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Postdoctoral Fellow in Psychedelics and Spirituality

Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard Divinity School
02138, Cambridge (US)
Salary not specified
Date posted
Apr 5, 2024

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Humanities, Religion
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

The Center for the Study of World Religions (CSWR) at Harvard Divinity School invites applications for a one-year paid postdoctoral fellowship in Psychedelics and Spirituality. The candidate will work under the supervision of Professor Charles Stang, CSWR Director, and in close collaboration with other researchers at the Center, as part of the Transcendence and Transformation (T&T) Initiative. Please read the vision statement for the T&T Initiative at this link before applying.
The appointment will begin on September 1, 2024 and end August 31, 2025.

The candidate will pursue a research project in Psychedelics and Spirituality that aligns with the Center’s T&T Initiative, and its existing research and programming on psychedelics and religion. The T&T initiative supports the study of religious and spiritual traditions and practices—ancient and modern, global in reach—that aim to transcend our normal states of being, consciousness, and embodiment, and thus to transform the individual, community, and society. We understand “psychedelic” to be a broad category, including psychoactive plants (and fungi), synthetic chemicals, and non-serotonergic substances. Proposals should specify the substance in question and the definition of “psychedelic” being assumed in the project. We encourage research projects from a range of disciplines (e.g. history, philosophy, religious studies, anthropology), and the chronological period and geographic focus is open.

In addition, the fellow will be expected to contribute to the Center’s programming, public and private, (e.g. lecture series, workshops, reading groups, conferences, and possibly publications) in consultation with the Center Director. The candidate will also devote some time (approximately 5 hours a week) helping to develop the T&T Database (TTD). The database will be an archive of extraordinary experiences, situated in their historical, linguistic, and geographical contexts paired with by wide-ranging encyclopedic entries that will cover relevant texts, practices, religious traditions, figures, methods, and categories. The candidate will advise on how the TTD can best engage Psychedelics and Spirituality; solicit and review encyclopedia entries from scholars in their field; and write archival entries based upon their own research.

Applications must be received by April 30, 2024.

The Fellowship will be based at the CSWR. Candidates are expected to reside in the Massachusetts or New England-area and in commuting distance from the CSWR for the duration of the fellowship.


Applicants should demonstrate the following qualifications:

(1) Completed advanced degree in a relevant field (completed PhD or ThD by the time of appointment, not more than five years from the degree)

(2) Description of research project (maximum of 1000 words)

(3) Evidence of publications relevant to that research project (dissertation chapters and publications that are under review or forthcoming will be accepted)

(4) Evidence of an ability to work independently and collaboratively.

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