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University of Copenhagen PhD Fellowhip at the Faculty of Theology, Qur’anic studies 2017, Denmark

Publish Date: Jul 31, 2017

Deadline: Sep 01, 2017

PhD Fellowhip at the Faculty of Theology, Qur’anic studies

Subject to available grants, the Faculty of Theology, University of Copenhagen, hereby announces that a three-year PhD scholarship will be available from October 1st 2017. Applications for the scholarship are invited for the area of Qur’anic studies. The granting of the scholarship carries with it enrolment as a PhD student in the PhD school of the Faculty of Theology. 

Project Description 

The PhD project is part of a research project funded by the Danish Council for Independent Research. The title of the research project is Ambiguity and Precision in the Qur’an and comprises one professor, a postdoc researcher, and the PhD student. It aims to investigate linguistic, rhetorical, and narrative markers of ambiguity and precision in the Qur’an. These markers have been neglected and misconstrued in Qur’anic studies, either as generators of unfortunate confusion, or as excessive clarity and generalization. Combining standard methods and theories from Qur’anic studies with an array of other relevant disciplines, the project will turn the tables and instead identify and analyze how these two modes of Qur’anic language work as complementary and felicitous rhetorical strategies.  
The PhD project has to conduct a systematic identification, classification, and indexation of grammatical and lexical markers of ambiguity in the Qur’an. The PhD project will aim to answer the following questions: 1) how does Qur’anic Arabic apply grammatical and semantic categories of ambiguity? 2) Are the textual markers of ambiguity organized after a particular principle in the Qur’an, e.g., correlating with specific chapters, themes or potential development of the text? 3) How does the Qur’anic grammar of ambiguity relate to similar notions in scriptures in other relevant Semitic languages, such as the Hebrew Bible? This part of the overall project aims to supplement Qur’anic studies’ rather meagre collection of systematic semantic-grammatical catalogues and dictionaries. The PhD project should result in a monograph dissertation. It is also expected that the PhD student will spend six months of the three years’ scholarship at another university during the research. 

Qualifications and terms of employment

To be considered, applicants must have a Master’s degree in Islamic studies or any other relevant Master’s degree or similar qualifications (e.g., Semitic studies, Arabic studies, History of Religion). Experience in or knowledge about digital humanities is considered an asset. Besides attention to the formal qualifications, the assessment will put emphasis on the talent for independent research demonstrated by the applicant, usually through a Master’s thesis or similar.  
The University of Copenhagen wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society, and thus welcomes applications for the scholarship from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.
The granting of the PhD scholarship will take place under the agreement in force between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations, AC. Under this agreement, a PhD scholarship holder is entitled to carry out relevant duties amounting to a total of 840 hours over the three-year period. The scholarship holder must also be prepared to take an active part in the Faculty’s research environment. 


The application must be made on a special form (see link at bottom of page). The application must be accompanied by the following appendices (scanned electronically): Documentation for the Master’s degree, a short CV, a draft outline of the study programme and a budget for the three years of study. The applicant is expected to document adequate academic skills in Arabic, but ideally also ancient Hebrew and Syriac or other relevant languages. If available, the following documents should also be submitted as appendices: Master’s thesis, thesis assessment and list of publications. Application and documentation can be submitted either in Danish or in English.  
The draft outline of the study programme must contain a description of the planned research project and a realistic plan for the fulfillment of requirements under the Ministerial Order on PhD degrees with regard to participation in courses and periods of study at other institutions. The description must include a research design proposal that outlines how to conduct and develop the PhD project as presented above. The applicant is encouraged to propose innovative methods and theories that can improve the project. The draft outline is to be within a total of max. 5 pages/12.000 key strokes incl. spaces.   
The Faculty expects the project to be kept within the usual annuum for a PhD fellowship, but any other major expenses must be mentioned explicitly in the application (e.g. travelling, field work, equipment, or external expert assistance necessary for the project).

Application procedure  

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the Dean selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Appointments Committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an expert assessment committee. Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the committee, and each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself.
The Ministerial Order on PhD degrees and other relevant documents can be downloaded from the faculty homepage or by contacting the Faculty of Theology, Karen Blixens Vej 16, 2300 Copenhagen S. If you have questions concerning the PhD fellowship, please contact Head of the PhD-school Carsten Pallesen ( or professor MSO Thomas Hoffmann ( If you have technical questions concerning your application, please contact  Birgitte Hein ( 
 For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

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