Dr Jasjit Singh

Dr Jasjit Singh

Research Fellow

0113 343 0692

Summary: Dr Jasjit Singh's research focuses on processes of religious and cultural transmission in the lives of British South Asians, in particular British Sikhs.

Location: Baines Wing, LG06

Teaching Commitments: THEO1900: Introduction to South Asian Religions THEO2900: The Sikh Tradition

Research Interests

My research focuses on processes of religious and cultural transmission in the lives of British South Asians, in particular British Sikhs. Unlike many studies of religious transmission which have focused on members of western majority communities, my research focuses on understanding how members of diasporic communities learn about religion and culture.  To what extent are they influenced by migration, ethnicity and minority status?  And, situated as they are in western modernity, how far do British South Asians experience a ‘turn to the self’ and manage individual authority whilst also sustaining membership of a religious community?

My doctoral research which was formally recognised by the University of Leeds for its Research Excellence examined the relationship between traditional arenas of religious transmission such as the family environment and religious institutions and newer arenas of religious transmission often organised by young people themselves including camps, University faith societies and the Internet. I used a number of innovative methods to gather data for my research including the implementation of the first large scale online survey of young British Sikhs with gathered over 600 responses. The research was funded through a Collaborative Doctoral Award as part of the ‘Youth Call’ of the AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society programme.  The collaboration was between the Theology and Religious Studies department at the University of Leeds and a local community organisation, BECAS (Bradford Educational and Cultural Association of Sikhs) who were established in 1983 to ensure that the educational needs of young Sikhs were being met in local schools.  BECAS were particularly interested in understanding how young British Sikhs interact with gurdwaras, and what other methods they are using to learn about Sikhism.

Since completing my PhD I have made a significant contribution to scholarship on religious and cultural transmission of South Asian religion, through my developing record of internationally excellent publications. I am also developing a track record of gaining competitive research funding most recently as Principal Investigator (PI) researching literature on the cultural value of South Asian Arts. I have been selected to participate in a number of AHRC schemes, including the AHRC Connected Communities Early Career Festival and the AHRC Engaging with Government scheme. My research benefits from my ability to build strong working relationships with academic colleagues within and outside the University of Leeds.


In addition to these research achievements, I have a growing track record of successful and innovative teaching at both Undergraduate and Postgraduate level. I have always received positive feedback on my teaching. Students at Leeds have found my objectives, organisation and clarity either “very clear” or “clear” and have praised me for being an “incredibly good tutor and for being helpful and providing good feedback”. To date I have taught the following courses:

1/ UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS: 2008 – present
LEVEL 1: Key Texts in Theology & Religious Studies (Team teaching of seminars)
LEVEL 1: Religion in Modern Britain (Team teaching of lectures and seminars)
LEVEL 1: Introduction to South Asian Religions (Team teaching of lectures and seminars)
LEVEL 2: The Sikh Tradition (Module leader – design and teaching of full module)
LEVEL 3: Religion and Media (Guest lecture on Religion Online)
LEVEL M: Research Processes and Methods: (Guest lecture on Quantitative Methods)

LEVEL 2: World Religions: Texts and Traditions (Module leader – design and teaching of full module)
LEVEL 3: World Religions: Cultures and Complexities (Module leader – design and teaching of full module)

LEVEL 2: Sikhi (Module leader – design and teaching of full module)

I have also delivered and engaged with student education through supervising undergraduate dissertations and research projects run by students awarded Undergraduate Research and Leadership (UGRL) Scholarships. I have also contributed to events for prospective sixth form students including open days and the annual Leeds University 'Festival of Arts'. I am available to supervise PhDs, in particular relating to religious and cultural transmission of South Asian traditions, Sikh studies, religion and young people and religion and media.

