[INDOLOGY] Doctoral Fellowship in Gandhāra Corpora Project at Ghent University

Charles DiSimone disimone at alumni.stanford.edu
Fri Apr 19 14:38:52 UTC 2024

Dear Friends,

With all apologies for cross-posting. I'd like to bring this doctoral
fellowship in my ERC project, Gandhāra Corpora — a project dealing with
Buddhist and related manuscripts in several genres, to the attention of the
Indology community. This is a fully funded, four-year fellowship resulting
in a PhD. Please share this with any younger scholars in your network who
are interested in pursuing an academic career in Buddhist Studies. The
candidate should know Sanskrit, but beyond that I am quite pleased to leave
the profile rather open and am happy to receive applications from folk of
various backgrounds and interests. The vacancy may be found here
<https://www.ugent.be/en/work/scientific/doctoral-fellow-22> and the
details are pasted below:

*Doctoral fellow*

Last application date: May 24, 2024 00:00

Department: LW21 - Department of Languages and Cultures

Contract: Limited duration

Degree: MA

Occupancy rate: 100%

Vacancy type: Research staff
Job description

Doctoral Fellowship in the ERC Funded Gandhāra Corpora Project at Ghent

Applications are invited for one full-time PhD research position of 4 years
within the ERC Starting Grant project “Corpora in Greater Gandhāra: Tracing
the Development of Buddhist Textuality and Gilgit/Bamiyan Manuscript
Networks in the First Millennium of the Common Era” (Gandhāra Corpora) led
by Professor Charles DiSimone at the Department of Languages and Cultures,
Ghent University located in the center of the beautiful and historic city
of Ghent, Belgium. In the Gandhāra Corpora project, the researcher will
join an international team of scholars working on manuscript materials
recently uncovered from the historic area of Greater Gandhāra and
contribute to the study and preservation of this material. Within the
department, the Pre-doctoral researcher will be a member of both the Ghent
Centre for Buddhist Studies (*https://www.cbs.ugent.be/*
<https://www.cbs.ugent.be/>) and the South Asia Research Network Ghent
research groups (*https://www.india.ugent.be/english*
<https://www.india.ugent.be/english>/). All nationalities are welcome to

Brief Project Description:
In the last several years, fantastic manuscript finds have surfaced opening
new windows into the scholarly study of the development of Buddhist
literature. Gandhāra Corpora represents a multifaceted, holistic approach
to the study of an important and voluminous genre of manuscript witnesses
from an early era of Buddhist textual transmission composed mainly in
Sanskrit in the Gilgit/Bamiyan type scripts from the historic region of
Greater Gandhāra covering modern day Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of
Northern India. This project centers on the study of large, recently
discovered caches of highly significant Buddhist manuscripts excavated at
Mes Aynak in Afghanistan and similar material in private collections and
their place in the body of works from Greater Gandhāra. The philological,
paleographical, codicological, and critical research conducted in this
project will examine textual and material production, transmission, and
relationship networks in the Buddhist manuscript cultures of Greater
Gandhāra and beyond in the first millennium of the Common Era.

You will contribute to the project in the following ways:

   - You will complete a doctoral dissertation for a degree in Buddhist
   Studies or Oriental Languages and Cultures.
   - Your dissertation will consist of an original research project based
   upon your research interests within the scope of the Gandhāra Corpora
   project. The topic will be agreed upon in the early stages of your
   - You will contribute to the project’s goals including but not limited
   to the digitization of manuscript materials in the field, the development
   of a database of akṣara usage in the manuscripts the project is focused
   upon, the creation of a digital archive of Buddhist and secular textual
   materials from the area of Greater Gandhāra, cataloging of manuscript
   witnesses, and additional research goals as deemed relevant to your
   doctoral project.
   - You will work closely with the research carried out by the project
   supervisor, post-doctoral fellows, and with the other project members
   including expert research partners stationed around the globe consisting of
   scholars in Europe and Asia and our partners at the Archaeology Institute
   of Afghanistan in Kabul consisting of a dedicated team of archeologists and
   - You will be encouraged and expected to disseminate research results
   together with the research team via publications in international
   peer-reviewed journals, the participation in international conferences, etc.
   - You will contribute to the research environment in South Asian and
   Buddhist Studies at Ghent University through participation in reading
   groups, workshops, and other scholarly events.

