Universiteit Leiden

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PhD position in Social Anthropology

Omvang (fte)
Geplaatst op
16 juli 2024
10 september 2024 Nog 50 dagen om te solliciteren

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PhD positions in Social Anthropology

The project, “Entangled Universals of transnational Islamic Charity”, a European Research Council-funded Consolidator Grant (ERC-CoG), led by Dr. Radhika Gupta, and hosted by Leiden University’s Institute of Cultural Anthropology & Development Sociology, is looking for two PhD candidates, one for research in India, and one for research in Tanzania. The project investigates how transnational Islamic charities are positioning themselves as universalist projects by claiming humanity as their constituency. Islamic charitable networks have increasingly invested in public works to meet the social needs of both Muslims and others. As the lines between charity, philanthropy, humanitarianism and development have become blurred, transnational Islamic charity has become entangled with Western humanitarianism and neoliberal welfare regimes. This raises questions such as: How do Islamic charitable networks rearticulate the category of humanity in efforts to address diverse constituencies and new challenges? How do Islamic charities define and contribute to the public good within globalized neoliberal welfare regimes? How do recipients of aid demonstrate their humanity to meet shifting criteria of worthiness?

To address these questions, the project steps outside the ‘traditional heartland’ of the Islamic world and centers two non-Muslim majority countries in the global south: India and Tanzania. Ethnographic research in these countries will foreground the perspectives of seekers and recipients of aid to understand how sectarian, racial, and caste hierarchies figure in the articulations of humanity by Islamic charities.

What you will do
You will conduct independent ethnographic research in either India or Tanzania, carving out your research topic within the frame of this project.

  • You will conduct ethnographic research in India or Tanzania, entailing at least 10 months of fieldwork
  • Submit a PhD thesis, publish at least one peer-reviewed journal article, and one article in a project-related edited volume
  • Use visual and digital methods (e.g. smart-phone filmmaking) to make a small documentary on/ in your fieldwork
  • Participate in meetings and proceedings of the project (e.g. reading groups, co-writing initiatives) and the wider activities of the Institute of Cultural Anthropology & Development Sociology, including training requirements of the institute and faculty.
  • Co-organise and participate in academic and public events

You will be part of a team comprising two PhD candidates, a postdoctoral researcher, and the principal investigator. The postdoctoral fellow will undertake research on Islamic genealogies of humanity and its cognate concepts. The principal investigator will focus on the linkages through which Islamic charity is scaled up from giving at the ‘local’ level to becoming transnational in scope. The team will collaboratively address the larger theoretical questions posed by the project through reading groups, co-writing projects, and academic and public events. The entire team is expected to reside in the Netherlands and work from Leiden for the duration of the project (till August 2029) except for the fieldwork periods.

Where you will work
The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences consists of five institutes: Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, Political Science, and Psychology. The faculty has approximately 7000 students and 1000 staff members. Within the institutes, not only education is provided but also groundbreaking research is conducted that pushes the boundaries of our understanding of human behaviour and societal structures. What makes our faculty unique is the diversity of research topics, the various styles of teaching, and the way professional support is organized; this provides you with the opportunity to explore and develop your interests and expertise. Visit our website for an impression: Welcome to the Leiden Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences - Leiden University.

Leiden University's Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology (CADS)
Leiden University's Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology concentrates on 'global vulnerability and social resilience'. The institute has three main themes: diversity, sustainability, and digitalisation. CADS is dedicated to making a real-world impact, not just studying change, but also working with communities to promote positive change through education and research. We use a unique approach that blends qualitative, quantitative, audiovisual, and digital methods based on ethnographic fieldwork.

With our unique blend of interdisciplinary interests, comparative regional studies, and social science research methods, we emphasize our role in the extensive collaborative network within Leiden University. In both our research and education, we engage in extensive interdisciplinary and international networks.

