Post Doc Position in Biblical/Jewish Studies

Catholic University of Leuven

The KU Leuven, Belgium, invites applications from suitably qualified candidates for a 3-year postdoc position examining manuscripts of the Targums. The successful candidate will form part of the research team of the European Research Council funded project 'TEXTEVOLVE, A New Approach to the Evolution of Texts Based on the Manuscripts of the Targums'. The project is situated within the Biblical Studies Research Unit of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies.


The overall aims of the TEXTEVOLVE project are to:

  • develop a new methodology for textual studies using techniques from evolutionary biology and apply this methodology to the Targums; 
  • expand the corpus of available texts by recovering ‘lost’ manuscripts; and, 
  • subject recently discovered manuscripts to thorough textual analysis.

Working as part of a team of researchers, the successful candidate will contribute to one of the TEXTEVOLVE's sub-projects entitled 'Recovering ‘Lost’ Manuscripts of Targum'. The focus of this sub-project is on identifying, locating, and studying manuscripts containing Targum that are inadequately described in catalogues or the present location of which is uncertain. This sub-project therefore offers an exciting opportunity to study and publish previously unstudied primary materials. 

The successful candidate will:

  • Examine catalogues and other secondary literature to identify appropriate manuscripts to study.
  • Study Aramaic and Hebrew manuscripts, both in situ and using digital images or microfiche.
  • Study manuscripts and the texts they contain from a range of perspectives (codicological, philological, etc.).
  • Liaise with libraries and archives to obtain the necessary access to manuscripts and other relevant resources.
  • Cooperate closely with other members of the research team to deliver the project's goals. In particular, you will coordinate your work closely with a second postdoc who is already working on the same sub-project.
  • Share research results in workshops organised by the project team and at international conferences.
  • Publish research results at the highest scientific level.
  • Support the organisation of events and activities related to the project (workshops, visits from external experts, etc.). 
  • Contribute to the Biblical Studies Research Unit and the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies by participating in its regular programme of academic activities (e.g. seminars) and undertaking administrative activities. 


The successful candidate will:

  • Have a completed PhD in Biblical Studies, Jewish Studies, or a related field (or expect to do so before the start date). 
  • Have a good command of Aramaic and Classical Hebrew. 
  • Be familiar with rabbinic literature and the Targums and with the practice of text criticism. Experience of working with manuscripts or other written artefacts would be an advantage. 
  • Have a strong research profile in the field and the quality of your research is proven by publications in peer-reviewed journals or books. 
  • Be willing to work in Leuven and to travel to libraries and archives in other countries. International research experience would be an advantage. 
  • Possess strong organisational and inter-personal skills. 
  • Have an excellent command of English and at least one other major European language (Italian or Polish would be an advantage) and be able to access relevant secondary literature in other languages. 


KU Leuven is a research-intensive, internationally oriented university that carries out both fundamental and applied research. It is highly inter- and multidisciplinary focused and strives for international excellence. 

You will work in Leuven, a historic, dynamic and lively city located in the heart of Belgium, within 20 minutes from Brussels, and less than two hours from Paris, London and Amsterdam.

The position begins on the 1st of September 2021. 

The position is available on a full-time basis, but applicants wishing to work part-time are also welcome. The contract will initially be for 1 year. This will be extended for a further 2 years (in the case of a full-time role) subject to a positive performance review. 

The project team is led by prof. dr. Hector Patmore. 


Your application should include (and be limited to) the following attachment(s):

1) a motivation letter;

2) your curriculum vitae;

3) contact details for two people who are willing to provide a reference for you;

4) an official transcript of the grades you obtained for your Master's degree course and your PhD certificate.

Applications must be submitted through the online application tool.

For more information, please contact prof. dr. Hector Patmore:; tel. +32 16 32 36 95. 

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

You can apply for this job no later than March 31, 2021 via the
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at
  • Employment percentage: Voltijdse of deeltijdse tewerkstelling mogelijk
  • Location: Leuven
  • Apply before: March 31, 2021
  • Tags: Theologie