A key challenge for Higher Education is its ability to keep pace with rapid changes occurring in society and to generate knowledge frameworks that help to rethink issues and concepts that are central to our understanding of social reality. One such change concerns the increasingly intensive encounters between people and communities of different cultures, races, ethnicities, and religions. Diversity has become part and parcel of today’s social life and with it a heightened potential of conflict between groups, but also potentially constructive roles in a rapidly changing world. This situation calls for an active response which, for the present purpose, is referred to as ‘pluralism’.
Kosmopolis Institute at the University for Humanistics (UvH), in the Netherlands, and the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society (Bangalore, India), the Center for Religious and Cross-cultural Studies (CRCS) at Gadjah Mada University (Yogyakarta, Indonesia) and the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda – CCFU (as coordinator of a civil society coalition in Uganda) are collaborating in a Knowledge Programme on Pluralism, together with Hivos. The programme aims at bringing together academic institutions and civil society organisations to develop knowledge about pluralism in Indonesia, India and Uganda.
A component of the Pluralism Knowledge Programme is a PhD initiative on the same topic. For this purpose, two PhD students from India, one from Indonesia and one from Uganda, are being recruited. Candidates who have completed their Master’s Degree in religious studies, social sciences, or humanities and have a strong interest in the study of practices of pluralism can apply for the PhD programme. The candidates will meet each other at least once a year. The degree will be awarded by UvH. In addition to a tuition waiver, the candidate will receive a monthly stipend and transportation costs (local as well as international, to enable her/him to travel to meetings in the participating countries).
PhD contracts and expectations: Once selected, candidates will receive a Memorandum of Understanding from UvH and the local university, for the agreed length of the PhD trajectory and will be a student of UvH. A contract that will specify the maximum period in which the PhD research will be financed will be added, complemented by annual contracts, subject to satisfactory progress made by the PhD candidate. S/he will be informed about available funds and how to account for them.
The candidate will be supervised by both the local university and UvH and will be informed about what s/he may expect from her/his supervisors in terms of communication and feedback. S/he will be informed about the expected workload, the reporting arrangements, delivery dates of work in progress and expected conference and workshop attendance.