PhD position in Philosophy of Science

Copenhagen University
March 31, 2024
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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We are looking for a highly motivated candidate for a three-year PhD project commencing September 1st, 2024, or as soon as possible thereafter. The PhD position is available via a Carlsberg Semper Ardens Accelerate-funded project called “Consumer Medicine: Philosophical and Ethical Implications (COPE),” conducting philosophical and ethnographic studies of consumer medicine in practice (PI: Associate Professor Sara Green), at the Section for History and Philosophy of Science, Department of Science Education, University of Copenhagen.

The project COPE is an empirically informed philosophical analysis of how Consumer Medicine (CM) technologies impact how health is experienced and strived for in a data-intensive society. CM is gaining momentum through the promotion of devices, tests, and wearables that are marketed directly to consumers. Examples include technologies for self-monitoring and health optimization, such as smart watches, health apps, home ultrasound, pulse oximeters for infants, and self-tests for disease risk, aging, or metabolic issues. Combining qualitative methods with conceptual frameworks from philosophy of science and medical anthropology, COPE critically analyzes assumptions underlying political and commercial visions of CM, as well as lived experiences of CM in healthcare practice and the everyday lives of users. The choice of specific methodology for the PhD project will depend on the research topic, but the project should involve a qualitative approach to be carried out primarily or entirely within Denmark.

The research questions, methodology, and project plan for the PhD project will be developed through supervision by PI Associate Professor Sara Green and Postdoc Olivia Spalletta in the project's initial phase. Candidates are encouraged to suggest a focus area and research questions of specific interest at the application stage, and to include in the application a brief project proposal (see below). The purpose is to demonstrate the candidate's ability to pose relevant, original, and theoretically engaged questions within a specific focus area, and to conduct this research through a feasible qualitative approach. Focus areas for projects could include an interest in a specific type of technology, such as FemTech, consumer genetic tests, microbiome testing, precision nutrition, or the use of wearables for self- monitoring of sleep, cardiovascular issues, mental health, etc. Project ideas could also be focused on specific epistemic and ethical questions of interest, e.g., clinical validity and utility, overdiagnosis, science and health communication, sustainability, intersectionality, inequity, or phenomenological experiences of health through health technologies.

Place of employment The PhD candidate will be based at the Department of Science Education, as part of the HPS-group at the Section for History and Philosophy of Science. As part of the PhD education, the candidate will receive teaching training and is expected to contribute to teaching of courses offered by the Department of Science Education.

Supervision The principal supervisor will be Associate Professor Sara Green and the project will be co-supervised by Postdoc. Olivia Spalletta. It is possible to suggest additional co-supervisors. The PhD student will also be able to benefit from feedback from the international research network of the COPE project, which includes scholars from multiple disciplines, including philosophy of science, medical anthropology, science communication, and general practice.

Who are we looking for? We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic PhD candidate with the following competencies and experience:

  • Applicants should have a Master's degree (see specifications below) and educational background in a discipline of relevance for the COPE project, e.g., philosophy, history and philosophy of science, science and technology studies, anthropology, medicine, or a related field of study.
  • Additional training and experience with qualitative methods is strongly preferred.
  • Curious mind-set with a strong interest in practice-oriented philosophy of scienceApplicants should have good English skills, both written and spoken. Danish language skills are considered an advantage.
  • It is desirable to have basic knowledge of the medical field or consumer medicine.
  • It is considered an advantage that candidates have an interest in and experience with teaching of philosophy of science or similar topics.
  • It is desirable for candidates to be comfortable working in research groups and have an interest in collaborative work
  • About the Section for History and Philosophy of Science We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in a dynamic, international research environment. The Section for History and Philosophy of Science currently has 10 permanent faculty members, as well as postdocs and PhD students working on a variety of interdisciplinary projects. Our research is primarily dedicated to history and philosophy of science, with a focus on practice-oriented and empirically informed history and philosophy of science, addressing epistemological and ethical aspects of science and its use. The HPS Section offers mandatory courses in philosophy of science to approximately 1000 science students per year and also works on the development of teaching strategies and teaching materials in connection to these courses. Our website https: // www. provides more information on the members of the Section and the research we conduct. The Section for History and Philosophy of Science is part of the Department of Science Education, in the Faculty of SCIENCE at University of Copenhagen. We are located centrally in Copenhagen, in the Niels Bohr Building near the central park, Fælledparken.

    The PhD programme

    Qualifications needed To be eligible for the PhD programme, you must have completed a degree programme, equivalent to a Danish master's degree (180 ECTS/3 FTE BSc + 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc) related to the subject area of the project, e.g., in history and philosophy of science, philosophy, or science and technology studies. For information on eligibility of completed programmes, see General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database.

    Terms of employment Employment as a PhD fellow is full time and for a maximum 3 years.

    Employment is conditional upon your successful enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD School at the Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

    The terms of employment and salary are in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State (AC). The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.

    Responsibilities and tasks

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision at the host institution
  • Complete PhD courses corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS / ½ FTE
  • Participate in active research environments, including a stay at another research institution, preferably abroad
  • Teaching and knowledge dissemination activities (corresponding to approx. 1/2 FTE)
  • Write scientific papers aimed at high-impact journals
  • Write and defend a PhD thesis on the basis of your project
  • Application and Assessment Procedure

    Your application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

  • Cover letter explaining your qualifications and research focus (max. one page)
  • Motivation letter explaining your reasons for applying for this particular PhD position. The motivation letter should include a suggestion for a potential project on consumer medicine, including a motivation for the study, research questions, and methodology. (max. two pages)
  • Curriculum vitae including information about your education, work experience (e.g., teaching), language skills, and other skills relevant for the position.
  • Original diplomas (bachelor's and master's degree or equivalent) and a transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation, if issued in a language other than English or Danish. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted.
  • A writing sample (e.g., master's thesis or other relevant material)
  • Publication list (if available)
  • Names and email addresses of two references (reference letters are not required)
  • Application deadline:

    The deadline for applications is Sunday March 31, 2024, 23:59 (GMT +1).

    We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the above-mentioned requirements.

    The further process After the deadline, a number of applicants will be selected for academic assessment by an unbiased expert assessor. You are notified whether your application will be selected for assessment.

    The assessor will assess the qualifications and experience of the shortlisted applicants with respect to the above mentioned research area, techniques, skills and other requirements. The assessor will conclude whether each applicant is qualified. The assessed applicants will have the opportunity to comment on their assessment. You can read about the recruitment process at https: //

    Questions For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact Sara Green ([email protected]).

    General information about PhD study at the Faculty of SCIENCE is available at the PhD School's website: https: // www.

    The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position.

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