Three PhD Positions Available in History and Philosophy of Physics, Biology, and Science

Three PhD Positions Available in History and Philosophy of Physics, Biology, and Science
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Are you passionate about delving into the profound philosophical legacy of Niels Bohr? Do you aspire to contribute to cutting-edge research (Three PhD Positions) at the intersection of history, philosophy, and science? If so, then we have an exciting opportunity for you!

Job Description

Niels Bohr’s impact transcends the boundaries of physics, extending into various scientific disciplines and broader philosophical debates. However, his legacy remains often misunderstood due to the disproportionate focus on certain aspects of his work. At Utrecht University, we are embarking on the ERC Advanced Grant project titled ‘BOHR21: Niels Bohr for the 21st Century’ to rectify this by fostering a comprehensive understanding of Bohr’s contributions.

As a PhD candidate, you will have the opportunity to specialize in one of three key areas:

  1. Philosophy of Physics
  2. Philosophy of Biology
  3. General Philosophy of Science

Within these areas, you will explore diverse subprojects aimed at elucidating different facets of Bohr’s intellectual heritage. Whether you’re intrigued by unraveling the intricacies of Bohr’s philosophical framework, examining his influence on biological theories, or analyzing the relevance of his concepts in contemporary scientific discourse, there’s a niche waiting for you in BOHR21.


In addition to conducting independent research within your chosen domain, you will engage in collaborative activities, including:

  • Research Visits: Spend periods in Copenhagen for in-depth exploration of the Niels Bohr Archive.
  • Event Organization: Assist in organizing seminars, workshops, and conferences in Utrecht and Copenhagen.
  • Publication: Co-author scholarly papers addressing various aspects of the BOHR21 project.


We’re seeking candidates with the following qualifications:

  • Master’s Degree: Hold a Master’s degree in a relevant field, such as history or philosophy of physics/biology, or general philosophy of science.
  • Passion for Research: Demonstrate a keen interest in collaborative research and a drive to develop your research and teaching abilities.
  • Language Skills: Possess excellent English proficiency, with a willingness to acquire proficiency in Danish and German if necessary.

Our Offer

Joining our team offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Dynamic Research Environment: Work within the vibrant community of the History and Philosophy of Science group at Utrecht University.
  • Four-Year Position: Secure a position for four years with a competitive salary and additional benefits.
  • Professional Development: Access schemes and facilities for ongoing professional growth and enhancement of skills.

About Utrecht University

Utrecht University is dedicated to creating a better future through pioneering research and innovative teaching. As part of our commitment to excellence, we prioritize interdisciplinary collaboration across various domains.

How to Apply for Three PhD Positions

If you’re excited about the prospect of contributing to groundbreaking research and enriching your academic journey, we encourage you to apply now! Simply follow these steps:

  1. Click the ‘Apply now’ button.
  2. Prepare the required documents, including a motivation letter, CV, writing sample, and reference letters.
  3. Submit your application before the deadline of 22 April 2024.

For more details about the application process or any inquiries, please contact Dr. Guido Bacciagaluppi at [email protected].


FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the duration of the PhD position? The position is for four years, starting from 1 September 2024.

2. Can I apply if I don’t have a Master’s degree in philosophy or history? Yes, as long as your degree is relevant to the field and you demonstrate a strong interest in the subject matter.

3. Are there opportunities for professional development? Absolutely! Utrecht University offers various schemes and facilities to support the growth and development of its employees.

4. Is proficiency in languages other than English required? While English proficiency is essential, knowledge of Danish and German is advantageous but not mandatory.

5. How competitive is the application process? The selection process is rigorous, but we encourage all qualified candidates to apply and showcase their passion for research.

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