Gepubliceerd op 28-11-2023

PhD position on Rosewater, nightingale, and gunpowder – Utrecht University

Study the history of Muslim conceptualisations of the senses and sense perception during the three

RONIGU is a five-year research project (September 2023-August 2028) that studies the history of Muslim conceptualizations of the senses and of sense perception in the period of the three “gunpowder empires” of the Ottomans, Safavids, and Mughals. The PhD studentship is advertised in the area of Ottoman/Safavid studies, with a focus on vision/visuality and hearing/sound in Islamic intellectual history as well as the history of the body in a broad sense. If you as an applicant wish to pursue other lines of inquiry in sensory history (smell, taste, touch) you are encouraged to consult with Professor Lange at C.R.Lange@uu.nl.

The PhD position (4 years) is embedded in the research project “Rosewater, nightingale and gunpowder: A sensory history of the Islamic world, 1500-1900″ (RONIGU), funded by a Vici Grant of the Dutch Science Organisation (NWO) and led by Professor Lange of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies.


Profile and Qualifications:

  • an MA or equivalent degree in Islamic Studies, Middle East Studies, Religious Studies, or a cognate discipline, or an MA thesis in one of these fields already accepted by the MA committee;
  • knowledge of at least one primary Islamicate language (preferably Persian, but other languages will also be considered);
  • proficiency in academic English as well as the ability to work with secondary literature in modern European languages;
  • ability to work independently and in a team, with good organisational and communication skills.

Conditions of employment

We offer:

  • a position (1.0 FTE) for the duration of 18 months. In case of good performance and a positive evaluation, the contract will be extended for the remaining period of 30 months (48 months in total);
  • a full-time gross salary between €2,770 and €3,539 in scale P of the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (CAO);
  • 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.

In addition to the employment conditions from the CAO for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. These include agreements on professional development, leave arrangements, sports and cultural schemes and you get discounts on software and other IT products. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment through the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we encourage you to grow.

For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University.


A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major strategic themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Pathways to Sustainability. Sharing science, shaping tomorrow.

The Faculty of Humanities has around 7,000 students and 1,100 staff members. It comprises four knowledge domains: Philosophy and Religious Studies, History and Art History, Media and Culture Studies, and Languages, Literature and Communication. With its research and education in these fields, the Faculty aims to contribute to a better understanding of the Netherlands and Europe in a rapidly changing social and cultural context. The enthusiastic and committed colleagues and the excellent amenities in the historical city centre of Utrecht, where the faculty is located, contribute to an inspiring working environment.

The faculty strives for diversity among its employees and students and is committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment for everyone, as can be read in Utrecht University’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy.

The core values of the Faculty of Humanities are professionalism, transparency, responsibility, connectedness and safety. These values apply to everyone and we uphold these values in our work and in our communication with each other and with others.

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact Professor C.R. Lange ( Chair of Arabic and Islamic Studies) at C.R.Lange@uu.nl.

Apply now!

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