Radboud Universiteit

Radboud University

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Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies
Staff and students in the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies reflect on the great challenges of our time, exploring concepts, belief systems and worldviews. In this way they provide philosophical and religious context to the societal debate and contribute to the analysis and solution of major societal challenges. The faculty has over 180 staff, organized in eight academic departments and four support departments. Our academics collaborate in six research centres and teach more than 1,000 students.

Our staff and students are committed. The lines of communication are short and each individual student and staff member is given ample attention. You can find more about our mission and vision on the 'About PTRS' page.

1. Introduction

Are you a highly motivated aspiring junior researcher? Would you like to work on the history of philosophy in the Islamic world? Do you want to develop your own innovative research ideas as a key member of a research team? The Center for the History of Philosophy and Science (CHPS) of the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies at Radboud University is looking to appoint two PhD candidates for the duration of four years. One postholder will conduct research on Avicenna’s engagement with the generation of his teachers (PhD project 1) and the other on Avicenna’s engagement with the generation of his own students (PhD project 2).

2. Job description

You will join the research team of Dr Andreas Lammer and work closely with him, with another PhD Candidate, and with a postdoctoral researcher, contributing to the ERC Starting Grant project “Avicenna Live: The Immediate Context of Avicenna’s Intellectual Formation” (ALIVE).

You will produce original research either on the contents of a unique manuscript containing the philosophical works of one of Avicenna’s teachers and investigate whether and how the views of his teacher differed from and/or influenced the formation of Avicenna’s own philosophy (PhD project 1) or on a collection of ’Discussions’ which Avicenna had with his own students and study whether and how these discussions may have contributed to reformulations and/or revisions in Avicenna’s later works (PhD project 2).

Both PhD-projects, as well as the ERC project as a whole, aim at recalibrating our perception of Avicenna’s intellectual development through the examination of widely neglected or indeed entirely unknown source texts. Together we will revise the common understanding of Avicenna’s philosophy as the monolithic outcome of a steadfast genius and probe the possibility that Avicenna was integrated in a rich and dynamic culture of debate such that his philosophy, in light of the discussions he had with his teachers and students, bears the marks of development.

As part of your individual project, you will independently read and investigate source texts in their original Arabic language, investigate them in terms of their relation to Avicenna’s main works, and also provide English translations of sections of your source texts as part of your analysis. It is essential that you are able to read Classical Arabic texts and have a good active command of the English language in speech and writing. Knowledge of the history of (late) ancient philosophy, especially the Aristotelian tradition, or medieval philosophy is highly recommended. Knowledge of Avicenna’s philosophy is not immediately required but would obviously be particularly helpful.

As part of the position, which also comes with a yearly travel allowance to participate in academic events and disseminate the results of your own research, you will closely collaborate with the other members of the team in various research, dissemination and outreach activities, as well as organise an academic event yourself in collaboration with the team. This research position carries no teaching obligations.

Other than that, your research will be embedded within the Center for the History of Philosophy and Science (CHPS), an internationally recognised research unit at Radboud University. You will therefore also actively take part in CHPS’s analogous initiatives. CHPS is a particularly cohesive research group. Its members gather daily in a friendly, informal and intellectually lively environment. They share their research in work-in-progress meetings, and they co-teach, co-publish, and co-organise conferences and workshops. PhD supervision within the centre is of high quality, not in the least because of the close and friendly interaction between supervisors and supervisees.

3. Profile

  • You hold a Master’s degree in the History of Philosophy, the History of Science, Islamic Studies, Arabic Studies, or a related discipline. (If the degree has not yet been obtained at the time of application, an additional statement by your current supervisor should confirm that it will be obtained by the time of appointment).
  • You have good or very good skills in reading and translating Classical Arabic texts.
  • You have a very good command of English, both spoken and written.
  • You have a background in the history of ancient, late ancient, and/or medieval philosophy, and ideally also of Avicenna’s philosophy in particular.
  • You have philosophical acumen, solid analytical skills, strong historical interests, and philological sensitivity.
  • You are an autonomous researcher with excellent communication and organisational skills, who also likes to work in a team.
  • You are active, ambitious and eager to help provide a new paradigm for all future studies of Avicenna. 

4. We are

ALIVE is a new research project within the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious studies funded by a starting grant from the European Research Council (ERC). It seeks to explore a unique set of essential yet hitherto widely neglected source texts for the immediate context of the intellectual development of Muslim polymath Avicenna (Ibn Sīnā, d. 428/1037) and to offer a new digital approach to the study of diverse and difficult textual corpora.

The Center for the History of Philosophy and Science (CHPS) brings together historians of philosophy and historians of science in a single teaching and research unit. CHPS’s core research interests focus on the interplay between philosophical and scientific thought from Antiquity to the 21st century, also addressing the important questions that these themes raise for contemporary philosophers.

5. We offer

  • We will give you a temporary employment contract (1.0 FTE) of 1,5 years, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, your contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4-year contract).
  • You will receive a starting salary of €2,770 gross per month based on a 38-hour working week, which will increase to €3,539 in the fourth year (salary scale P).
  • You will receive an 8% holiday allowance and an 8,3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Support Service. The Dual Career Programme assists your partner via support, tools, and resources to improve their chances of independently finding employment in the Netherlands. Our Family Support Service helps you and your partner feel welcome and at home by providing customised assistance in navigating local facilities, schools, and amenities. Also take a look at our support for international staff page to discover all our services for international employees.
  • You will receive extra days off. With full-time employment, you can choose between 30 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the statutory 20. 

6. Practical information and applying

Address your letter of application to Andreas Lammer. In the application form, you will find which documents you need to include with your application. All documents need to be in English. 

The first interviews will take place on 14 June. Any second interview will take place on 24 June. You will preferably start your employment on 1 September 2024.

We can imagine you’re curious about our application procedure. It describes what you can expect during the application procedure and how we handle your personal data and internal and external candidates. 

Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 01-09-2024
Salary Promovendus
  • € 2770 - € 3539
Number of positions 2
Full-time equivalent 1,0
City Nijmegen
County Gelderland
Country Netherlands
Reference number 21.008.24
  • Andreas Lammer, andreas.lammer@ru.nl
Published 24.Apr.2024
Last application date 31.May.2024 11:59 PM CEST

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