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J.J. (Juensung) Kim, Dr

Profile picture of J.J. (Juensung) Kim, Dr

Short Biography

Juensung completed his doctoral studies under the supervsion of Dr. Michel Ferrari at the University of Toronto, and successfully defended his dissertation in Developmental Psychology and Education in October 2023. Prior to beginning his doctoral research, Juensung completed an MA in the same program again under the supervision of Dr. Ferrari, and completed an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Cognitive Science and Philosophy under the mentorship of Dr. John Vervaeke. Following the completion of his graduate studies, Juensung joined the Department of Clinical Psychology and Experimental Psychopathology as a posdoctoral researcher under the supervision of Prof. Brian Ostafin, where he conducts research on awe, spirituality, and meaning in life.

Juensung's personal research focuses on investigating tools, practices, and experiences that facilitate intentional self-transformation, particularly the cultivation of wisdom and self-transcendence. Currently, he is conducting exploratory research on the influence of esoteric spiritual practices on the cultivation of wisdom and the effects of awe on the feeling of truth. His doctoral thesis, funded in part by a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship, examined changes in student personal projects over the course of a semester in response to exposure to philosophical and spiritual education, with an aim towards understanding the genesis of self-transformative moral and spiritual aspirations. He has previously coordinated research on changes in personal projects in response to physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic and assisted with research on the phenomenological experience of microdosing psychedelics.


[11/2023-] Postdoctoral Researcher (Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences, University of Groningen)


[09/2017-03/2024] Doctor of Philosophy (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto)

[09/2016-11/2017] Master of Arts (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto)

Last modified:19 January 2024 4.33 p.m.