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Blindern og Urbygningen (Foto: Wikimedia og Colourbox)
Blindern og Urbygningen (Foto: Wikimedia og Colourbox)

Ph.D. Position in the ERC project APOCRYPHA, Focusing on the Framing of Apocrypha in Coptic Manuscripts

Deadline: 15.09.2020

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 Faculty of Theology has 350 students and a staff of 68. It is ranked internationally among the top 50 institutions in the area of theology and religious studies (36 on the QS World University Ranking, and top ranked among the Nordic Universities). The Faculty is a non-denominational academic community. Its mission is to conduct research on theology and religion, provide research-based teaching and engage in national and international debates.

Job description

The Faculty of Theology invites applications a Ph.D. position within the ERC-funded research project Storyworlds in Transition: Coptic Apocrypha in Changing Contexts in the Byzantine and Early Islamic Periods (APOCRYPHA), based at the Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo.

The APOCRYPHA project aims to provide the first systematic study of Coptic apocrypha covering the entire timespan of Coptic literary production. It will investigate the contents, development, and functions of apocrypha over time, as they were copied, adapted, and used in changing socio-religious contexts in monasteries across Egypt. (For more information on the project, see the project wesite.)

The Ph.D. fellow is expected to work in close collaboration with the PI of the APOCRYPHA project (professor Hugo Lundhaug) to analyze from the perspective of material philology how apocryphal texts and traditions are framed in Coptic manuscripts. Material Philology is here understood as an approach that takes the fluidity of textual transmission in a manuscript culture fully into consideration, studying its causes, mechanisms, and effects; and which entails an in-depth focus on the material artifacts constituted by the extant manuscripts. Candidates are expected to outline a research project that analyzes the literary and material framing of apocrypha in Coptic manuscripts dating from the fourth to the twelfth centuries. Candidates are strongly encouraged to contact the PI of the APOCRYPHA project for further information and feedback on project ideas before submitting their application.

More about the position

The appointment is a fulltime position for a period of three years, starting 1st February, 2021. It is part of the APOCRYPHA project, and the applicant is expected to be physically based in Oslo for the duration of the appointment. The successful applicant will be supervised by the PI of the APOCRYPHA project and will be expected to work closely together with the rest of the APOCRYPHA research team, to represent the project at relevant seminars and conferences, and to travel to manuscript collections to study the relevant artifacts.

The position is funded by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020

Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (grant agreement no. 865971).

The successful applicant is expected to produce a Ph.D. dissertation connected to the APOCRYPHA project by the end of the period of appointment.

The appointment is for a period of 3 years. All Ph.D. Candidates who submit their doctoral dissertation for assessment within 3 years or 3 ½ years after the start of their Ph.D. position, may be offered, respectively, an additional 12 or 6-month period of research and teaching.

Qualification requirements

  • A cand. theol. degree or a corresponding degree at Master’s level relevant to the project (such as Coptology, Theology, History of Religions, History, Medieval Studies or similar). The degree must have been obtained by the end of 2020.
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English
  • High proficiency in Coptic

The following qualifications will also be taken into account in the assessment of the applicants:

  • Experience with manuscript studies and material philology
  • Proficiency in other relevant ancient languages, such as Greek, Latin, or Arabic
  • Other relevant experience

Personal skills

The following personal skills are highly desirable:

  • The ability to work closely together with other researchers in a team
  • A commitment to work towards the project’s common goals
  • An open mind towards new methodological approaches and interdisciplinary collaboration
  • High personal motivation for scholarship
  • The ability to meet deadlines

We offer

  • Salary NOK 479.600-523.200 (pay grade 54-59) per annum depending on qualifications in a position as PhD Research fellow, (position code 1017)
  • A professionally stimulating working environment as part of a highly qualified research team
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement, in addition to Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply

The application must include

  • Cover letter (statement of motivation and research interests)
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work)
  • A project description, including progress plan (max. 5 pages)
  • Copies of educational certificates (academic transcripts only)
  • A complete list of publications and academic works
  • List of reference persons: 2-3 references (name, e-mail and phone number, relation to candidate)

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link “Apply for this job”. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language).

When evaluating the applications, emphasis will be given to the quality and relevance of the project description and the applicant’s academic and personal potential to carry out the project within the stipulated time frame. As a general rule, only relevant, shortlisted candidates will be interviewed.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Research Fellowships at the University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo.

According to the Norwegian Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results etc.

The University of Oslo is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage all qualified candidates to apply for this position, regardless of their religious or ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation, or physical disability.

Contact information

Apply for this job