UC Berkeley Shinjo Ito Postdoctoral Fellowship in Japanese Buddhism



With the generous support of the Shinnyo-en Foundation, the Center for Japanese Studies at UC Berkeley is pleased to invite applications for a full-time postdoctoral research fellowship with the possibility of teaching. The term of the appointment is August 1, 2020, to July 31, 2022.

The Fellowship is intended to foster the academic careers of recent Ph.D.'s, providing time to pursue their research along with the opportunity to take part in regular events and workshops offered by the Centers for Japanese and Buddhist Studies. The fellow will deliver a public lecture on their research as part of the Center for Japanese Studies Colloquium Series. Subject to the availability, the fellow will also have the opportunity to teach one course each year. The base salary provided is $55,000 per annum with health benefits, but this may increase depending on teaching experience. In addition, the fellow will be provided with shared office space and library privileges, as well as a $2500 per annum for conference travel and research.

Applicants must have Ph.D. or equivalent degree in hand by their start date. At the time of application, the basic minimum qualification is the completion of all degree requirements other than the dissertation, in Japanese Buddhism Studies or a closely related field.

Applicants whose teaching and primary research interests are Buddhism in general should apply to the Shinjo Ito Postdoctoral Fellowship in Buddhist Studies(link is external), administered through the Center for Buddhist Studies(link is external) at UC Berkeley, rather than to the Shinjo Ito Fellowship in Japanese Buddhism.


Basic Qualifications (required at the time of application):

  • Completion of all doctoral degree requirements except the dissertation

Additional Qualifications (required by start date):

  • PhD or equivalent international degree
  • No more than three years of post-PhD research experience

Preferred Qualifications:

  • PhD or equivalent international degree in Japanese Buddhism Studies or a closely related field


Applicants should submit the following materials through AP Recruit (https://aprecruit.berkeley.edu/JPF02471)

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V. listing degrees, any publications, and teaching experience

  • Graduate School Transcripts

  • Personal Statement - A personal statement of no more than 2000 words oudlining previous research (including dissertation), the research the applicant will undertake during the term of the fellowship, future professional goals, as well as any other information deemed relevant to the application.

  • Writing Sample

  • Letter from home institution confirming schedule to completion of PhD - Candidates who do not yet hold a Ph.D, but expect to by June 30, 2020, should supply a letter from their home institution confirming their schedule to completion.

Reference requirements
  • 3 letters of reference required

Due Date

Sunday, Mar 15, 2020 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Hardcopy, faxed or emailed applications will not be accepted. The position will remain open until filled. Please direct any questions to Tessa Machida with the Center for Japanese Studies at cjs@berkeley.edu.

Three letters of recommendation are required.
All letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. Please refer potential referees, including when letters are provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service or career center), to the UC Berkeley statement of confidentiality (http://apo.berkeley.edu/evalltr.html) prior to submitting their letters.

Only complete applications will be considered. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all documentation is complete and that referees submit their letters of recommendation by the initial review date to ensure full consideration. Awards are anticipated to be announced in late April, 2020.

For more information about the Center for Japanese Studies at Berkeley, please visit http://ieas.berkeley.edu/cjs/.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for appointment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see: http://policy.ucop.edu/doc/4000376/NondiscrimAffirmAct.

The department is interested in candidates who will contribute to diversity and equal opportunity in higher education through their work.


There is no University-provided housing designated for postdoctoral fellows. Postdoctoral fellows who are married or partnered and/or have children may apply to University Family Student housing for the slight chance to be assigned an apartment in University Village Albany after all eligible enrolled UC Berkeley students are housed. For information and an application, please visit the following website: http://www.housing.berkeley.edu/livingatcal/studentsfamilies.html(link is external).

Additional housing information, as well as links to local resources, can be found on our Visiting Scholar page


Andrea Castiglioni, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Appointment Dates: 08/01/2018–03/31/2019
Ph.D. Institution: Columbia University
Dissertation: Ascesis and Devotion: The Mount Yudono Cult in Early Modern Japan

Erez Joskovich, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Appointment Dates: 09/01/2016-08/31/2018
Ph.D. Institution: Tel-Aviv University in cooperation with the University of Tokyo
Dissertation: Laypeople's Zen in Contemporary Japan The case of the Ningen Zen Association

Michaela Mross, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Appointment Dates: 08/31/2014–08/30/2015
Ph.D. Institution: Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich
Dissertation: A Local History of Buddhist Rituals in Japan: Kōshiki at the Sōtō Zen Temple Sōjiji from the Seventeenth through Nineteenth Centuries

Dominick Scarangello, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Appointment Dates: 09/01/2013–08/31/2014
Ph.D. Institution: University of Virginia
Dissertation: Embodying the Deities: A Study of the Formation of a Modern Japanese Deity Cult

Jessica Starling, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow 
Appointment Dates: 08/01/2012–07/31/2013
Ph.D. Institution: University of Virginia
Dissertation: A Family of Clerics: Temple Wives, Tradition and Change in Contemporary Shin Buddhism

Benedetta Lomi, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Appointment Dates: 08/01/2011–07/31/2012
Home Institution: SOAS, University of London
Dissertation: The Precious Steed of the Buddhist Pantheon: Ritual, Faith and Images of Bato Kannon in Japan

Regan E. Murphy, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Appointment Dates: 08/01/2010–07/31/2011
Home Institution: Harvard University
Dissertation: The Urgency of History: Language and Ritual in Japanese Nativism and Buddhism