Postdoctoral position at the Institute for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Societies ISNO

University of Bern
March 20, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Negotigation
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A
Postdoctoral position at the Institute for the Study of the Middle East

and Muslim Societies ISNO 100%, starting August 2023

The Institute for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Societies in Bern combines the tradition of text-oriented Islamic studies with area studies and post-colonial approaches. Research at the Institute explores historical, sociological and political questions, and focuses in particular on gender and sexuality, legal history, labour history, media and political movements, transnationalism and migration studies. We research not only on the 'normative' aspects of Islam but also on the history, the culture and everyday life of Islamicate societies. For more information www.

We invite applications for a postdoctoral position to join Prof. Dr. Serena Tolino's research team.


The postdoc will devote 50% of their time to their own research. The postdoc should work on their second book project (or Habilitation), exploring any topic related to the modern or contemporary history of the Middle East (particularly its social, political or economic dimensions). The geographical focus should ideally complement existing research interests at the Institute. The rest of the postdoc's time will be devoted to supporting the activities of the Institute with teaching and administration. The teaching load is two to three courses per year, depending on the teaching programme, and includes the supervision of student papers (in German, English or French). Willingness to co-organise and participate in Institute events (workshops, conferences, lecture series and open days) and working groups established at the Institute is required.


We are looking for an enthusiastic candidate able to demonstrate a strong commitment to the aims of the Institute, capable of producing research of international standards and possessing reliability and the ability to work both independently and as part of a team. Ability to set priorities, collegiality, and an active willingness to contribute fostering a working climate of mutual support and trust are expected. Candidates must hold a PhD in Islamic, Middle Eastern and/or Arabic Studies, or in the Humanities more generally, but with a strong emphasis on the study of the Middle East (no more than six years prior to employment, see here: Postdoc Regulations University of Bern). Candidates who have submitted their theses but have not defended are encouraged to apply. Readiness to undertake fieldwork in the region (and/or previous research in the region) is expected. Proficiency in spoken and written English and a very good knowledge of Arabic are required, along with a good knowledge of German. Familiarity with current debates in Middle Eastern Studies and an appreciation of the different methodological tools available to students of Middle Eastern Studies is expected. Interest and willingness to develop teaching skills (including attending courses from the CAS in Hochschuldidaktik) are positively assessed, as previous teaching experience, ideally in a German-speaking context. A strong publication record is an asset, and this will be assessed based on career stage. Previous experience in the organisation of academic events, a basic understanding of study-plans and editorial experience are also asset.

We offer

The Postdoc will be hosted at the Institute for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Societies at the University of Bern. The position is funded for three years, with the possibility of extension for a further three years in the event of positive evaluation. We offer experience as part of an international and dynamic team, with excellent facilities and employment that follows cantonal standards, as well as a supportive, collegial working environment with flexibility in time management. The position will allow the Postdoc to acquire considerable experience in teaching and to enhance their understanding how a research institution functions. The University of Bern is committed to the principles of equality and the promotion of diversity in employment. The ISNO follows this commitment with conviction. Applications from persons with histories of migration, LGBTIQ+ persons, persons with disabilities, People of Colour, and those who, in the Swiss context, are from minority backgrounds, are strongly encouraged.

Applications should include: i) a cover letter; ii) copies of relevant degree certificates; iii) a detailed curriculum vitae including a list of publications and details of previous teaching experience; iv) a research proposal (3–5 pages), and v) contact details for at least one referee. The documents should be submitted as a single PDF file. The deadline for applications is 20 March 2023 (midnight CET). Initial interviews will take in April.

Applications should be submitted to Debora Ulrich, [email protected], with the subject line: PostDoc ISNO.


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