Open Call: Three Full-Time Paid PhD Positions in Theology and Religious Studies

Three full-time four-year paid PhD positions are available for theology and religious studies at the School of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Tartu. All three are open positions for specializing in Theology or Religious Studies with no predetermined research topic or focus. Research at the School is particularly active in the areas of Ancient Near East studies, Biblical Studies, Orthodox Christianity, Secularization and Non-religion, Contemporary Religious Developments, Dialogue of Science and Religion, Religious Education, Method and Theory in the Study of Religion and the History of Christianity in Estonia, but is not limited to these. One can propose a topic from some other research area as well. Applicants should contact their potential supervisors before applying. One can find more about current research at the School here and find the profiles and contacts of the academic staff here.

Application deadline for all candidates with a master’s degree from a university outside Estonia is May 15, 2023 (application deadline for all candidates with a master’s degree from an Estonian university is June 15). All applications have to be submitted through the application portal. Successful applicants will begin their studies in September 2023.


To apply one needs to have a master’s degree or an equivalent. While many PhD students at the School have a MA in Theology of Religious Studies, this is not strictly required. All applicants must submit an official copy of the diploma and the diploma supplement of the BA and MA diplomas in their original language and official translations of the diplomas and diploma supplements into English if applicable. If you are graduating master’s studies in 2023, you must submit your most recent transcript and you must have graduated your studies by August 1, 2023 (and must have submitted your graduation documents by August 7).  In addition, it is also necessary to submit proof of English language proficiency, a copy of the passport personal details page and a CV. Most importantly, all applicants must submit a Doctoral Thesis Project.

Application Process

All applicants must submit a Doctoral Thesis Project that should be about five pages in length (12500 characters with spaces). It must clarify the research topic, explain the choice of the topic, present an overview of previous research on the topic, explain methodology, the preliminary structure of the thesis, potential source materials and a preliminary timetable of the research project over the course of the four years. Selected candidates will be invited to an online interview where they need to present and defend their project to the selection committee. Online interviews take place on June 20. For more information about thesis project and interview requirements see here and here.    

About the Position

The successful candidates will be employed as Junior Research Fellows with a student status at the School of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Tartu. This makes you eligible for mobility grants as a student, while you also receive the salary of a Junior Research Fellow. In 2023 the gross salary for a Junior Research Fellow is 1720 euros per month (that is about 1400 euros per month after taxes), but this is likely to increase in subsequent years. The position will be performance-evaluated every year and will last four years, provided that you reach your planned PhD study milestones every year. The Junior Research Fellow is expected to be an active participant of the research activities at the School. For more on the status and funding of the positions, see here.


General information about PhD studies at the University of Tartu

Application portal


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