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Research Fellow - ALTERUMMA 5

University of Birmingham - School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion within the College of Arts and Law

Location: Birmingham
Salary: £30,395 to £39,609 With potential progression once in post to £42,036 a year.
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 18th April 2019
Closes: 3rd June 2019
Job Ref: 81176

Full Time

Fixed term for 36 months fixed term (FT), starting Jan 2020

Grade 7 - Full time starting salary is normally in the range £30,395 to £39,609. With potential progression once in post to £42,036 a year.

The Department of Theology and Religion seeks to appoint a Research Fellow to work on the ERC-funded project ‘Creating an Alternative umma: Clerical Authority and Religio-political Mobilisation in Transnational Shii Islam (ALTERUMMA)’ project, led by Professor Oliver Scharbrodt. This interdisciplinary project investigates the transformation of Shii Islam in the Middle East and Europe since the 1950s. The Research Fellow is expected to undertake a comparative study of the development of Arabic Shii devotional poetry since the 1950s, focusing particularly on its transnational dimension and various regional articulations and how it is used to articulate Shii communal identities. 

The Research Fellow will have a PhD in the relevant field of study (preferably with a background in research in Arabic literature), and possess fluency in Arabic, with a command of a regional Arabic dialect (ideally Iraqi or Gulf Arabic) desirable. In addition, the Research Fellow will have a high level analytical capability, as well as a demonstrated ability to work independently to the very highest levels of research excellence. 

The post holder will: 

  • Develop research objectives and proposals for own or joint research, with assistance of a mentor if required
  • Contribute to writing bids for research funding
  • Analyse and interpret data
  • Apply knowledge in a way which develops new intellectual understanding
  • Disseminate research findings for publication, research seminars etc
  • Supervise students on research related work and provide guidance to PhD students where appropriate to the discipline
  • Contribute to developing new models, techniques and methods
  • Undertake management/administration arising from research
  • Contribute to Departmental/School research-related activities and research-related administration
  • Contribute to public engagement activities of manifest benefit to the College and the University, often under supervision of a project leader
  • Collect research data; this may be through a variety of research methods
  • Present research outputs, including drafting academic publications or parts thereof, for example at seminars, workshops and conferences

The Department of Theology and Religion has an outstanding international reputation in the study of all types of religion in the contemporary world, including inter-cultural theology, textual studies, pentecostal and charismatic studies, inter-religious relations, Islamic studies and Quaker studies. The department came second in the country in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 and is home to a number of important research groups and projects. As a member of Department, the research fellow will join a lively and flourishing department where they will enjoy opportunities for intellectual and other leadership in a collegiate and highly ambitious research community. 

This is a full time post with a duration of 36 months, with an anticipated start date of Jan 2020. 

Further information about the project: 

Informal enquiries should be directed to Oliver Scharbrodt at

Closing date: 3/6/2019           

Interviews will be held in week beginning 1st July 2019.

To download the details and submit an electronic application online please click on the Apply Online button below; please quote Job Reference in all enquiries. Alternatively information can be obtained from 0121 415 9000 or visit

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