About us

The Vienna Doctoral School of Theology and Research on Religion VDTR is providing students with the unique opportunity to pursue their research interests within a trans- and interdisciplinary framework from the very start of their doctoral training. The VDTR – unparalleled in international comparison – brings together a broad range of disciplines in research on religion, including different theologies as well as the humanities, and puts an emphasis on trans- and interdisciplinary perspectives. Its structured doctoral programme with a maximum duration of four years fosters early-career scholarship that is not methodologically bound to religious denominations. The VDTR is the cooperative work (in alphabetical order) of the Faculty of Catholic Theology (FCT), the Faculty of Protestant Theology (FPT) and the research centre Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society (RaT). The supervising members of the VDTR come from different disciplinary backgrounds and have an excellent track record in theological and religion-related research.

Thus, VDTR offers its PhD students an internationally competitive education in a wide range of disciplines in the humanities, social sciences and theology. The membership is also international: only one third of our PhD students come from Austria, another third from the EU and about 34% from non-European countries.

The Vienna Doctoral School of Theology and Research in Religion VDTR comprises doctoral students and faculty members working in the fields of theology and research on religion. The school is governed by a steering committee that consists of the VDTR Directors, the VDTR Program Manager, representatives of the VDTR member organisations, representatives of the doctoral students as well as a member of the Equal Opportunity Working Group. The VDTR has an international scientific advisory board and is in the process of establishing international collaborations and networks.

In February 2023, the first term of the VDTR was evaluated by the Rectorate of the University of Vienna. An abridged version of the corresponding report can be found here.