Postdoctoral Researcher in Buddhist Studies
University of Leiden, Faculty of Humanities, Leiden Institute for Area Studies

Postdoctoral Researcher in Buddhist Studies


Faculty of Humanities, Leiden Institute for Area Studies is looking for a


Postdoctoral Researcher in Buddhist Studies (1.0 fte) 


Vacancy number 17-212


Project description


The researcher will carry out research on Buddhist scriptures. This is part of the ERC-funded project, “The Composition of Buddhist Scriptures: Open Philology” headed by prof. Jonathan A. Silk. Details of the project may be found at Candidates are asked to familiarize themselves with the proposal before submitting an application.


The project seeks to develop architectures for editing Buddhist scriptures which by their nature lack an Ur-text, and therefore cannot be edited in a traditional stemmatic fashion.


The researcher will contribute to the concept design of a database which will provide the materials for alignment of the Tibetan and Chinese translations of the Mahāratnakūṭa collection of sūtras, will work on this alignment itself, and will edit and critically study one or more of the sūtras in this collection. For the design of the database, researchers will work together with IT specialists and the PI (Silk). 30% of this appointment will be dedicated to teaching.


Key responsibilities


  • Research on Buddhist scriptures;
  • Study one or more sūtras of the Mahāratnakūṭa collection;
  • Assist in alignment of the Chinese and Tibetan editions of the Mahāratnakūṭa collection;
  • Cooperate in the supervision of PhD students and programmers;
  • Carry out and publish original research;
  • Facilitate joint activities and data sharing;
  • Disseminate the project to non-academic parties and on social media.


Selection criteria


  • A PhD degree in Buddhist Studies or a relatie field. Candidates near completion of the degree will be considered;
  • high level knowledge of the relevant Buddhist languages, optimally Chinese, Tibetan and Sanskrit;
  • high lever of academic spoken and written English;
  • expertise in research of scriptures;
  • a research and publication record that is commensurate with career stage;
  • commitment to high-quality research, publication and dissemination, including through social media, blogs or websites;
  • ability to plan and execute tasks independently and punctually;
  • ability to manage a team of research assistants;
  • ability to work as part of and in support of a larger team.


Our Faculty/Institute


The Faculty of Humanities is rich in expertise in fields as philosophy, religious studies, history, art history, literature, linguistics and regional studies covering nearly every region of the world. Our faculty is home to more than 5400 students and 800 staff members. For more information, see 

The Postdoctoral Researcher will hold a position in the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies ( LIAS is comprised of a School of Asian Studies and a School of Middle-Eastern Studies, with international staff and student populations. The institute is committed to a present-day vision of area studies, integrating disciplinary and regional-historical perspectives on a solid foundation of excellent language skills. Current staff in LIAS has expertise in the fields of Anthropology, Archaeology, Art Studies, Buddhist Studies, Film Studies, History, International Relations, Language Pedagogy, Law, Linguistics, Literary Studies, Material Culture Studies, Performance Studies, Philology, Philosophy, Political Economy, Religious Studies, Sociology, and Visual Culture Studies.


Terms and conditions


We offer a fixed-term post from 1 January 2018 until 31 December 2021. A slightly later start is possible. 
Salary range, depending on education and work experience, from € 3,427.- to € 4,691.- (pay scale 11 in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities) gross per month, based on a full-time appointment.


Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. More at




Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.




Enquiries can be made to Jonathan Silk at email




Applications must be received no later than 30 June 2017. Applications should be in English, and be submitted Please ensure that you include in a single PDF document named ‘FAMILY NAME – Given name – vacancy number and in this order: 

• A cv including education history and publications; 
• Teaching evaluations, if available, and a sample syllabus for a course on some area of Buddhist Studies 
• A letter of motivation; 
• One sample publication or other piece of written work (e.g. thesis chapter); 
• Names, positions and email addresses of two referees (no reference letters).


Acquisition following this advertisement is not appreciated.

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Educaloxy


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