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Associate Professor of the Study of Religion

Deadline: 01.10.2024

Universitetet i Oslo

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest ranked educational and research institution, with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. With its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally recognised research communities, UiO is an important contributor to society.

The Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages (abbreviated IKOS from its Norwegian name) is one of the seven departments at the Faculty of Humanities. The Department has a broad competency in the study of religion and culture and in language based area studies of South Asia, East Asia and the Middle East and North Africa. IKOS also hosts the Oslo School of Environmental Humanities. The Department has several study programmes at both BA and MA levels. Among the Department's 110 employees about 40 are PhD and Postdoctoral Fellows.

Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages

Job description

A permanent position of Associate Professor of the Study of Religion with a specialisation in modern and/or contemporary Buddhist traditions in Asia is available at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages (IKOS), University of Oslo. We are particularly interested in candidates who can analyse Buddhist traditions in Asia across various contexts and show theoretical knowledge and interest in the comparison of religions across societies. In line with the Faculty of Humanities’ emphasis on Environmental Humanities, candidates who have research interests in Buddhist traditions and the ways in which they shape the understanding of nature, the environment, and climate may have an advantage. Given that Japanese traditions are well represented in the Department’s research and teaching portfolio, preference will be given to a candidate with a different regional focus within Asia.

The position is equally divided between research and teaching.

The successful candidate will contribute to the development of ongoing research initiatives and promote and lead research projects. The research foci of the present staff in the study of religion cover contemporary, historical, and comparative perspectives. They include studies in Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam and cluster thematically around changing authority structures, religion and politics, and gender construction. 

The successful candidate will be responsible for teaching courses on Buddhism on MA and BA levels (REL 2230) where there is room to integrate one’s own research interests. Additionally, the candidate will teach basic courses in the study of religion, such as introduction to the study of religion (REL1003), Hinduism (REL2220), and introductory courses in epistemology (Examen facultatum) or theory (REL1001).

The position includes supervising MA students and PhD candidates, exam setting and assessment at all levels, and carrying out administrative duties in accordance with the needs of the Department. The language of teaching, assessment and administration is mainly Norwegian.

Qualification requirements

  • PhD or equivalent academic qualifications within the study of religion/comparative religion/history of religion (religionsvitenskap) with a specialisation in Buddhist traditions in Asia.
  • Teaching experience in the study of religion, with documented ability to teach various courses on all levels as well as supervise MA and PhD theses. 
  • Documented pedagogical skills (either a teaching course certificate or based on teaching experience), see how to document your pedagogical skills.
  • Documented potential for project acquisition.
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English.
  • Personal suitability and motivation for the position.

The following qualifications will count in the assessment of the applicants:

  • Academic qualifications and academic production in the study of religion (religionsvitenskap) specialising in Buddhist traditions in Asia, with emphasis on works published within the last 5 years. Originality and innovative thinking will be weighted more heavily than quantity. Academic production will be evaluated in relation to the career stage of individual applicants.
  • Research experience demonstrably contributing to researching Buddhist traditions in Asia.
  • Interest in developing theoretical and methodological perspectives on religion.
  • Interest in environmental humanities perspectives on Buddhism in Asia. 
  • Necessary language competence for conducting research, as well as historical and contextual knowledge. 
  • Experience with initiating and conducting larger research projects.
  • International peer-reviewed publications.
  • Potential to contribute to the long-term development of the academic and research environment at the Department.
  • Pedagogical qualifications, documented results from teaching and supervision, and disposition to inspire students.
  • Interest and ability in leadership and administration
  • Ability to create and contribute to a positive environment for collaboration.
  • Experience with and ability to build international networks.
  • Skills within popular dissemination, public outreach, and innovation.

In the evaluation of the qualified candidates the full range of these criteria will be explicitly addressed and assessed. 

Academic quality, development potential and breadth will be prioritised in this order. The selected candidates are expected to contribute to the objective in the University of Oslo’s strategic plan to “strengthen its international position as a leading research-intensive university through a close interaction across research, education, communication and innovation”.

The successful candidate should demonstrate mastery of both English and one of the Scandinavian languages as working languages. If an appointee is not fluent in a Scandinavian language, s/he is expected to reach proficiency equivalent to level B2 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) within two years. Within three years the appointee is expected to, in Norwegian, be able to actively participate in all functions the position may involve, including teaching. The Faculty of Humanities will aid and facilitate the appointee in reaching said proficiency.

We offer

How to apply

The application must include:

  • Application letter (statement of motivation, summarising scientific work and research interest)
  • Curriculum Vitae (list of education, positions, pedagogical experience, administrative experience, project acquisition and coordination experience, and other relevant qualifications)
  • Complete list of published and unpublished works
  • Description of one or more research projects which may be relevant for the Department
  • List of reference persons: 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and phone number) (we do not ask for letters of recommendation)

Please note that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language), either in the original or in translation.

Applicants are required to describe and document the entire range of qualifications and criteria described in the announcement of the post with concrete examples.

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link “Apply for this job”. 

Selection procedure

As the first step in the evaluation process, a Selection Committee will assess all applications and invite the most qualified applicants to submit a portfolio of educational certificates and academic works (up to 10 publications, which should not exceed 500 pages in total) for expert assessment. Academic texts shall therefore not be enclosed with the application. Applicants who are invited to submit academic works are asked to select three works, published within the last 5 years, to be considered as most relevant for the position. In longer publications (monographs), applicants should specify the relevant pages. Applicants are further asked to submit a description of one or more research projects considered relevant for the Department. Applicants are also asked to submit a Educational portfolio of 3-6 pages documenting educational competence and experience, including a reflection note in which your own practice and learning vision is anchored in the SoTL criteria (focus on student learning, development over time, a research approach and a collegial attitude and practice)

Finally, the most highly ranked candidates will be invited for an interview and a trial lecture.

Formal regulations

Please see the rules for appointments to Associate Professorships.

The successful candidate who at the time of appointment cannot document basic teaching qualifications will be required to obtain such qualifications within a two-year period. Please see the rules for practicing the requirement for basic university pedagogical competence at UiO.

Within his/her normal duties and in accordance with his/her academic competence, the person appointed may also be asked to work outside his/her Department. The appointment is made under the condition that the employer may change the subject area and assigned tasks according to the needs of the Department.

According to the Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova) § 25, Chapter 2, demographic information about the applicant may be used in the public list of applicants, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

The University of Oslo has an Acquisition of Rights Agreement for the purpose of securing rights to intellectual property created by its employees, including research results.

The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.

Contact information

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