PhD studentship (medical humanities)
The Department of English, Germanic and Romance studies, University of Copenhagen (UCPH), and the Centre for Culture and the Mind invite applications for one PhD studentship (focus on history and/or literature, and historical trauma studies), starting on 1 April 2023.
The position is funded by the DNRF Centre of Excellence, Centre for Culture and the Mind (CULTMIND).
The successful candidate will work closely with the Centre leader Ana Antic and will join a dynamic international and interdisciplinary research team, based at the Centre.
The Centre for Culture and the Mind explores the puzzling relationship between cultural difference and the human psyche from a variety of disciplinary perspectives: historical, anthropological, psychiatric, literary and psychological. It zooms in on the core questions about the universality or otherwise of the human mind, which remain as difficult to answer today as they were a century ago.
The Centre proposes that the issue of culture-mind relationship lays at the core of many social, political and medical debates: within cross-cultural psychiatry/psychotherapy, in trauma studies, and in migration and refugee studies. It explores how the human mind and common humanity have been imagined in different cultural, sociopolitical and disciplinary contexts, examining the assumptions and forces which shaped such definitions. By analysing how different cross-cultural models of the psyche were formulated and critiqued, the Centre’s interdisciplinary team aims to develop a new framework for understanding cross-cultural interventions and their politics, and to arrive at a more nuanced model of interaction between socio-cultural contexts and ideas of the psyche.
The Centre consists of four interrelated thematic strands: cross-cultural research in human sciences; cross-cultural notions of trauma and resilience; cross-cultural therapeutics and creative mind; and cross-cultural encounters and population movements (migration).
PhD studies consist of research programmes that qualify students for independent and wide-ranging research, development and teaching at international level. The main emphasis is on PhD students organising and conducting their own research project (under supervision). The programme culminates in the submission of a PhD thesis, which the student must defend in public. The programme is prescribed to 180 ECTS points, corresponding to three years of full-time study.
A PhD opens up a range of career opportunities in academia and elsewhere. As well as writing a thesis, PhD students work in active research environments in Denmark and abroad. They contribute to the academic environment, take research training courses and convey the results of their research in teaching, at academic conferences and to the general public.
The PhD student will be a core member of the Centre’s vibrant interdisciplinary and international research team, and a core contributor to the Centre’s thematic strand on cross-cultural notions of trauma and resilience (as well as recovery and reconciliation). This strand focuses on cultural and psychiatric vocabularies of trauma in a variety of cultural and political contexts. It aims to offer a comparative historical analysis of how concepts of trauma, PTSD, resilience and recovery have been applied and translated outside the Western world, and how universalising psychiatric discourses of trauma interacted with broader cultural, literary and artistic narratives of emotional suffering and victimhood.
The successful candidate is expected to work both independently and in collaboration with the Centre’s research team. They should hold an MA degree in history, literature (and modern languages), anthropology or medical humanities. They should be interested in expanding their knowledge in the field of historical trauma studies, and in exploring different understandings and histories of psychological distress and suffering beyond Western scientific models.
The candidate will be expected to conduct original research in relevant historical archives and libraries, and to produce a doctoral dissertation focused on analysing how mental distress, healing and resilience might be imagined in different cultural and political contexts.
Within the Centre’s research team, the candidate will take part in broader intellectual and methodological discussions around the project’s goals and general directions. Experience with collaborative and interdisciplinary work will be an asset.
The candidate is also expected to take active part in the academic life of the department.
For further information, including more details on the Centre for Culture and the Mind, please contact Ana Antic at email@example.com
Applicants must have a two-year Master’s degree (120 ECTS) or equivalent and, as a minimum, have submitted a Master’s thesis for which they have received pre-approval at the time of application.
The qualifications of applicants with non-Danish Master’s degrees will be assessed to ascertain whether they correspond to the Danish level. For further information, please refer to the website of the Ministry of Education and Research: https://ufm.dk/en/education/admission-and-guidance.
Applicants must possess skills in written and spoken academic English at a high level. If deemed necessary, the department may request that applicants document their English skills.
All applications must be submitted online, in PDF or Microsoft Word format, via the link “Apply for the position” at the bottom of the page.
The application must include:
1. Project abstract
(max.1,200 characters with spaces)
2. Personal statement (max. one page)
In their personal statements, applicants are encouraged to:
• outline how the PhD project relates to other research activities at the Centre and the department, including the availability of supervisors
• describe as clearly as possible their competencies and personal qualifications relevant to the Centre’s research programme.
Applications must be accompanied by a CV (max. one page) and a list of publications, where relevant.
4. Documentation (diplomas and transcripts)
Applicants must upload the following:
• A copy of their Master’s degree diploma or similar (if this is not available by the application deadline, applicants must document pre-approval of their Master’s thesis)
• A copy of their Master’s degree transcript
• A copy of their Bachelor’s degree diploma
• A copy of their Bachelor’s degree transcript.
Applicants with a degree from a university where the working language is not English or one of the Scandinavian languages must submit a translation of their Master’s diploma and/or diploma transcripts approved by the Danish embassy or consulate in the country where the original document was issued. These documents must be translated into English, Danish, Norwegian or Swedish. An official description of the grading scale (and a diploma supplement where relevant) must also be attached.
5. Project description
Applications must include a detailed project description covering the problem formulation, overall objectives, methodology, design and timetable (max. five pages/12,000 characters, incl. spaces, excl. bibliography).
Guidelines and good advice on project descriptions are available here.
6. Other relevant material
Statements of consent, e.g. regarding access to special archives and approval of studies abroad, may be submitted along with the applications. It is not necessary to include commitments from supervisors.
Please do not upload or submit recommendations, publications, theses, etc.
The following criteria are applied when assessing PhD applications:
- The quality, originality and feasibility of the PhD project
- Research qualifications, as reflected in the attached CV and project description
- Competencies and knowledge of relevant fields of academic research
- Level (grades obtained) of Bachelor and Master’s studies.
The recruitment process
After the deadline for applications, the Head of Department considers advice from the Appointment Committee and then selects applicants for assessment. All applicants will be notified whether or not they have been shortlisted. After this, the Head of Department sets up an expert Assessment Committee to assess the shortlisted applications. The selected applicants will be informed who is serving on the committee. Individual applicants will be offered the opportunity to comment on the committee’s assessment of their application before the appointment is announced.
Further information about the application procedure is available from HR, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please refer to ID number 211-1271/22-2H #1.
It is a prerequisite for employment that successful applicants enrol at the PhD School of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Copenhagen.
For further information about the structure of the PhD programme, please refer to: https://phd.humanities.ku.dk/become-phd-student/what-is-it/structure-of-the-phd-programme/
For further information about the guidelines for PhD studies at UCPH, please refer to: https://phd.ku.dk/english/
Remuneration and terms of employment
Appointment as a PhD Fellow is subject to the collective bargaining agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC).
We seek to reflect the breadth and diversity of society and encourage applications irrespective of personal background.
The deadline for applications is 9 January 2023 at 23:59 [CET]
Any applications or additional material submitted after the deadline will not be considered.
However, changes may be made to the submitted application right up until the deadline.
For further information about the application procedure, please refer to the University of Copenhagen website: https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/
For further information about the structure and rules of the PhD programme, please e-mail the PhD Administration at Søndre and City Campus, e-mail: email@example.com.
If you have any questions about the academic content of the PhD programme, please e-mail the PhD coordinator at the Department of English, Germanic and Romance studies, Professor Christian Benne, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.