
All Salam Fellows are required to be members in good standing in the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA.

What are the benefits of becoming a Salam Fellow?

The main benefit of the Salam Fellowship is to facilitate mentorship. 

In addition, we envision that Salam Fellows will have special opportunities to travel scholarships to signature symposia (e.g., the Holy Quran and Science Symposia, the MuSLiM series [Medicine, Science, Learning, Mentorship]). There may be special small group virtual or in-person seminars, retreats, career development workshops, as well as the chance to form affinity groups.