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Call for Applications: PhD Research Fellowship, Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion, University of Bergen, Norway

May 17, 2020

PhD position
The Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion invites applications for a PhD research fellowship in the field of Islamic studies, relating to the topic of canonization of Islamic legal texts in the pre-modern and colonial Swahili coastal region. The position is part of the research project “Canonization and Codification of Islamic legal texts (CanCode)”, which is financed by the Trond Mohn Foundation and the University of Bergen.
The CanCode project (2020-2024) will study and theorize change in Islamic legal texts over time. The main concepts taken as a point of departure, “canonization” and “codification”, will be studied across the pre-modern/modern divide. There are four work packages in the project:
A: Canonization processes on the pre-modern and colonial Swahili coastal region
B: Canonization processes of Islamic law and norms in contemporary Scandinavia
C: Codification of Islamic law in pre-modern Zaydi Yemen
D: Codification of Islamic law in contemporary Egypt and Israel
A fifth work package (E) concerns the main and overarching focus of the project, where the empirical data from work packages A-D will be compared and contrasted with the aim of theory building.
The PhD position advertised is linked to work package A. The candidate is expected to work on a PhD project defined by the candidate, within the larger work package. The topic should be within the thematic field of canonization processes of Islamic legal texts on the pre-modern and colonial Swahili coastal region. The candidate may include research questions such as: Which works were selected for print and by whom? Did this process produce a new canon, and to what extent was this deliberate? The candidate may here make use of newly digitized Islamic text collections and established contacts in the field by the research team, but may also base the project on fieldwork defined by the candidate. It is essential that the candidate develops a research proposal that fits the frames of the broader project, and particularly work package E (theory building).
Please contact the project leader, Dr. Eirik Hovden, [email protected], for a full project description.
Qualifications and personal qualities:
The candidate must hold a Norwegian master’s degree or the equivalent in a relevant discipline (African or Middle East history, Islamic studies or legal anthropology). It is a condition of employment that the master’s degree has been awarded at the time of application. Applicants who do not have a Norwegian master’s degree will be evaluated according to the regulations of the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT). The Department can send documentation of foreign education to NOKUT in order to evaluate whether this degree is equivalent to a Norwegian master’s degree.
The applicant must be able to work with Arabic source material, including in manuscript form.
The applicant is expected to acquire knowledge of, and actively use digital material, and to create such material.
The applicant must be able to work independently, including in field work, in a well-structured way and have good cooperation skills.
Competence in Swahili language is an asset, but not a precondition.
In assessing the applications, both the academic quality of the project and the applicant’s qualification will be considered.
In cases where ranked applicants have approximately equivalent qualifications, strategic considerations, motivation and the applicant’s personal eligibility will be taken into account.
About the PhD position:
The main purpose of the PhD position is to complete a doctoral degree, which qualifies for independent research and for other forms of employment that demand specific competency. The duration of the PhD position is 4 years, of which 25 % of the time comprises obligatory duties associated with teaching, dissemination of results, and administration. The plan for this part of the position is developed in collaboration with the Department at the very beginning of the employment period.
Applicants who have already held a PhD position at the University of Bergen, are not eligible for employment.
The employment period may be reduced if the selected candidate previously has been employed in a recruitment position.
The PhD position demands that the applicant has his or her regular workplace at the University of Bergen, Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion, and comply with the guidelines that apply to the position at all times.
About the research training:
The PhD candidate must participate in an approved educational programme for a PhD degree within a period of 3 years. It is a condition that the applicant satisfy the enrolment requirements for the PhD program at the University of Bergen.
We can offer:
A good and professionally challenging working environment.
Salary at pay grade 54 (Code 1017/Pay range 20, alternative 10) in the state salary scale, currently NOK 479 200 gross p.a. following ordinary meriting regulations.
Enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.
A position in an inclusive workplace (IA) enterprise.
Good welfare benefits.
How to apply:
Applications must be sent electronically via the link on this site “APPLY FOR THIS JOB”. The applicant must use the electronic CV form. The application must include:
A summary of the proposed project (up to 5 pages /12.000 characters), including a brief account of the applicant’s research interests, motivation for applying for the position and an elaboration on how the PhD project will fit into the CanCode project.  The project proposal should also include reflections on methodology, feasibility and access to data.
The name and contact information for two reference persons. One of these must be the main advisor for the master’s thesis or equivalent thesis.
Transcripts and diplomas showing completion of the bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
A short summary of the master’s thesis or equivalent thesis (up to 3 pages).
Relevant certificates/references.
A progress plan for the PhD project.
Bibliography for the proposed project.
A list of any works of a scientific nature (publication list).
Applicants must have contacted project leader Eirik Hovden, who will be the supervisor of the PhD project.
The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded at Jobbnorge. Attachments can be either in Word or pdf-format.