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Global Network of Theologians Supports International Exchange

Press Release No. 210/2010
29 September 2010
Support for research sojourns for doctoral students and post-docs

A global network for theology research initiated by academics at Heidelberg University is designed to support the international exchange of talented doctoral and post-doctoral researchers. The “Global Network of Research Centers for Theology, Religious and Christian Studies”, which includes 40 universities and academic institutions in over 30 locations worldwide, is working toward the more flexible international exchange of top young researchers. The affiliated institutions are hoping to promote and expand the worldwide cooperation of leading teaching and research institutes of theology and religious studies.

The two-year-old network has its roots in an initiative by the Research Center for International and Interdisciplinary Theology (FIIT) of Heidelberg University. The network institutions of higher learning are located mainly in Europe and the US, but also in Brazil, South Africa, Russia, Israel, Dubai, China, Taiwan and South Korea.

The purpose of the network is to arrange research exchanges for selected doctoral and post-doctoral scholars, while keeping the associated time and cost relatively low. The participating faculty members – a minimum of three and maximum of twelve per institute – can recommend up-and-coming scholars for a one- to two-semester research exchange at one of the other institutions. The universities offer their guests at least two suitable courses in English per semester. The network is currently working on attracting funding, according to Dr. Michael Welker, Executive Director of FIIT.

“Network members are working toward strengthening interdisciplinary work not only through research exchanges lasting several years while pursuing a doctoral degree, but also through a less time- and cost-intensive research format,” explains Dr. Welker, Professor of Systematic Theology in Heidelberg. This should also promote the development of “compact” research seminars internationally. The two- to four-day seminars would generate new publications or serve as preparation for larger colloquia and symposia.

For information, go to

Prof. Dr. Dr. Michael Welker
Dept. of Academic Theology
phone (06221) 54-3356,

Communications and Marketing
Press Office, phone (06221) 54-2311

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