What you bring
Please apply for these positions if you have:

  • Completed a Master’s degree in Anthropology, Sociology or Religious Studies or any other relevant discipline in the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Excellent research skills demonstrated by an outstanding Master’s thesis or long research papers
  • Enthusiam, passion, and commitment for long-term fieldwork in India or Tanzania
  • Speaking and reading skills in Hindi and/or Urdu for research in India (PhD 1), and Swahili for research in Tanzania (PhD 2)
  • Interest and some experience in multi-modal research methods
  • Excellent command of English (speaking and writing)
  • Teamwork and organisational skills

If you immediately recognise yourself in this profile, or if do you not quite meet all the requirements, but you believe that this is the right job for you, we look forward to your application!

How can you apply
To apply for these positions, please submit

  • A curriculam vitae (CV) (2 pages)
  • A motivation letter (2 pages), explaining your background, which country you would like to do research in (India or Tanzania), and why your unique skills qualify you for this research project
  • A preliminary research proposal, explaining how you intend to address the project’s questions (1000 words)
  • Names and contact details of two referees

Deadline: 10 September
Online interviews will be held with shortlisted candidates in the last week of September/early October. The intended starting date is February 2025.

What we offer
Our goal is to work together to create a transparent and inclusive work environment in which everyone feels welcome and appreciated. Our organisation is always evolving and we need your ideas for improvement and innovation to take us further. We want to devote attention to your personal development.

You can expect an enjoyable job within the socially relevant world of education and research. The University's challenging and international work environment is located just steps away from Leiden’s lively city centre or the bustling city centre of The Hague. We also want to work with you to devote attention to your health and vitality, for example with the fun activities we organise through Healthy University.

We also offer:

  • An employment contract for (38 hours per week) as a PhD candidate, initially for a period of 1 year, with the possibility of extension for 3 years after a positive evaluation. This contract falls under the Collective Labour Agreements (CLA) of Dutch Universities;
  • A salary of a minimum of € 2770 and a maximum of € 3539 gross per month, based on a full-time appointment (38 hours) (scale P); with increments based on the CLA.
  • A holiday allowance (8%), an end-of-year bonus (8,3%), and an attractive pension scheme at ABP;
  • Flexible working hours: as a standard, you are entitled to a minimum of 29 leave days on the basis of a full-time working week of 38 hours; you can also save for extra leave, for example by working 40 hours a week, and in this way accrue an extra 96 leave hours, or exchange 96 leave hours for a 36-hour week.
  • Lots of options when it comes to secondary employment conditions; we can, for example, discuss options for a sabbatical or paid parental leave. Within our terms of employment individual choices model, you can exchange leave days and/or salary for benefits such as an advantageous sports subscription or bicycle scheme, and we also offer child-care options;
  • If your work allows it, hybrid working is possible within the Netherlands;
  • A home-working allowance (day and internet allowance) and attention for good workplaces. The University will also provide you with a laptop and a mobile telephone (if applicable for the position).

For more information about employment conditions, see https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/werken-bij/sollicitatieprocedure-en-arbeidsvoorwaarden

What we find important
Promoting an inclusive community is central to Leiden University’s values and vision. Leiden University aims to be an inclusive community in which all students and staff members feel valued and respected, and are able to develop to their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High-quality education and research means inclusive education and research.

Want to apply or find out more?
If you want to apply straight away, click the application button.

If you would like more information about what the job entails, please contact: Dr. Radhika Gupta, Assistant Professor at r.gupta@fsw.leidenuniv.nl
You can apply until 10 September 2024; applications will be processed immediately.

To help us get to know each other better, we follow a number of steps in the application procedure. For more information, see https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/werken-bij/sollicitatieprocedure-en-arbeidsvoorwaarden

  • A pre-employment screening (references, diplomas, certificate of good conduct (VOG) may be part of the selection procedure.
  • Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated. If you nevertheless choose to send us CVs, no rights can be derived from this. #LI-Hybrid

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