Postdoctoral Fellowship in Arabic vernacular

Job vacancy: fully-funded ERC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Arabic medieval narrative (3 years) at Ghent University (Belgium)

The Department of Literary Studies at Ghent University (Belgium) is seeking well-qualified applicants for a fully-funded and full-time postdoctoral research fellowship attached to the European Research Council Consolidator Grant project Novel Echoes. Ancient novelistic receptions and concepts of fiction in late antique and medieval secular narrative from East to West (for an abstract, see Its Principal Investigator is Prof Dr Koen De Temmerman, who specializes in ancient fiction and its persistence in later periods. 

The successful applicant will start employment between 1st October 2019 and 31st March 2020. In order to be eligible, candidates must have obtained their PhD degree at the time of application or demonstrate that they will have that degree in hand by the start of their postdoctoral fellowship. 

Within the ERC project, subprojects will be assigned to individual team members. For the current vacancy, this subproject is situated in the following area:


The successful candidate will be a specialist in Arabic narrative literature from the Abbasid era and will have both demonstrable expertise in comparative literature and ideally a good working knowledge of Greek. Both knowledge of literary and rhetorical theory and a working knowledge of Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Georgian, and/or Persian will be considered an advantage. She/He will be working on intertextual and/or intercultural interactions between a delineated set of corpus texts and the Greek world, and on the possible importance of (Greek, Syriac and Arabic) hagiographical traditions therein. His/her work on the project will result in a monograph on the topic.  

For this position, we offer:

1. a contract for one year of full-time employment as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, followed by a renewal for another two years upon positive evaluation (a longer contract with a lower percentage of employment can be negotiated); 
2. an internationally competitive salary that depends on seniority and corresponds to the salary scales for Postdoctoral Research Fellows as established by the Flemish government; 
3. a substantial allowance for travel and other research purposes in addition to the salary;  
4. office space in the University and a solid and engaging academic working environment with a strong international profile. The successful candidate will be able to interact with scholars and students affiliated with various departments and research institutes at Ghent University, such as the Department of Literary Studies (, the Department of History (, the Department of Oriental Studies (, the Ghent Institute for Classical Studies (, the Henri Pirenne Institute for Medieval Studies (, the Ghent Centre for the Study of Christian Traditions (, and the Group of Early Modern Studies (;
5. professional support for those applying to the many funding schemes at local, regional and European levels, and a light teaching load.


For this position, we expect that the successful applicant

1. will contribute to the strong research tradition of the Department and the University by pursuing excellence in their research and by publishing research findings in journals and with publishers that are internationally accepted as being of the highest quality;
2. will write a monograph under the parameters of the project in close consultation with the Principal Investigator;
3. will come and live in Belgium, work closely together with the other team members and the project’s international advisory board, and contribute to a pleasant and stimulating atmosphere; 
4. will play a leading role in the scholarly activities of the research group (e.g. by organizing events, co-supervizing PhD students, etc.). 


How to apply? 

(a) Applications should include

1. a cover letter;
2. a full curriculum vitae, including a complete list of publications;
3. an autobiographical statement highlighting why the applicant is interested in this project and what added value s/he expects to bring; 
4. a writing sample of ca. 40 pages of published (or forthcoming) work that in the applicant’s view is particularly good or relevant to the project.

Applications should be sent by email to the Research Coordinator, Dr Evelien Bracke ( 

(b) In addition, we kindly ask candidates to arrange for three letters of reference to be sent directly to by the referees.

Deadline: applications (both a and b) should arrive no later than 1st September 2019

Please address any queries to the Principal Investigator (


Ghent is an attractive medieval town, with a strong economic base and lively cultural scene. Just 30 minutes by train from Brussels, two hours from Paris and Amsterdam and two and a half hours from London, it is ideally situated at the heart of European intellectual life.