Doctoral Research Fellowships in Contemporary Middle East Studies

Deadline: 15 September 2015
Open to: applicants with MA or equivalent in Middle East studies, or in a relevant discipline in social sciences or humanities
Fellowship: NOK 430,500 – 475,400 per annum (approximately EUR 48,870 – 53,970)


Two PhD Research Fellowships in contemporary Middle East Studies are available at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages (IKOS) at the University of Oslo. The person appointed will be affiliated with the Faculty’s organized research training. The academic work is to result in a doctoral thesis that will be defended at the Faculty with a view to obtaining the degree of PhD. In their research proposals, the two PhD Fellows are required to address issues related to political and/or religious authority in the Middle East, from a macro or micro perspective. Of special interests would be projects within one of two subfields:

  • Re-conceptualization of authority within political Islam, including projects addressing new ideological-religious trends and understanding of authority within Islamic movements and jihadist groups. Themes of particular interest includes ideological debates within the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi movements in the aftermath of the military coup in Egypt; Islamist rebel groups and their approach to governance; cyberspace and the empowerment of militant youth preachers; methodologies and metrics for quantifying ideological impact of individual preachers and ideologues;
  • Post-patriarchy, youth autonomy and the politics of protests, including the political role of football as an arena of youth autonomy and protests, and how regimes use sport and popular culture for their own interests. Other relevant themes include: the resurgence of primary solidarity groups in (local) politics, like clan based organizations, where groups related by blood are dominated by the younger generation rather than elders; studies on new marital strategies and marriage patterns, where increased youth autonomy in finding a marriage partner is limited by economic family dependence as the bridegrooms have to cover the relatively huge expenses of housing and marriage; and social and political organization, governance and authority of refugee camps.

The appointment is for the duration of three years. The successful candidates are expected to join, and be an active part of the research activities at the Department’s Center for Islamic and Middle East Studies.


To be eligible for the position, applicants must have:

  • A Master’s Degree or equivalent in Middle East studies, or in a relevant discipline in social sciences or humanities, with the precondition that the master thesis has an explicit Middle East specialization. The Master’s Degree has to have been achieved by the time of application;
  • It is an absolute requirement that the applicants have proficiency in one of the major languages of the Middle East;
  • Personal suitability and motivation for the position.

In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on:

  • The applicant’s estimated academic and personal ability to complete the project within the time frame;
  • The applicant’s ability to complete research training;
  • Good collaboration skills and an ability to join interdisciplinary academic communities;
  • The project’s scientific merit, research-related relevance and innovation.


The position is remunerated by salary of the level 50 – 56 NOK 430,500 – 475,400, (approximately EUR 48,870 – 53,970) depending on qualifications. Moreover, research fellows will obtain attractive welfare benefits.

How to apply?

The deadline for applications is 15 September 2015. Applicants must submit the following attachments with the electronic application, preferably in pdf format:

  • Letter of application;
  • Curriculum Vitae;
  • List of publications (if any);
  • Transcript of records of your Master’s degree. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their university’s grading system;
  • Transcript of records of all university exams at bachelor and master levels;
  • Project description, including a detailed progress plan for the project (3 – 5 pages, see Template for project descriptions).

Please note that all documents must be in English or a Scandinavian language. Short-listed candidates will be invited to an interview at the University of Oslo or an interview on Skype will be arranged.

For more information please visit the official website.

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