Post-Doctoral fellowship: Centre for Religion, Human Values, and International Relations

Postdoctoral Researcher in Public Policy

Centre for Religion, Human Values, and International Relations School of Theology, Philosophy, and Music 

Research Project Title: Research programme on the economics of belonging  on a shared island 

Fixed Term Contract up to 12 months 


Dublin City University ( is a research-intensive, globally-engaged, dynamic institution that is distinguished by both the quality and impact of its graduates and its focus on the translation of knowledge into societal and economic benefit. DCU prepares its students well for success in life, and in the workplace, by providing a high-quality, rounded education appropriate to the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. As Ireland’s University of  Enterprise and Transformation, DCU is characterised by a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship and a track record of effective engagement with the enterprise sector,  including commercial, social and cultural enterprises. Excellence in its education and research activities has led to DCU’s consistent position in the rankings of the world’s top young universities. 

The Centre for Religion, Human Values and International Relations  The Centre for Religion, Human Values, and International Relations is based in the School of  Theology, Philosophy, and Music and works closely with the School of Law and Government.  In parallel with its research projects, the Centre delivers a module for postgraduate students in which we examine the changing character of international relations, with a specific focus on religion, human values, and peacebuilding at the regional and global levels. The plan is to develop partnerships with other universities, including universities outside these islands, for the delivery of this module.  

The Centre for Religion, Human Values, and International Relations supports DCU’s strategic plan – TALENT, DISCOVERY, AND TRANSFORMATION – as well as current research priorities in such areas as sustainable economies and societies and educational innovation. The vision of the Centre at DCU starts from current realities: pandemic, climate change and environmental degradation, the impact of digital and other technologies, widening social disparities and increasing ‘geopolitical’ competition. The future is indeterminate. It often seems that history is accelerating. What is to be done? Is there a guiding principle? Is there a next step?  

In 2020, public authorities have made and continue to make significant value judgements as they respond to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19). Citizens are making sacrifices for the community; the term ‘front line’ is acquiring a new meaning. All over the world, we glimpse new horizons, even in the literal sense, as pollution lifts. A dialogue is developing on the extent of our interdependence and how it is best managed. 

The state of global politics invites us to re-think the economy and the nature of international security – an epochal challenge, as described by many religious leaders, including Pope Francis in Fratelli Tutti. Our premise is that the ‘just transition’ that is now required will take time and can be enabled in part by envisioning the future through new forms of dialogue and engagement inclusive of perspectives based on religion and human values. 

Freedom of religion or belief is a core value in our societies. Religious communities have social capital. ‘Religious literacy’ is widely acknowledged as a necessary political and diplomatic skill, not least in Ireland. For many people around the world, moral discernment depends on our religion, life stance, or worldview. The features of a strong political culture – in particular, the ‘social sense’ – are a primary focus of the world’s religions. For those who favour a deeper engagement by public authorities with religious communities as a resource in peacebuilding, there is a valuable opening in the European Union’s Treaties (Article 17, TFEU).  

In the public sphere, religion is often problematic. Engaging with public issues and public authorities within well-conceived parameters can help the religions themselves to distinguish their permanent core values from attitudes and practices that relate only to a cultural context or that cannot easily be defended in a society oriented towards the interests of all. Work needs to be done on the approaches, organisational principles, and values – the promising practices – that allow the effective engagement of policymakers and other stakeholders with religious actors, including in big cities. 

The new Centre at DCU is inspired by the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement. The values of reconciliation and promotion of the common good are fundamental to the Agreement. The peace process in all its dimensions should continue to be a sign of hope in the wider international context. The Centre will seek to contribute to fresh developments building on the  Good Friday/Belfast Agreement. 

Role Profile  

Dublin City University is seeking applications for a post-doctoral researcher as part of a new programme of dialogue and research aimed at deriving lessons from the present Covid–19  crisis and promoting a future economy in which, to a greater degree than at present,  stakeholders will think and act in terms of community. The Centre for Religion, Human Values,  and International Relations is undertaking its lead projects in this area in partnership with the  Irish Council of Churches and the Irish Inter-Church Meeting.  

The research will focus on public policy and will engage with a range of stakeholders, including stakeholders in Britain and Europe. A report is in preparation on the economics of belonging.  We propose to identify a number of policies and initiatives with ‘demonstration value’ in the perspective of societal and economic recovery in Ireland, North and South, and across these islands. In 2021 – 2022, a further report is envisaged on networked multilateral cooperation as the essential condition, in a polycentric world, for sustainable development based on equitable goals. These reports are intended as contributions to public discussion. 

Duties & Responsibilities 

Please refer to the job description for a full list of the duties here 

Qualifications and experience  

The candidate will have a PhD and will have experience in carrying out self-directed research.  Candidates should also be able to work collaboratively in a team environment. An interest in the broad objectives of the Centre for Religion, Human Values, and International Relations is required. 


  • A personal research plan or project that corresponds with the goals of the Centre o Experience of teaching and administration in higher education 
  • Strong administration skills 
  • Ability to work in Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint o Experience with Zoom and Moodle (or other virtual-learning environments)
  • Experience in website development 
  • Experience with developing and submitting funding applications 

Discipline knowledge and Research skills – Demonstrates knowledge of a research discipline and the ability to conduct a specific programme of research within that discipline.

Understanding the Research Environment – Demonstrates an awareness of the research environment (for example funding bodies and collaborative partners) and the ability to contribute to grant applications. 

Communicating Research – Demonstrates the ability to convey their research with their peers and the wider research community (for example presenting at conferences and publishing research in relevant journals) and the potential to teach and tutor students. 

Managing & Leadership skills – Demonstrates the potential to manage a research project including contributing to the development of a research centre 

Mandatory Training  

Post holders will be required to undertake the following mandatory training: Orientation,  GDPR, and Compliance. Other training may need to be undertaken when required. 

Salary Scale: Point 1 – 3 (Postdoctoral Researcher Scale) €38,632 – €41,025  Closing date: 26th November 2020 

Informal Enquiries in relation to this role should be directed to: 

Mr Philip McDonagh
Adjunct Professor
Director, Centre for Religion, Human Values, and  International Relations, Dublin City University, Ireland

*Please do not send applications to this email address  

Application Procedure: 

Application forms are available from the DCU Current Vacancies (open Competitions)  website at [Check listing posted on 04/11/2020, titled Postdoctoral Researcher in Public Policy]

Applications should be submitted by e-mail with your completed application form to  [email protected]  

Please clearly state the role that you are applying for in your application and email subject line: #RF1430 Postdoctoral Researcher – Centre for Religion, Human Values, and  International Relations 

Dublin City University is an equal opportunities employer and is committed to promoting gender equality reflected in its attainment of the Athena SWAN Bronze  Award. Information on a range of university policies aimed at creating a supportive and flexible work environment is available here 

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