University of Groningen PhD Scholarship Programme

PhD Scholarship Faculty Theology and Religious Studies



Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative center of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 30,000 students and researchers to develop their own individual talents. Belonging to the best research universities in Europe and joining forces with prestigious partner universities and networks, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge. The Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies is an ambitious faculty with a dynamic and accomplished staff drawn from around the world (58% international), and a Graduate School with 60 PhD students.

Scholarship opportunities

The Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies offers a three-year scholarship to complete a PhD in Theology and Religious Studies. The PhD student will be enrolled in our Graduate School.
The PhD in “Late Antiquity and Early Islam” will conduct research that fits with the profile of the Islamic Origins segment of the research unit Jewish, Christian and Islamic Origins:

The proposed PhD research plan should match one of the following trajectories:
• Qur’ānic studies – Projects could include qur’ānic engagement with Late Antique, biblical or other pre-Islamic themes (literary, societal, material), as well as the multi-faceted reception history of such qur’ānic representations (e.g. in tafsīr, grammar, literature, fiqh, kalām, etc.).
• Textual studies – Research projects on specific texts in their doctrinal, historical and social contexts, including their production and reception history. Proposals with this focus could include a critical edition and/or English translation of a text (either a manuscript or an edited, but untranslated, text).
• Acculturation and cultural resistance – How did Islam develop in the multicultural world of Late Antique Asia, Africa or Europe? Proposals with this focus would be expected to demonstrate competence in both Islamic and pre-Islamic history.


The PhD student is expected:
• to have graduated with excellent results in a research-based MA thesis in Theology/Religious Studies, History, Islamic Studies or another relevant discipline (by 1 August 2017 at latest)
• to have ample experience with relevant languages and qualitative methodologies such as literary analysis and cultural-historical approaches, as well as the ability to combine these methodologies
• to have an interest in presenting his/her research findings at academic conferences, as well as in non-specialist settings
• to be able and willing to work in an interdisciplinary environment
• to have an advanced level of Arabic or other relevant linguistic skills, so as to be able to read primary sources
• to be fluent in English (both oral and written)
• to have the skills necessary to complete the PhD thesis in three years (project planning, time management, taking initiative in research, and academic writing).


The successful candidate will receive a scholarship of € 1,700 per month, with wage tax and social insurance premiums already deducted. She/he will be required to be resident in Groningen and will initially be offered a scholarship of one year; prolongation of the scholarship for a further two years is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year.
General information about the University of Groningen’s PhD scholarship programme can be found here:

The preferred starting date is 1 September 2017.

How to apply
You may apply for this position until 2 April 11.59 PM / before 3 April 2017 Dutch local time by means of the application form (click on “Apply” below on the advertisement on the university website).

Your application should include:

  • a brief letter of motivation
  • a CV, including contact details of two academic referees
  • a research proposal of up to 2000 words, covering (a) state of the art, (b) main research question, key objectives, and relevance, (c) the proposed (methodological) approach, and (d) the proposed timetable for the writing of your thesis (if your project is interdisciplinary, please also list potential co-supervisor[s])
  • a writing sample of no more than 5000 words, such as an essay or part of a master’s thesis
  • certified official transcripts of your academic degrees.

Official documents must be in the English or Dutch language. Any translation of originals not in these languages must be authenticated.

Note that the procedure will include interviews. Selected candidates will be invited for an interview in Groningen. Interviews are scheduled to take place 19 April 2017.

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


For information you can contact:

(please do not use for applications)

Please visit the University of Groningen’s webpage for more program information.


© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2017. All rights reserved.