2 PhD positions, Transnational practices of European Muslims in the UAE and Montréal, Université catholique de Louvain (Belgique) — LIMITE : 29/11/2014

Redefining Home. Transnational practices of European Muslims in the UAE and Montréal 
The IMMRC (Interculturalism, Migration and Minorities Research Centre, www.immrc.be) is looking for two PhD candidates who will participate in the KU Leuven funded research project ‘“Redefining Home.” Transnational Practices of European Musilms in the United Arab Emirates and Montréal’.

This research project entails long-term ethnographic fieldwork either in the United Arab Emirates (for instance in Dubai or Abu Dhabi) or in Montréal (Québec) among second and third-generation Muslims of Maghrebi background from France, Belgium and the Netherlands who have left Europe to settle in these new countries. The research project will examine the motivations and reasons behind this emigration and how the notion of ‘home’ is resignified in relation to these places. Special attention will be paid to the emigrants’ religious, ethnic and/or national identities, and how these are subject to resignifications in the new settings through a range of cultural, social and religious transnational practices, including kinship and marriage. As such, the project aims to contribute to the literature on, complex forms of transnationalism migration and social mobility, ethnicity, Islam in Europe, marriage and reproduction.

Two PhD candidates will be hired for this project. The first candidate will conduct ethnographic fieldwork in the UAE and will hold a joint appointment at the IMMRC and the AISSR (UvA) as part of the ERC funded ‘Muslim Marriage Project’. The second candidate will conduct ethnographic fieldwork in Montréal (Québec) and will hold a joint affiliation at the IMMRC and the Cedem (Ulg). A joint doctorate from the respective institutes will be awarded upon the successful completion of these projects.


  • Conduct ethnographic field research;
  • Write and complete a PhD dissertation within four years and submit articles to refereed journals or edited volumes;
  • Collaborate with supervisors and peers on research and publications
  • Participate in conferences, workshops, seminars and other scholarly activities;
  • Participate in the PhD programme of the IMMRC and the AISSR or Cedem;
  • 10% teaching (contingent upon availability).


Phd Candidates should have the following credentials:

  • A completed MA degree in anthropology or closely related discipline (such as Migration studies or Middle-Eastern Studies);
  • Relevant ethnographic fieldwork experience, ideally in the fieldwork locations and/or related to the research themes;
  • Knowledge of current theoretical and societal debates on migration and mobility;
  • Excellent written and spoken English and knowledge of the language(s) needed for fieldwork (knowledge of at least one of the following languages is needed: Dutch and French, knowledge of one of the Maghrebi dialects is a plus);
  • Ability and interest to work collegially with the other members of the research team.

Conditions of employment

The full-time appointments will be for a period of four years (12 months plus a further 36 months contingent on a satisfactory performance during the first year), starting 1 February 2015 (negotiable).

Job application

Applications must include, in a single PDF file:

  • A motivation letter (maximum 400 words);
  • A preliminary proposal including research questions, theoretical approaches and methodologies, and most important literature (maximum 1,000 words);
  • A full curriculum vitae;
  • Names and contact details of two references;
  • In a separate PDF file: two writing samples (thesis and/or essay or and/or article) that provide evidence of ethnographic fieldwork experience and/or ability to theorize.
Further details on how to apply:

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