Call for Post-Doc Applications: Asia Research Institute – National University of Singapore

The Asia Research Institute (ARI) was established as a university-level institute in July 2001 as one of the strategic initiatives of the National University of Singapore (NUS). The mission of the Institute is to provide a world-class focus and resource for research on the Asian region, located at one of its communication hubs.

ARI engages the humanities and social sciences broadly defined, and especially interdisciplinary frontiers between and beyond disciplines. Through frequent provision of short-term research
appointments it seeks to be a place of encounters between the region and the world.

Within NUS it works particularly with the Faculties of Arts and Social Sciences, Business, Law and Design, to support conferences, lectures, and graduate study at the highest level. Home to a strong team of full-time researchers, the ARI provides support for doctoral and postdoctoral research, conferences, workshops, seminars, and study groups. It welcomes visiting scholars who wish to conduct their research on Asia in Singapore, and encourages collaboration with other Asian research institutes worldwide.

ARI’s Religion and Globalization cluster is dedicated to exploring global reconfigurations of religion and its diverse manifestations in Asian contexts. Our work examines dynamics of secularization and religion the modern period, as well as related issues of authority and tradition in contemporary religious discourse and practice. The Cluster’s central focus over the coming years is on Religion and Development in Asia.

This research project seeks to explore how religious actors, discourses, and practices intersect with development efforts, and how these engagements result in changes in our understandings of both “religion” and “development”. This work aims to stimulate a re-thinking of long held assumptions about the apparent binary opposition between “religion” and “development.” A prominent feature of our work in this area is the cultivation of sustained engagement between practitioners and academics, with an eye to producing analysis that is relevant both to theory and to practice.

The Cluster now welcomes applications for post-doctoral research fellows to join a new project on “Religion and NGOs in Asia,” funded by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation. The goal of this project is to explore the negotiations and engagement of religious NGOs in Asia
with policy and regulatory frameworks at multiple levels – sub-national, national, and trans-national. This work will explore four policy dimensions:

  1. policies of states towards religious NGOs,
  2. policies of development organizations (donors, UN agencies, state agencies) in engaging with religious NGOs,
  3. policies and tactics of religious NGOs in responding to states and trans-national actors; and
  4. internal policies and practices of religious NGOs.


We are seeking applications from outstanding early career researchers to work fulltime on this project. Scholars from across the social sciences with a strong background in the study of religion and/or NGOs in the context of Asia are invited to apply.


Successful applicants will be based at the Asia Research Institute in Singapore. They will work closely with the existing team of researchers while also carrying out their own independent research on matters of direct relevance to the wider project. They will be engaged in full-time research tasks, including undertaking fieldwork in East and/or Southeast Asia, conference organizing, publishing academic papers and other media resources, and project management. Candidates will also deliver research seminar(s) and participate in relevant international conferences.


For further enquiries about the Religion and NGOs in Asia research project or the post-doctoral fellowships please contact Michael Feener ( and Philip Fountain (


1. In addition to overall assessment of the quality of proposed research, positions will be awarded on the basis of the relevance of their research to the research theme of Religion and NGOs in Asia.

2. Candidates must have fulfilled all requirements of securing a PhD from a reputable university.

3. If you are still a PhD candidate at the point of application, you may also apply provided that you are confirmed for graduation by your commencement date at ARI. An official letter from the Registrar Office of your university will be required to confirm the award of your PhD degree.


1. Contract is tenable for two years, subject to performance evaluation during the first year.

2. Applications are invited for commencement in June/July 2015, or as soon as possible thereafter.

3. An all-inclusive, fixed monthly salary of S$5000, a monthly housing allowance of S$500 and a one-off travel subsidy of S$2000 will be provided (the latter two are applicable to non-Singaporeans only). These will be subjected to taxation in accordance with local tax laws.

4. Please note that University Housing will not be provided and appointees have to make their own private arrangement.

5. There is support for research fieldwork and conference attendance (on application and subject to approval).

6. Candidates must have fulfilled all requirements of the PhD within the last 2 years.

7. Research staff at ARI should participate actively in research activities including attendance at seminars, conferences and ARI social events.

8. Other benefits that the University provides and other information about working in NUS and living in Singapore are available at here.  Terms and conditions, according to university guidelines, are subject to changes without prior notice.


Interested applicants are invited to email their applications, consisting of:

1. A completed application form can be downloaded here
Please ensure that the application form submitted is in MS Word or equivalent editable formats only.

2. Curriculum Vitae;

3. Synopsis of the proposed research project (maximum of 8-10 single-lined pages);

4. At least one short sample of published work, preferably in English.

5. Two letters of reference that are to be sent to us in confidence via email reporting on the applicant’s academic standing and on the applicant’s research project by 1 April 2015. Reference letters must clearly state your name and indicate your interest in the Post-doctoral Fellowship on Religion and NGOs in Asia.

6. Closing date for applications is 1 April 2015. You may wish to check with your referees that they have submitted their references before the closing date.



1. Please note that only fully completed applications will be considered.

2. Please keep your email and attachments below 10MB by zipping any large files as emails larger than 10MB will be rejected by our email system.

3. We strongly encourage you to apply well before the closing date.

4. The appointment is conditional upon the approval by the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Ministry of Manpower granting you an Employment Pass or other applicable work passes.

5. We regret that only successful candidates will be notified (via email). Candidates who do not hear from the University within 10 weeks after the closing date of the advertisement may assume the position has been filled.

6. Submissions of applications, reference letters and/or queries are to be submitted via email to