Doctoral Grant - Fund for Scientific Research - Flanders
KU Leuven - Pastoral Theology and Empirical Theology Research Unit at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies,




This doctoral grant is part of the project “The impact of spiritual care provided by hospital chaplains: measuring the effects and clarifying the underlying processes”, financed by the Fund for Scientific Research - Flanders.

The selected candidate will work under the supervision of professors Annemie Dillen, Jessie Dezutter and Anne Vandenhoeck and will conduct research on a similar theme together with another doctoral fellow.


Hospital chaplains can play a vital role in addressing spiritual needs or patients as key members or interdisciplinary teams. Research shows that patients' anxiety and negative religious coping significantly diminished after the intervention of the chaplain. However, studies do not give us information about chaplaincy interventions that are carried out in the real life context of hospital wards, in which a broad range of chaplaincy activities are performed with a heterogeneous group of patients suffering from various pathologies and manifesting very diverse needs. Knowledge about the outcomes and processes of chaplaincy can make chaplaincy activities more evidence-based and transparent. This project tackles the lack of knowledge by conducting a mixed method multi-study in a sample of landlords and their families. The results of a quantitative prospective study will provide insight into how patients' emotional states and general and spiritual well-being change after receiving spiritual care by chaplains compared to a control group of patients not receiving spiritual care. A complementary qualitative study (phenomenological approach) will gain insight into which processes are present during chaplaincy interventions. In-depth interviews with patients and family members will focus on the experience of the patients themselves. The third study is a validation study to construct a patient-reported outcome measure. Most likely the researcher will focus on specific groups of patients (eg in a geriatric and / or pediatric ward).


  • You have a master's degree in the field of theology and / or religious studies (preferably), or in another discipline relevant to the position (obtained with good results) so that the candidate can be admitted to the doctoral program of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies. : //
  • You are interested in and have experience with hospital pastoral care and scientific research.
  • You have experience in empirical research (quantitative and qualitative) and you are prepared to train yourself in this.
  • You are interested in statistical methods, and you are prepared to train yourself in this.
  • You have a sense of responsibility and planning.
  • You have good communication and writing skills. 
  • You have an excellent command of Dutch. 
  • You have a good command of English.



  • The duties consist of preparing, conducting, analyzing and writing scientific empirical research in a hospital context. The ultimate goal is to work out the research conducted into a PhD. 

  • The candidate will present the research during scientific conferences and study days.

  • The candidate will follow a doctoral training at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies.

  • The candidate will support the promoters and the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies through administrative tasks and sporadic educational support. 



A period of 4 years is provided for the implementation of this project. The progress will be evaluated after 1 year. This period will be extended upon successful evaluation. 

The start date is in consultation, but preferably as quickly as possible.

You will have the opportunity to set up a scientific research project with a direct relevance for hospital pastors, hospital staff, patients and their family members.

We provide a full-time doctoral fellowship (fellowship status) and employment within the Pastoral Theology and Empirical Theology Research Unit at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, KU Leuven.




More information can be obtained from Prof. Annemie Dillen, tel .: +32 16 32 84 01, mail:
You can apply for this vacancy up to and including 15/04/2019 via our online application application
KU Leuven wants to create an environment in which all talents can develop to the maximum, regardless of gender, age, cultural origin, nationality or disability. If you have any questions regarding accessibility or support options, you can contact us via

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


All Jobs


Harvard University Academic Positions

Kuwait University Current Faculty Openings

Osaka University Academic Opportunities

Purdue University Job Postings for Faculty Positions

Texas Tech University Faculty Openings

Tsinghua University Job Postings

University of Cambridge Job Openings

University of Geneva Faculty Opportunities

University of New South Wales Job Openings

University of Nottingham Research Positions

University of Oslo Academic Jobs

University of Saskatchewan Faculty Positions

University of Southampton Research Vacancies

University of Tokyo Current Academic Vacancies

University of Toronto Open Faculty Positions