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Accounting for Cross-Cultural Variation in Beliefs about Gods’ Minds (5+3), 2019-20

PhD fellowship in the field of Accounting for Cross-Cultural Variation in Beliefs about Gods’ Minds (5+3)

The Graduate School at Arts, Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University, in collaboration with Aarhus University Research Foundation (AUFF Starting Grant), invites applications for a fully-funded PhD fellowship in Accounting for Cross-Cultural Variation in Beliefs about Gods’ Minds provided the necessary funding is available. This PhD fellowship is available as of 1 January 2020 for a period of up to three years (5+3). The candidate who is awarded the PhD fellowship must commence his/her PhD degree programme on 1 January 2020. 

The PhD fellowship will be financed by the 2 parties.

The PhD fellowship is advertised within the field of Accounting for Cross-Cultural Variation in Beliefs about Gods’ Minds.

As the evolutionary and cognitive sciences of religion continue to grow, there is a curious imbalance between generalizations about and reliable data from the ethnographic world; many theories rely on many assumptions about small-scale populations with little reliable evidentiary support. For example, many posit that belief in gods’ punishment may contribute to human cooperation in significant ways. However, gods’ concerns vary cross-culturally, as do threats to cooperation. What do particular beliefs indicate about the kinds of social environments people live in? Using data collected in 15 cultures from around the world, the candidate will contribute to our understanding—and methods for further enrichment—of human religious commitments.

The project has three primary components to which the successful candidate will contribute. First, using an extant data set, the candidate will examine cross-cultural variation in religious appeals. Second, the successful candidate will organize data coding projects with research assistants. Third, the candidate will use this data to address the nature of religious appeals.

Preference is for someone engaged or interested in the cognitive and/or evolutionary sciences of religion and bridging qualitative and quantitative social science. Ideally, the candidate will have some background in the cognitive and evolutionary sciences of religion, some experience using quantitative methods, and commitment to open science.

This project will assess the cross-cultural variation of individuals’ religious appeals in the form of gods’ concerns. Drawing upon the extant literature and the data processed by research assistants, the student will:

a) develop theoretical accounts of religious beliefs;

b) map their variation with data,and

c) identify and isolate critical variables needed to consider in future research proposed in external grant applications.

 

The PhD student must complete the studies in accordance with the valid regulations for the PhD degree programme, currently the Ministerial Order of 27 August 2013 on the PhD degree programme at the universities: http://phd.arts.au.dk/applicants/thephddegreeprogramme/

Description of the graduate school’s PhD degree programme: http://phd.arts.au.dk/applicants/phdstudystructure/

Rules and regulations for the PhD degree programme at the Graduate School at Arts: http://phd.arts.au.dk/applicants/thephddegreeprogramme/  

The PhD fellow will be enrolled as a PhD student at the Graduate School at Arts, Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University, with the aim of completing a PhD degree at the School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University. 

The PhD student will be affiliated with the PhD programme Anthropology, Global Studies and the Study of Religion.

The PhD student’s place of work will be the School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University. In general, the student is expected to be present at the school on an everyday basis.

The PhD degree programme is expected to include a lengthy research stay at a foreign institution, cf. Description of the graduate school’s PhD degree programme.

School of Culture and Society’s research programme:
http://cas.au.dk/en/research/research-programmes/

 

5+3 programme

When you apply for a 3-year PhD fellowship (5+3), you must have completed your two year Master’s degree (120 ECTS) no later than 31 December 2019.

The PhD fellow will be employed as a PhD student at the Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University. The terms of employment are in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (see section 6.1.4), as well as with the protocol to the agreement covering staff with university degrees in the state sector (see enclosure 5). The agreement and the protocol including amendments are available online: http://phd.arts.au.dk/applicants/thephddegreeprogramme/

Salary: http://phd.arts.au.dk/financing/salary-and-employment/salary-5-3/

 

Application
If you require professional guidance regarding your application for the PhD fellowship please contact the PhD programme director at Anthropology, Global Studies and the Study of Religion:  http://phd.arts.au.dk/about-us/contact/

For further information, please contact Associate Professor Benjamin Grant Purzycki, School of Culture and Society, bgpurzycki@cas.au.dk.

The application must be submitted in English.

All applicants must document English language qualifications comparable to an 'English B level' in the Danish upper secondary school ('gymnasium'). Please see this page for further information: http://phd.arts.au.dk/applicants/english-test/  

Applications for the PhD fellowship and enrolment in the PhD degree programme can only be submitted via Aarhus University’s web-based facility.

Guidelines for the application facility: http://phd.arts.au.dk/applicants/how-to-apply/

 

Deadline for applications: 1 October 2019 at 23.59 Danish time (CET/CETS).
Reference number: 2019-20

During the assessments, Aarhus University can conduct interviews with selected applicants.