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Sophia Institute Innsbruck - International Fellowship Programme for Female Leadership

The Sophia Institute offers the possibility for female students from Africa, Asia,

Eastern Europe (non-EU), the Near and Middle East, Oceania, the Caribbean, or

Latin America to obtain a doctorate/PhD in theology, philosophy or religious

education at the Faculty of Catholic Theology in Innsbruck, Austria.

Studying at the Faculty of Catholic Theology in Innsbruck means being part of a

vibrant community of students from all around the world. Located at the famous Karl-

Rahner-Platz in Innsbruck’s city center, you will complete your PhD in philosophy,

theology or religious education at one of the most prolific theological and

philosophical institutions in Europe. We invite our students to reflect critically on faith

and scholarship, people and society, thought and deed. Our alumni work in

academia, in the church, and at all levels of society, helping to make the church and

the world a better place for everyone.

Since qualified women are still underrepresented in leadership positions in many

countries of the world and the contribution of well-educated women is indispensable,

the Sophia Institute has set itself the following goals:

o to educate women in the areas of theology, philosophy, social issues, peace,

interreligious dialogue

o to strengthen and further develop international networking and exchange at

the faculty and beyond.

The Sophia Institute program includes:

  • supervision of the doctoral students throughout their studies

  • educational events with the doctoral candidates for the public

  • short-term internships according to the qualifications and interests of the PhD

  • students

  • exchange meetings and networking between the PhD students and relevant groups within the diocese of Innsbruck and society at large.

The scholarship programme finances:

  • travel to and from Innsbruck

  • accommodation

  • insurance

  • mobility on site

  • tuition fees

  • living expenses

Requirements for an application:

  • international female doctoral candidate from a low or middle income country according to the OECD DAC list (DAC List of ODA Recipients - OECD)

  • not older than 35 years at the time of application (for mothers 40 years).

  • a letter of recommendation from either an academic institution or the Diocesan bishop or respective religious superior. The recommendation should include the position the candidate is expected to fill after completing her studies.

  • a willingness to engage in the local church structure and to participate in public events

  • initial ideas for the topic of the PhD and the language in which the thesis will be written (German, English or another language in consultation with the future doctoral supervisor).

  • completion of the application form and submission of all necessary documents by 31st May 2024.

The above-mentioned application documents have to be submitted digitally to

The scholarship is awarded for the duration of the doctorate, 36 – 48 months.

Please send your application for the Sophia Institute program exclusively by e-mail to by 31st May 2024 at the latest.

The decision on the award will be made by the end of June 2024.

The application form can be found below.

Application form
Download PDF • 43KB


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