Postdoctoral Fellowships: ‘Musical and Poetic Creativity in the Western Christian Liturgy, c.1000-1500’, Two 4-Year Postdoctoral Research Fellowships, University of Oslo, deadline 1 October 2020

Musical and Poetic Creativity in the Western Christian Liturgy, c.1000-1500

Two Post-Doctoral Research Fellowships in Musical and Poetic Creativity in the Western Christian Liturgy, c.1000-1500 are available at the Department of Musicology, University of Oslo.

The two successful candidates will pursue postdoctoral research as part of the €2m European Research Council-funded project, BENEDICAMUS: Musical and Poetic Creativity for A Unique Moment in the Western Christian Liturgy, c.1000-1500. The candidates will work as part of a team lead by Principal Investigator Catherine A. Bradley, alongside doctoral researchers, an international Advisory Board, and the performing ensemble Sequentia. The postdoctoral fellows are expected to publish both independently and in collaboration with the BENEDICAMUS team, to present research papers at workshops and international conferences, and contribute to wider public communication of the research results.

We seek candidates whose work intersects with at least one of the specilised areas of the BENEDICAMUS project as well as its broader themes. BENEDICAMUS pursues a transformative focus on creative practices surrounding a particular moment in the Western Christian liturgy: the exclamation Benedicamus Domino (“Let us Bless the Lord”), which sounded in song several times a day from c.1000 to 1500. BENEDICAMUS undertakes the first longue durée study of musical and poetic responses to an exceptional liturgical moment, using this innovative perspective to work productively across established historiographical and disciplinary boundaries. The project encompasses half a millennium of musical and ritual activity, hundreds of musical compositions, poetic texts, and manuscript sources. It engages with the beginnings of musical and poetic genres and techniques that were crucial in shaping practices still current today, reflecting on music’s enduringly complex relationship with spirituality, ritual, and the sacred.

Successful candidates may have a disciplinary background in cultural studies, history, musicology, Latin language and/or literature, liturgy, medieval studies, renaissance studies, ritual studies, or theology. Ideally, candidates would already have experience in at least two of these fields.

Candidates are asked to provide a Project Description, in which they outline how their research record, interests, and skills align with the BENEDICAMUS project (see detailed proposal here).

The Project Description should explain exactly how candidates would undertake one of the specific postdoctoral projects sketched in the BENEDICAMUS proposal. Candidates may suggest ways in which they would tailor or adapt one of these postdoctoral projects to better suit and develop their existing expertise. Alternatively, they are free to design a project that may differ in the specific methodology, reportorial focus, or disciplinary orientation of the postdoctoral projects stipulated in the BENEDICAMUS proposal, but which must still fall within the purview of and further the overall aims and outputs of either Work Package 1 or Work Package 3.

The successful candidates will receive a competitive salary and have access to dedicated funds for research and conference travel. They will participate actively in and assist with BENEDICAMUS’s international conferences, workshops, and publications. Postdoctoral fellows are expected to live in Oslo, to engage with wider research networks in the faculty of humanities and the department of musicology and to contribute to their development. The main purpose of postdoctoral research fellowships is to better qualify researchers for future academic positions.

The postdoctoral fellowships are available for an appointment period of four years. The posts are available from February 1st 2021 (candidates must take up the posts before September 1st 2021).

Find out more and apply here.

Qualification requirements

  • A PhD in cultural studies, history, musicology, Latin language and/or literature, liturgy, medieval studies, renaissance studies, ritual studies, theology, or other fields that can be demonstrated to offer a solid foundation for research into Musical and Poetic Creativity in the Western Christian Liturgy, c.1000-1500
  • Doctoral dissertations must have been submitted for evaluation before the application deadline
  • Strong skills in written and oral English
  • Personal suitability and motivation for the position.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Scholarly merit and relevance of research proposal for the BENEDICAMUS project
  • Knowledge and experience of the study of music, Latin poetry, liturgy, and ritual in the period c. 1000-1500
  • The candidate’s track-record and their potential to complete the proposed project within the time frame and to contribute actively to the BENEDICAMUS project
  • Good team-working and communication skills and the ability to collaborate within and across disciplines.

We offer


Candidates must submit the following attachments with the electronic application, preferably in pdf format:

  • Application Letter describing the candidate’s qualifications and motivation for the position
  • Curriculum Vitae (complete list of education, positions, teaching experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activities, including a complete list of publications)
  • Project Description (approximately 3-5 pages). The project description must include a feasible progress plan. It is expected that the applicant will complete the project during the period of appointment.
  • Diplomas, certificates, doctoral thesis and other academic works will be requested later.

Please note that all documents must be in English or a Scandinavian language.

The short-listed candidates will be invited to an interview at the University of Oslo or we will arrange for an interview on Skype.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Oslo.

Following the Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova) § 25, Chapter 2, information about the applicant may be used in the public list of applicants even if the applicant opts out from the entry in the public application list.

The University of Oslo has an Acquisition of Rights Agreement for the purpose of securing rights to intellectual property created by its employees, including research results.

The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.

Contact information

Head of Department Peter Edwards,, phone number: +47 99 52 64 75

HR Adviser Hilde Kristine Sletner,

Published by Roisin Astell

Roisin Astell received a First Class Honours in History of Art at the University of York (2014), under the supervision of Dr Emanuele Lugli. After spending a year learning French in Paris, Roisin then completed an MSt. in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford (2016), where she was supervised by Professor Gervase Rosser and Professor Martin Kauffmann. In 2017, Roisin was awarded a CHASE AHRC studentship as a doctoral candidate at the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, under the supervision of Dr Emily Guerry.

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