Job profile

Required qualifications:

   - You hold a master’s degree in a relevant field (e.g., Buddhist
   Studies, Religious Studies, South Asian Studies, Indology, Sanskrit, etc.).
   - You have a good to excellent proficiency in Sanskrit.
   - You have some background in the study of Buddhist textual
   - You have the ability to develop an original research project.
   - You have an excellent command of written and spoken English.
   - You are a dynamic and enthusiastic person looking to do something you
   love in a thriving research community where you are valued.

Additional desirable qualifications (not required but viewed positively):

   - Proficiency in any of the historic languages of Buddhist textual
   transmission beyond Sanskrit (Classical Chinese, Classical Tibetan, Pali,
   Gāndhārī, etc.). Proficiency in Bactrian.
   - An interest in the philological and paleographical study of Buddhist
   texts and/or North Indian/Central Asian textual history broadly.
   - An interest in archeology and the preservation of objects of historic
   and cultural significance.
   - A previous background in the Digital Humanities or an interest in
   developing such skills.

Conditions and benefits:

   - We offer you a full-time position for four years as doctoral fellow,
   subject to positive evaluation after one year.
   - Your fellowship will start on September 1, 2024, at the earliest. We
   understand that moving and preparation for doctoral study can be difficult
   and as such the start date is flexible and can be set for a later date in
   Fall 2024 or Winter 2024/5 as mutually agreed between the fellowship holder
   and supervisor.
   - The scholarship amount is quite generous at 100% of the net salary of
   an AAP (Academic Assistant Personnel) member in equal family circumstances.
   The individual scholarship amount is determined by the DPO (Department of
   Personnel and Organization) on the basis of family circumstances and
   seniority. A grant that meets the conditions and criteria of the
   regulations for doctoral scholarships is considered free of personal income
   tax. *Click here for more information about our salary scales*
   - You will be allocated office space and equipment. Project funding is
   additionally available for research materials, fieldwork, and for attending
   workshops and conferences, etc.
   - All Ghent University staff members enjoy a number of benefits, such as
   a wide range of training and education opportunities, 36 days of holiday
   leave (on an annual basis for a full-time job) supplemented by annual fixed
   bridge days, bicycle allowance and eco vouchers. *Click here for a
   complete overview of all the staff benefits*
   - The City of Ghent is truly unique. The campuses of Ghent University
   are integrated in the medieval town and 19th century districts that
   circumvent the medieval part of the city. Ghent has a lively art scene and
   numerous world-class museums, covering ancient, modern and contemporary
   art, folklore and industrial heritage. The city is also home to a wide
   range of performing arts centers. The vibrant cultural scene of the city
   fuses in with the daily life of Ghent people and the city’s more than
   70,000 students who together enjoy one of Europe’s largest pedestrian
   areas. This unique combination of old and new has made Ghent a cultural hot
   spot – no surprise that ‘Lonely Travel’ commented on Ghent as one of the
   ten ‘must-see’ cities of the world. Ghent is located in the center of
   Europe, with Brussels, Amsterdam, Paris, London and Cologne only a few
   hours (or less) away by train.

How to apply

To apply submit the following materials in pdf format to Prof. Charles
DiSimone (*Charles.DiSimone at UGent.be* <Charles.DiSimone at UGent.be>):

   - Your complete CV and an overview of your study results.
   - Your MA diploma (if already in hand) and transcripts of your studies
   at the undergraduate and MA level (official or unofficial).
   - A cover letter outlining your experience and interest in undertaking
   doctoral studies at Ghent University in the Gandhāra Corpora project.
   - A research statement (1500 words maximum excluding bibliography)
   outlining your research interests and past experiences including any
   potential dissertation project you may be interested in undertaking within
   the broader aims of the Gandhāra Corpora project.
   - Up to two samples of academic work (journal articles, research papers,
   a chapter of your MA thesis, etc.).
   - Names and contact details of two referees (do not include reference

Shortlisted candidates will be contacted by mid-June for an online
interview with the results announced shortly thereafter. Any questions
about this vacancy may be sent by email directly to Prof. DiSimone.
Interested parties are welcome to initiate contact before submitting their

With my best wishes,

Prof. Dr. Charles DiSimone
Associate Professor of Buddhist Studies
Department of Languages and Cultures
Ghent University
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