Training Delivered (2013/14)

Dec 2013 – ‘Developing a culture of collaborative research’, RIS Annual Conference, University of Leeds
Nov 2013 – ‘University / Community Partnerships in Practice’, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
Jun 2013 –  ‘What is Impact?’, Undergraduate Research & Leadership Event, University of Leeds
May 2013 - ‘Diversity among Khalsa Sikhs’, INFORM, London School of Economics, London
Mar 2013 – ‘Being an enterprising and innovative researcher’, SDDU, University of Leeds
Feb 2013 – ‘The Practicalities of Engaging with Non-Academic Audiences’ White Rose training workshop for Arts and Humanities PhD students, University of York

Grants Awarded

2014: AHRC Cultural Value Project: Principal Investigator: £26893
2011: Canadian SSHRC Religion & Diversity Programme, travel and accommodation: £1500
2008: BECAS CDA Collaborative contribution: £3000 (£1000/year for three years)
2008: AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society, CDA: £47520 (maintenance + fees)


2014: The Guru's Way: Exploring diversity among British Khalsa Sikhs, Religion Compass, Volume 8 (7), pp. 209-219.
2014: Sikh-ing Online: The role of the Internet in the religious lives of young British Sikhs, Contemporary South Asia, Volume 22 (1), pp. 82-97.
2012: Keeping the Faith: Reflections on religious nurture among young British Sikhs, Journal of Beliefs and Values, Volume 33 (3), pp. 369-383
2012: Global Sikh-ers: Transnational Learning Practices of Young British Sikhs in Sikhs Across Borders by Knut A. Jacobsen and Kristina Myrvold (eds.) Continuum. 
2011: Sikh-ing Beliefs: British Sikh Camps in the UK in Sikhs in Europe: Migration, Identities and Representation by Knut A. Jacobsen and Kristina Myrvold (eds.) Ashgate
2010: British Sikhs, Hair and the Turban in Religion and Youth by Sylvie Collins-Mayo and Ben P. Dandelion (eds.) Ashgate
2010: Head First: A Study of the perspectives of young British Sikhs on Hair and the Turban, Journal of Contemporary Religion, Volume 25 (2), pp. 203 - 220

Conference Presentations (2014 only)

Sep 2014: ‘Sikh strings: music in the religious lives of young British Sikhs’, British Association for the Study of Religion (BASR), Open University
Aug 2014: ‘New media, Old news? The impact of Sikh media on the religious lives of Young British Sikhs’, International Society for Media, Religion and Culture (ISMRC), University of Kent
May 2014: ‘Houses of the Guru? Young British Sikhs’ engagement with Gurdwaras’, Sikh Studies in the 21st Century, University of California Santa Barbara
Apr 2014: ‘The Cultural Value of South Asian arts in Britain’, BASAS, Royal Holloway University of London

Public Dissemination (2013/14)

Sep 2014: 'The Religious Lives of Young British Sikhs', Guru Gobind Singh Sikh Temple, Bradford
May 2014: ‘Sikh Migration to Leeds and Bradford’ Public Lecture, Cartwright Hall Museum, Bradford
Apr 2014: ‘Young Sikhs and Identity’ Public Lecture, Cartwright Hall Museum, Bradford
Jan 2014: ‘Are policy-makers looking in the right places?’, Faith in the Public Realm Seminar, London
Aug 2013: 'Devotional music in the religious lives of Young South Asians', SAA-UK Summer School, Leeds
Jul 2013: ‘What works? Religious Transmission among young British Sikhs’, Singh Sabha Gurdwara Southall

Media Engagement (2013/14)

Nov 2014 - Selected for BBC BAME Expert Voices, Birmingham
Oct 2014 – BBC Asian Network: ‘The Impact of the events of 1984’, panel discussion
Aug 2014 – The Conversation: 'Explainer: who are the Afghan Sikhs?'
May 2014 – Sikh Channel: 'Sikhs in Britain: The past and future' panel debate
Mar 2014 –House of Lords: ‘Sikh Community short debate’ - research referenced
Feb 2014 – BBC Radio 4: ‘Beyond Belief: Are Institutions in Decline?’, panel discussion
Jan 2014 – The Conversation: 'UK role in 1984 temple raid will affect British Sikh identity'
Nov 2013 – RTHK3 Hong Kong: ‘Religion and young people’ interview
Aug 2013 – Public Spirit: 'Who Speaks for British Sikhs?'


Winner: Best Poster: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Vitae Yorkshire and North East Hub Public Engagement Competition 2011, Durham Town Hall, April 2011

Second Prize: Postgraduate of the Year Competition 2010, University of Leeds, December 2010