Research Associate for the Project “The Evolution of Islamic Societies


InstitutionFaculty of Humanities, Institute of Asian and African Studies, Islamic Studies Division

Salary levelEGR. 13 TV-L

Start date01.07.2022, fixed until 30.06.2024, with a potential 2-year extension pending successful evaluation (This is a fixed-term contract in accordance with Section 2 of the academic fixed-term labor contract act [Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz, WissZeitVG]).

Application deadline31.03.2022

Scope of workpart-time

Weekly hours75 % of standard work hours per week


Duties include academic services in the project named above. Research associates may also pursue independent research and further academic qualifications.

Specific Duties

The Emmy Noether project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) undertakes a study of the development of the Islamic world through a series of computational analyses of a corpus of Arabic biographical collections and chronicles. The project focuses on three closely connected case studies: 1) of major ethnic, religious, and professional groups - and how they shaped the development of local communities and fused them into what we call the Islamic world; 2) of dynastic cycles through the patterns of the rise and fall of regional powers, their conflicts with rivals, and interactions with local communities; 3) of environmental factors - plagues, famines, droughts, pest infestations, earthquakes, and climate change - and their effect on the life of local communities. These case studies will be the foundation for a robust synthesis of the evolution of the Islamic world over the period under study.

The successful candidate will conduct research on the third case study of environmental factors. They will be expected to write a successful PhD thesis on their subject as well as to contribute to the project group's synthesis of all three case studies and publications.


A university degree in a relevant field. Applicants must have a degree (M.A.) in Islamic or Middle Eastern Studies or another relevant field. They must have excellent classical Arabic reading skills. Applicants must have a good grasp of pre-modern Islamic history, demonstrated, for example, by the subject of their M.A. thesis, and some prior experience working with pre-modern Arabic sources. Familiarity with methods of digital humanities (text annotation, data analysis, natural language processing, etc.) are added advantages, but not strictly required (training in relevant skills will be provided). Applicants must have excellent command of English (both spoken and written) and French reading skills; knowledge of German is preferred, but not required. As this is a collaborative team project, strong communication and interpersonal skills are a prerequisite.

We offer

  • Reliable remuneration based on wage agreements
  • Continuing education opportunities
  • University pensions
  • Attractive location
  • Flexible working hours
  • Work-life balance opportunities
  • Public transport pass (ProfiTicket) and much more
  • Health management
  • Educational leave
  • 30 days of vacation per annum

As a University of Excellence, Universität Hamburg is one of the strongest research universities in Germany. As a flagship university in the greater Hamburg region, it nurtures innovative, cooperative contacts to partners within and outside academia. It also provides and promotes sustainable education, knowledge, and knowledge exchange locally, nationally, and internationally.

Severely disabled and disabled applicants with the same status will receive preference over equally qualified non-disabled applicants.

Tips on applying


Dr. Maxim Romanov, Project Leader

Reference number



Edmund-Siemers-Allee 1
20146 Hamburg
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Application deadline


Applications should include a cover letter explaining interest and motivation, a tabular curriculum vitae, copies of degree certificate(s), and contact details for two referees. PhD proposals focusing on select case studies are very welcome. Please, send applications by email to:

More information on data protection in selection procedure.

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