2 PhD Positions, Ruhr University Bochum

Job Type: Postdoc

Application Deadline: October 15, 2019

The Institute of Philosophy I at the Ruhr University Bochum seeks applications for 2 PhD positions – one in philosophy of biology, one in history of biology. They will be part of the Emmy Noether-research group “The Return of the Organism in the Biosciences: Theoretical, Historical, and Social Dimensions”, financed by the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft). Doctoral students will conduct their research under the supervision of the project’s PI, Dr. Jan Baedke. Project description here.

  • Duration: 3 years
  • Planned starting date: 1st January 2020
  • Deadline for the application: 15th October 2019

For both positions a M.A. in philosophy or history (or another relevant discipline) is required. The candidates should have a strong interest in integrating historical and philosophical studies of science in their work. Although no prior knowledge of history and philosophy of biology is required, such knowledge will be considered as a plus. For more specific requirements:

  1. For the PhD position in philosophy of biology: Expertise (or some knowledge) in philosophy of science is required. Mastering the German language is not required.
  2. For the PhD position in history of biology: Expertise (or some knowledge) in history of science is required. Additional (though not necessary) skills are: Being able to read German, having
    experience in archival research and/or computational methods of text mining and analysis.

The successful candidates are expected to actively contribute to the above project. The PhD projects should

  1. address relevant conceptual, epistemological, and/or methodological issues on (or related to) the notions of organism, biological individuality, environment, or organism-environment relationship (PhD 1); or
  2. study historical debates and/or central positions, figures or publications in early 20th century holistic biology, organicism, and/or dialectical materialism, with a focus on (or related to) the
    notions of organism, biological individuality, environment, or organism-environment relationship. This work should be supported by archival research and/or digital humanities approaches (PhD 2).

Each candidate’s work should leads to a PhD dissertation within 3 years. The candidates will be encouraged to present his or her research at international workshops or conferences, and at meetings of the research group, which will be composed of two PhD-students, one Post-Doc, two Mercator Fellows (who will visit the research group), and the PI. Research collaborations with other team members and fellows, as well as with members of and the Chair of History and Philosophy of Science are encouraged. Candidates will enjoy the groups’ administrative facilities and financial support.

Applications in German or English should include:

  • A cover letter that addresses one‘s interest in and suitability for PhD position (1) or (2),
  • A brief description (maximum: 2 pages) of research topics, questions or ideas of interest that fit to
    the group’s profile.
  • A full CV (including the topic of your MA dissertation)
  • A copy of the relevant degree/certificate (and the official list containing your MA grades)
  • A representative writing sample (such as an extract from your MA dissertation, a paper that you
    have written, etc.)
  • A letter of recommendation


  • A diverse and fair working environment
  • Support in reconciling work and family life
  • Extensive advanced training opportunities
  • Occupational health management offers

See more here. For any further inquiries, please contact jan.baedke@rub.de.

Posted: September 11, 2019