VACANCY: postdoctoral researcher in late antique and/or medieval Greek and Near Eastern narrative

Job vacancy: fully-funded Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in late antique and/or medieval Greek and Near Eastern narrative (2 years) at Ghent University (Belgium) (deadline: 5 January 2021)


The Department of Literary Studies at Ghent University (Belgium) is seeking well-qualified applicants for a fully-funded and full-time postdoctoral research fellowship in 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 reception.

The successful applicant will start employment after 1 March 2021. In order to be eligible, candidates must have obtained their PhD degree max. 6 years before the envisaged starting date (according to the date mentioned on their doctoral degree) or demonstrate that they will have that degree in hand by that date.


Within the ERC project, subprojects are assigned to individual team members. For the current vacancy, this subproject is situated in the following area: GREEK AND NEAR EASTERN STORY-TELLING: CONTACTS AND RECEPTION IN THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN IN LATE ANTIQUITY AND THE MIDDLE AGES.

The successful candidate will work on receptions of ancient Greek fiction in Near Eastern story-telling, on the importance of rhetorical, hagiographical and/or other narrative traditions therein, and on concepts of fiction in cross-cultural narrative environments of the Eastern Mediterranean (in, for example, Christian, Islamic, Zoroastrian, Jewish, Samaritan, or Manichaean literary corpora).



  • You hold a thesis-based doctorate (obtained max. 6 years before the envisaged starting date; see above) in a field of study relevant to the project.
  • You have an excellent command of (ancient or Byzantine) Greek and/or one or more Near Eastern languages (Arabic, Persian, Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Georgian).
  • Will be considered an advantage:
    • Expertise in comparative literature and/or literary theory;
    • A demonstrable interest or specialization in intellectual or cultural exchange between the Greek/Byzantine world and Near Eastern cultures;
    • Demonstrable research experience with cross-cultural transmissions, translations or adaptations of narrative (or, more generally, cultural) production.



  • We offer you a contract of indefinite duration with a maximum term of 2 years. You will receive a contract for one year of full-time employment as Postdoctoral Research Fellow, followed by a renewal for one other year upon positive evaluation (a longer contract with a lower percentage of employment can be negotiated);
  • Your contract will start on 1/03/2021 at the earliest;
  • Your remuneration will be determined by salary scale PD1. Click here for more information about our salary scales. This is an internationally competitive salary that depends on seniority and corresponds to the salary scales for Postdoctoral Research Fellows as established by the Flemish government;
  • A substantial allowance for travel and other research purposes in addition to the salary;
  • Office space at Ghent University and a solid and engaging academic working environment with a strong international profile (website of the research group). The ERC 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;
  • Professional support for those applying to the many funding schemes at local, regional and European levels;
  • All Ghent University staff members enjoy a number of benefits, such as a wide range of training and education opportunities, 35 days of holiday leave (on an annual basis for a full-time job) supplemented by annual fixed bridge days, a bicycle allowance and eco vouchers. Click here or a complete overview of all the staff benefits (in Dutch).



  • At least 70% of your assignment will be spent on academic research.
  • You will contribute to the strong research tradition of the Department and the University by pursuing excellence in your research and by publishing in journals and with publishers that are internationally accepted as being of the highest quality;
  • You will publish under the parameters of the project in consultation with the Principal Investigator;
  • You will come and live in Belgium, work together with the other team members and the project’s international advisory board, and contribute to a pleasant and stimulating atmosphere;
  • You will play a leading role in the scholarly activities of the research group (e.g. by organizing events, co-supervizing PhD students, etc.).



Apply online through the Ghent University e-recruitment system (click “Solliciteren”) before the deadline of 5th January 2021. We cannot accept late applications or applications that are not submitted through the online system.
Your application should include the following documents (please note that the maximum file size for each field is 10 MB):

  • In the field ‘CV’: your CV, an overview of your study results and a complete and up-to-date list of publications (merged into one pdf file);
  • In the field ‘Cover letter’: your application letter in pdf format, highlighting why you are interested in this position and what added value you expect to bring;
  • In the field ‘Diploma’: a transcript of your PhD degree (if already available). If you have a foreign diploma in a language other than our national languages (Dutch, French or German) or English, please add a translation in one of these languages.
  • In the field ‘Other documents’: a writing sample of ca. 40 pages of published (or forthcoming) work that in your view is particularly good or relevant to the project. (Part of this can be one or more chapters from doctoral dissertations, in which case candidates are asked to please additionally provide a Table of Contents, the Introduction and the Conclusion.)
  • In addition, we kindly ask candidates to arrange for three letters of reference to be sent directly by the referees to the Research Coordinator, Dr Evelien Bracke (

As Ghent University maintains an equal opportunities and diversity policy, everyone is encouraged to apply for this position.



Shortlisted candidates will be asked (in January 2021) to provide a (brief) project proposal within ca. four weeks time. Given the current pandemic and possible travel restrictions, shortlisted candidates will be invited for an online interview to be held in the second half of February 2021.

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Prof. Koen De Temmerman ( Important: please do NOT send your application by email, but apply online (see above).


Ghent University employs more than 8,000 people. It is actively involved in education and research, management and administration, as well as technical and social service provision on a daily basis. It is one of the largest, most exciting employers in the area and offers great career opportunities. Its 11 faculties and more than 80 departments offer state-of-the-art study programmes grounded in research in a wide range of academic fields.