PhD Fellowship, History Declassified: The KGB and the Religious Underground in Soviet Ukraine (University College Cork, Ireland)

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PhD Fellowship, History Declassified: The KGB and the Religious Underground in Soviet Ukraine

Job Posted: 11 Jan 2022
Closing Date for Applications:  06 Feb 2022
School: Study of Religions Department/ Future Humanities Institute
College: College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences
Contract Type: Fixed Term Whole-Time
Job Type: Research
Salary: see advert for details

Call for Applications

Fully Funded PhD Fellowship

University College Cork invites applications for a fully funded PhD Fellowship as part of the SFI-IRC Pathway project:

History Declassified: The KGB and the Religious Underground in Soviet Ukraine

The PhD Fellowship Scheme

The PhD student will be located in the Study of Religions Department, which has vibrant postgraduate programmes in the study of religions and anthropology. The PhD will be co-supervised by the project’s Principal Investigator Dr Tatiana Vagramenko and the project’s Mentor Dr James Kapaló.

Applicant Profile 

Applications are welcomed from candidates with Master's degree in anthropology, history, study of religions, political science or related disciplines. Fluency in Ukrainian and English (both written and spoken) is essential. Knowledge of qualitative methods (ethnography, observations, interviews) and digital humanities will be an advantage.

The topic of the PhD research should fall within the broad thematic focus of the project and can address (but not limited to) the following research fields: the politics of religion in Ukraine, religious minorities (of Christian, Jewish and Muslim origins) in Ukraine, lived religion in Soviet and/or post-Soviet Ukraine, transitional justice and historical memory in Ukraine, religious dimension of the EuroMaidan conflict. The Doctoral Researcher is expected to conduct ethnographic field research and archival work in Ukraine. She/he will also participate in workshops and conferences, training sessions and other collaborative events as part of the project.

About the Project

History Declassified: The KGB and the Religious Underground in Soviet Ukraine [HIDE] offers an original, in-depth reconsideration of recently declassified Soviet-era political police archives in Ukraine from an interdisciplinary perspective combining the anthropology of religion, oral history, intelligence history and digital humanities. HIDE will develop a novel perspective on religious-political dialogue in the Soviet context by focusing on the non-institutionalized negotiations that unfolded between state authorities and nonconformist religious groups (of Christian, Jewish and Muslim origins) that were denied official recognition and targeted by the Soviet secret police. The work pursues two inter-related thematic objectives: (1) To uncover the history of KGB secret operations, agent networks and the practices of agent penetration of the religious underground; and (2) To investigate the still largely hidden forms of agency that religious communities developed within the context of surveillance or forced collaboration with the secret police. The in-depth analysis and digitization of recently declassified KGB materials in Ukraine that represent central components of the project will be enhanced through a program of community-based ethnographic and oral history research.

Funding details: a stipend of €18,500 per annum + EU fees (maximum 4 years)

Informal enquiries should be sent to Dr. Tatiana Vagramenko, Study of Religions Department, University College Cork, Ireland;


To Apply: 

In addition to meeting the general UCC admissions requirements, applicants should submit:

  • CV;
  • a motivation letter explaining how Applicant’s studies and research interests relate to the project aims;
  • two letters of recommendation from two referees familiar with the Applicant’s post-graduate work

Please, send you applications to Tatiana Vagramenko at

Closing date for applications: 6 February 2022.

Interviews may be held.

If successful a PhD application on PAC will have to be made

You can learn more about the position here