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PhD scholarship - Buddhism, Business and Believers

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The Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, invites applications for a 3-year PhD scholarship on value creation and the secularization of Buddhist practices in the corporate world.
The project is expected to begin on February 1, 2016 or as soon as possible thereafter.
The PhD position is opened in the framework of the research project Buddhism, Business and Believers, which is funded by the Danish Council for Independent Research | Humanities. The principal investigator of the project is Associate Professor Trine Brox.

Description of the project

Corporate Buddhism – Secularized Buddhist practices and value creation in the corporate world
The global spread of mindfulness, a contemporary and more palatable offshoot of Buddhism, not only among a general public but also among corporations, attests to the conceived benefits that Buddhism mediates within various spheres – both public and private. Holistic approaches such as ‘company karma’ (Hildebrandt & Stadil 2007) are being advocated in the work place directed at both consumers and employees, while also mediating the idea that Buddhist-related services benefit business through a more ethical and profitable way.
Acknowledging that the question of value has transgressed previous boundaries by integrating consumption with the personal self within both work and private life (Lazzarato 2004; Thrift 2007; Reisinger 2013), the study will ask into how corporations utilize spiritual methods and images in their multi-stakeholder management: How are businesses integrating aspects of Buddhism into their corporate practices? And in doing so, in which ways does Buddhism mediate value within corporate practices which aim to optimize the value and effectiveness of goods and services?

We are looking for a candidate who is able to design and undertake a research project which addresses the above research statement. The candidate should submit a detailed project proposal in which she/he includes:

(1) project description
(2) the intended theoretical framework and analytical concepts,
(3) the questions asked and the methods applied in order to answer these questions, (4) the site/sites for the study,
(5) the selection and access to data,
(6) ethical considerations,
(7) work plan for the project, including milestones for the three-year period,
(8) expected results and plan for dissemination of results,
(9) the candidate’s qualifications for undertaking the study.

Maximum length of the project proposal is 12,000 characters (excluding bibliography). Guidelines on how to write a PhD project proposal intended for the University of Copenhagen can be found here:

Buddhism, Business and Believers

The PhD project will be part of the international collaborative research project Buddhism, Business and Believers, which is funded by the Danish Council for Independent Research | Humanities over four years, from February 2016 to February 2020. The objective of this collaborative research project is to inquire into contemporary relations between business and Buddhism through bridging language-based area studies, religious studies, anthropology and economics. With a particular focus on value creation, the aim is to gain novel insights into the manner that Buddhism becomes an agent mediating distinctions between virtue and value, spirituality and materiality, gifts and commodities – and therefore also subscribes meaning to objects, actions and human relations.

The PhD scholar will furthermore be part of a research team working from the interdisciplinary research environment at the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies at the University of Copenhagen. As part of a team of researchers coming from language-based area studies, religious studies, and anthropology, the candidate must be willing and able to participate in regular research- and outreach activities where we engage in cross-disciplinary discussion concerning themes of shared concern. The candidate should be aware that there is a mandatory three-year plan for the PhD which also includes 30 ECTS of PhD Programme courses and one semester of teaching obligations.

Questions regarding application procedures or rules can be directed to the PhD school:
Questions regarding Buddhism, Business and Believers and the PhD research project within this overall collaborative research project can be directed to the project manager Associate Professor Trine Brox .

Application deadline: Tuesday November 24, 2015 at 23.59 (CET).