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Two PhD Positions Ethnographic Study of Christian-Jewish and Christian-Muslim Couples in the Netherlands

Application deadline: December 15, 2021

News vom 25.11.2021

The VIDI Project "Unequal Partners? An Ethnographic Study of Christian-Jewish and Christian-Muslim Couples in The Netherlands" is looking for two Phd’s.   
FTE: 0.8 - 1

Job description

Jewish and Muslim minorities in The Netherlands are confronted with Islamophobia and Antisemitism while  (secularized) Christian privileges prevail. This project explores and compares how Christian-Muslim and  Christian-Jewish couples handle this disparity. We focus on material and ritual practices (e.g., circumcision/baptism, Christmas/Hanukkah), as these vital/fundamental practices often reveal unequal power relations. 

You will participate in a dynamic research-oriented setting where you will work closely together with prof. Moyaert, a postdoctoral candidate and the members of the research group of Critical Interreligious Studies.   

In this setting you will contribute to the group's research, teaching and valorisation activities (e. g. writing articles, presenting papers, organising workshops, conferences, and so forth). You will also play a  supporting role in the organization of the activities of research group (invitation of guest speakers, selection of literature, etc.).   

In return you will be provided with a salary, an office, and access to university libraries. This position also includes ample funding for travel and will allow you to strengthen your skillset and broaden your academic network.  

PhD project 1 focuses on Christian-Muslim Couples  
PhD project 2 focuses on Christian-Jewish couples 

Your duties 

  • conduct research on the project's topic, resulting in different peer reviewed journal articles   
  • help organize lectures and a workshop  
  • actively contribute to the research group 
  • contribute to societal outreach initiatives relevant to the research project 


  • we are looking for candidates whose scholarly expertise is relevant to the overall goal of the project  
  • a master or research master in the field of Social sciences and Humanities   
  • excellent communication skills in spoken and written English   
  • an ability to work together with others in a research team  
  • experience in conducting ethnographic research (preferably on mixedness)  
  • relevant sScholarly expertise on the research themes of antisemitism, islamophobia and (secular) Christianity, Christian-Jewish/Christian-Muslim relations  
  • good social and organizational skills  
  • considering the Ethnography will be conducted in the Netherlands, fluency in Dutch is a requirement

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2,434 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €3,111 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 18 months. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a duration of 4 years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,000 students. We employ over 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

Faculty of Religion and Theology
The Faculty of Religion and Theology is the leading academic centre of expertise for religion in society. Students, lecturers and researchers focus on the major questions in society and in religious communities. They study religious traditions, sources and contemporary expressions of the religious experience. The faculty practises ‘engaged scholarship’ as expressed in cooperation with governments and partners in civil society on themes such as war and peace, sustainable development and inter-religious dialogue. We are the most comprehensive theological faculty worldwide, with ten seminaries for all world religions and many Christian denominations.

Working at Religion and Theology means contributing to excellent research and education through personal commitment, philosophical/religious involvement and social responsibility. We employ more than 100 staff.


Are you interested in this position?  Candidates are strongly encouraged to request the extended project description via email m.moyaert@vu.nl. The PhD projects will start in February  2022. Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until  December 15, 2021
Applications received by e-mail will not be processed. 
Vacancy questions 
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact: 
Prof. dr. Marianne Moyaert 
E-mail: m.moyaert@vu.nl

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