VACANCY: fully-funded PhD fellowship (4 years) at Ghent University (Belgium)

The Novel Saints: Ancient Fiction and Hagiography Research Centre at Ghent University (Belgium) is seeking well-qualified applicants for a full-time doctoral research fellowship on The Holy Romance. Characterization and concepts of fiction in Italo-Greek hagiography. The project is funded by the Flemish Research Foundation (F.W.O.-Vlaanderen) and will be supervised by Prof Koen De Temmerman and Dr Julie Van Pelt.


The successful applicant will examine literary and rhetorical constructions of character and concepts of narrative and fiction in Lives, martyr acts, and encomia written in Greek between the 5th and the 13th centuries and describing the lives of Christian saints and martyrs of Sicily and Southern Italy.


The successful applicant will start employment no later than 1st October 2022. In order to be eligible, candidates must have obtained their MA degree at the time of application or demonstrate that they will have that degree in hand by the start of their doctoral fellowship.


Envisaged profile: the successful candidate will have:

1. an MA degree in Greek Language and/or Literature;

2. excellent study results (including BA and MA dissertations of very high quality);

3. excellent knowledge of ancient and/or medieval Greek;

4. a demonstrable interest in (research into) the literary and/or cultural history of Late Antiquity and/or the Byzantine Middle Ages;


All these aspects should be evident from the application (e.g. transcripts of course results, percentiles indicating where applicants rank within their cohorts, topics of optional courses taken, and of papers and dissertations).


Will  be considered advantages:  

1. a demonstrable interest in and/or experience with (research into) ancient fiction and/or Byzantine hagiography;

2. modern literary-theoretical models (strong familiarity with narratology, rhetorical theory, theory of character, and/or theory of fiction).


We offer

1. a contract for four years of full-time employment as a PhD student, subject to positive evaluation after one year;

2. an internationally competitive salary that corresponds to the salary scales for PhD students as established by the Flemish government;

3. a substantial allowance for travel and other research purposes in addition to the salary;

4. office space at Ghent University and a solid and engaging academic working environment with a strong international profile. The project resonates with the interests of a number of other scholars at Ghent University and the successful candidates will be able to interact with scholars and students affiliated with various departments and research institutes, such as the Department of Literary Studies, the Department of History, the Department of Near Eastern 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. the possibility to acquire transferable skills as part of a Doctoral School programme.

6. professional support for those applying to the many funding schemes at local, regional, and European levels.


We expect that the successful applicant

1. will write and successfully defend a PhD dissertation within the four years of the fellowship;

2. will contribute to the strong research tradition of the Research Centre, the Department, and the University by pursuing excellence in their research and by publishing their results in journals and with publishers that are internationally accepted as being of the highest quality;

3. will come and live in Belgium, work together with the other team members, and contribute to a pleasant and stimulating atmosphere;

4. will contribute to the scholarly activities of the Research Centre (e.g. by organizing events in collaboration with the supervisors and/or other members of the team, etc.).


How to apply?


(a) Applications should be sent by email to the Project Coordinator, Dr Evelien Bracke (, and should include

1. a cover letter highlighting why the applicant is interested in this project, how it resonates with their own expertise, what relevant experience/knowledge they have, and what added value they expect to bring;

2. a full curriculum vitae (including accurate information on grades and study results, e.g. official results lists if available);

3. the applicant’s MA dissertation (and possibly other relevant writing samples such as papers or a BA dissertation) and a sample of published work (if available).


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


Deadline: applications (parts a and b) should arrive no later than 15th October 2021.


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.