Universiteit Leiden

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Centre for the Study of Religion


The Leiden University Centre for the Study of Religion (LUCSoR) and the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (LIAS) structurally work together, and have the same management team.

Management team

Academic Director

Academic Director prof. Erik-Jan Zürcher is the head of LIAS & LUCSoR, and as such carries overall responsibility for the institute.
Academic Director of Research is prof. Nira Wickramasinghe.
Please use emailaddress: LIASAcademicDirector@hum.leidenuniv.nl to contact the Academic Directors.

The Academic Director is directly answerable to the Faculty Board.

Director of Studies

The Director of Studies Nathal Dessing has a leading role in the planning and develoment of all teaching undertaken by LIAS & LUCSoR members, in various BA, MA, and Research MA programs.

Institute Manager

The Institute Manager (currently Pia Teeuw) has a leading role in budgetary and personnel matters, supports faculty in planning grant applications, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the LIAS & LUCSoR Office.

Advisory Council

Each of the Institutes in the Faculty of Humanities has an Advisory Council. The Council consists of at least seven and up to thirteen Institute members. The Academic Director provides the Council with information on all matters concerning the Institute as necessary.

LIAS and LUCSoR have a joint Advisory Council, which meets minimally once per term, and offers solicited and unsolicited advice to the Management. The Council welcomes input from all institute members.

Members are appointed for (renewable) periods of two years each by the Dean of Humanities, upon recommendation by the Academic Director, with due regard for balanced representation. Two seats on the Council are held by PhD students.

PhD Council

The LIAS & LUCSoR PhD Council represents all PhD students affiliated with the LIAS and the LUCSoR and promotes their interests.

Join the LIAS & LUCSoR PhD community on Facebook

The PhD council meets regularly with the management team and has a representative in the Advisory Council. The Council aims to stay informed and to play an active role in developments that may concern PhD students, within LIAS & LUCSoR and/or the university at large.

In addition, the PhD Council regularly organizes social events to give PhD students the opportunity to meet their colleagues and peers, in order to enhance a collaborative research environment. These events include regular social drinks, communal lunches and potluck dinners.

If you, as a LIAS & LUCSoR PhD students, have questions, suggestions or problems, please do not hesitate to contact us (lias.phd.postdoc.council@gmail.com). We will do our best to assist in finding an answer/solution to your question/problem.

We look forward to seeing you at our academic and social events!

Institute Council

The faculty members of LIAS & LUCSoR jointly constitute the Institute Council. The Institute Council is convened by the Academic Director twice yearly, usually in mid-May and early December. These meetings are commonly known as members meetings, and are followed by social events. They provide a forum for discussing the institute’s current situation and its prospects, and for community-building. PhD students and visitors are also invited to these meetings.

Professors Council

The incumbents of structural full-professorial positions ( ordinarii) in LIAS & LUCSoR jointly constitute the Professors Council. They hold special responsibility for the well-being of not just their own areas of expertise, as embodied in the personnel groups they lead, but also of the institute at large. The Professors Council meets twice yearly to discuss current issues.

Graduate Studies Advisor

The Graduate Studies Advisor coordinates the generic components of the PhD program: especially coursework and training, progress reviews, and activities especially designed for PhD students. Soon a senior faculty member will be appointed.

Confidential Counseling

If you encounter problems, and you wish to discuss these confidentially, please contact:

  • For PhD students: the LIAS & LUCSoR confidential counselor is Rosalien Van der Poel.
  • For PhD students: the LIAS & LUCSoR PhD counselors, Kasia Cwiertka and Maurits Berger. They are there to help you with any non confidential, practical issues.
  • For PhD students and Faculty: the confidential counselor on academic integrity, Ingrid Tieken.
  • For PhD students and Faculty: the University-level general confidential counselor ( vertrouwenspersoon), in the Health, Safety & Environment department (071-527 8015).

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