PhD Dissertation Award

Gerardus van der Leeuw PhD Dissertation Award

The Gerardus van der Leeuw PhD Dissertation Award is a biennial award granted by the Dutch Association for the Study of Religion (NGG) for a PhD dissertation that has made a substantial contribution to the academic study of religion.

The Award

The recipient of the Gerardus van der Leeuw PhD Dissertation Award is granted a prize of € 750,- Half of this amount is generously provided by the Van Baaren Stichting. In addition, the winner will be asked to deliver a keynote lecture at the NGG’s biennial Autumn Conference.


The award is granted to a PhD dissertation that is deemed to have made a substantial contribution to the academic study of religion by combining innovative research, sound analysis of original material, a critical approach to established theories and clarity in formulation and style. Candidates must have defended their dissertation at a Dutch university and must be, or must become, a member of the NGG. Candidates for the 2022 award must have received the PhD degree associated with the nominated dissertation between September 1, 2020 and August 31, 2022.


Nominations can be made by e-mail to until January 15, 2023 (09:00). The nominator must be a faculty member at the institution that granted the nominee’s PhD degree, or a member of the nominee’s dissertation committee. Each nominator may make only one nomination.

The applications should consist of PDF-files of the following, in either Dutch or in English:

  1. A letter of nomination explaining why the nominated dissertation meets the listed criteria
  2. The nominee’s dissertation
  3. A brief biographical sketch of the nominee
  4. Documentation to show that the PhD degree has been awarded.
  5. If available: additional documentation underlining the quality of the dissertation (note of acceptance in a book series, cum laude documentation, etc.)

Deadline: 15 January 2023, 09:00

Past laureates

  • 2014: Egil Asprem
  • 2016: Markus Davidsen
  • 2018: Stefan Binder
  • 2020 Mattias Brand