Job advertisement: PhD student (m / f / d)


The Center for Religious Studies (CERES) is a  Central Research Institution of the Ruhr-Universität. It initiates and coordinates religion-related activities in the areas of research, teaching, promotion of young scholars, and knowledge transfer.

CERES invites applications for a doctoral position (WMA, TV-L E 13, 100%). Applicants (m,f,d) are expected to apply for the position with an elaborated exposé on the topic of “Missionary Collections, Cultural and Religious Contact, and Materiality”. The Ph.D. project should also be compatible with the CRC 1475 “Metaphors of Religion”, which has been located at CERES since January 2022 and deals with the question of “Material Metaphors” in an explorative working group. CERES owns from a donation a large part of the holdings of the Cologne House of African Missionaries “White Fathers” ( (website in German only)). Only a very small part of the objects has been cataloged by members of the order. In addition to objects (e.g. instruments, everyday objects, wooden figurines), the collection contains an extensive photo archive and film material from the 1920s and 30s, as well as diaries and other documentary material covering the missionary activities of the order over a period of more than 120 years. Through the doctoral project and also through integration into teaching contexts and knowledge transfer, the overall use of the collection should be intensified.

Scope: full-time (39.83 hours per week)
Duration: temporary (duration of 3 years)
Start: next possible
Apply until: 15.08.2022

Your Tasks:

  • Development and implementation of a doctoral project in the study of religion (Religionswissenschaft) in the thematic field of “Mission, Materiality, Cultural and Religious Contact”; the doctorate will be in the subject “Religionswissenschaft”.
  • Cataloging (i.e. documentation and indexing) of the holdings in the White Fathers' Collection at CERES
  • Analysis of the objects and archival materials from the perspective of the study of religions and cultures
  • Cooperation with representatives (m,f,d) of the objects' societies of origin
  • Cooperation with the former owners (African missionaries, Cologne) (e.g. “oral history”)
  • Writing of a monograph (dissertation)
  • Activities in the field of knowledge transfer/third mission (publications, lectures, cooperation in exhibition projects)

Your profile:

  • Completed MA studies in subjects such as the study of religion (Religionswissenschaft), cultural and social anthropology, history, ethnology, museology, or related subjects
  • Clearly identifiable religion-related research focus
  • Excellent knowledge of German and English; further language skills desired
  • Knowledge of mission history, esp. with reference to the White Fathers/African missionaries, is desired
  • Previous experience in processing and inventorying collections and archives is desirable

We offer:

  • Challenging and varied tasks with a high degree of personal responsibility
  • Team-oriented collaboration in a committed, international and appreciative team
  • Employment at one of the largest universities in Germany within the University Alliance Ruhr
  • Family-friendly working conditions
  • Extensive opportunities for further education and training

Further information:

If funding at the time of hiring is provided exclusively by external third-party funding sources, there is no obligation for employees to assume teaching duties.

Contact for further information:
Dr. Martin Radermacher, Phone: +49234 32 24697

Travel expenses, accommodation costs, loss of earnings, or other application costs for interviews can unfortunately not be reimbursed.

We look forward to receiving your application, quoting ANR 912, by 15.08.2022 by e-mail to the following address:

The official job offer of the RUB (in German) can be found here.