[Applications closed] PhD Candidate, “NanoBubbles” at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of History, Maastricht University 1.0fte, 4 years

Applications for this position are now closed.
You are invited to apply for a PhD position within the “NanoBubbles” project. The project is funded by an ERC Synergy grant awarded to a consortium led by four co-principal investigators at universities in France and the Netherlands; the Maastricht University co-PI is prof. dr. Cyrus Mody.


Research project
The NanoBubbles ERC Synergy project’s objective is to understand how, when and why science fails to correct itself. The project’s focus is claims made within the field of nanobiology. Project members combine approaches from the natural sciences, computer science, and the social sciences and humanities (Science and Technology Studies) to understand how error correction in science works and what obstacles it faces. For this purpose, we aim to trace claims and corrections through various channels of scientific communication (journals, social media, advertisements, conference programs, etc.) via both qualitative and digital methods.

Your contribution to the overall project will be a study of the role of conferences in the circulation of claims and counter-claims, and of the ways that conferences interface with other sites of scientific activity such as laboratories and journals. Your study will be largely ethnographic – you will conduct participant observation at scientific conferences and in nanobiology laboratories. You will also conduct interviews, visit archives, and collect other published and unpublished sources. Although you are not expected to have a background in digital humanities, you will work with a postdoctoral researcher at Maastricht University and members of the NanoBubbles teams at other universities to apply digital tools to trace claims and counter-claims as they move through and beyond scientific conferences.

Your research will be located in the Research Institute for Arts and Social Sciences (see: https://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/research/fasos-research-institute).


Job description
You will:

  • Determine a set of current and historical nanobiology (and related) conferences where scientists promote, challenge, and discuss contested claims.
  • Carry out ethnographic, interview, and archival research in several countries. For this, travel will be required.
  • Work closely with other members of the project, both at Maastricht University and elsewhere.
  • Learn and apply some basic digital humanities techniques relevant to your project, both for data acquisition/processing (e.g., OCRization of sources) and analysis (e.g., tools for distant reading of large numbers of texts). Other members of the project will provide you with some training and infrastructural support for any digital humanities techniques that you adopt.
  • Write academic publications, and co-author with other members of the team.
  • Participate in team meetings.
  • Take part in training by the Graduate School of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, as well as the WTMC Graduate School.

The position is 0,8 fte research and 0,2 fte teaching (some reduction in teaching is likely, especially in the final year). The Faculty of Arts and Sciences offers BA programmes in Arts & Culture, European Studies, Digital Society, and Global Studies. Information on those and other FASoS teaching programmes can be found on our website. Other faculties at Maastricht University also host programmes, such as University College Maastricht, that provide teaching opportunities closely related to your expertise.



You hold an MA/MSc degree in Science and Technology Studies, sociology, anthropology, history or a related discipline (or are expected to obtain such a degree before 1 September 2020).

You have received excellent grades and you have an obvious interest in academic research, particularly qualitative research methods. You can manage your time and your research activities well. You are capable of autonomously conducting original research as well as working in a team. You write and communicate fluently in English.



What we have to offer
We offer a dynamic and challenging job in an internationally-oriented organisation where young people receive an advanced education and scholars conduct exciting research. You will be part of an international network of top universities and renowned scholars within the field.

We offer a 4-year full-time appointment as PhD candidate.
The first year will be a probation period, after a positive assessment the position will be extended with another 3 years.

Under the condition that your dissertation is positively evaluated by the assessment committee, you will be eligible for a postdoctoral position in Year Five of the project.

Remuneration will be according to standard salary levels for PhD-candidates starting with a salary of € 2.434- with a yearly growth to € 3.111,- gross a month (based on a full-time appointment).

Each year the standard salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%.

You have to be willing to move to (the vicinity of) Maastricht. If you do not already live in Maastricht (or its direct surroundings), you will be eligible for an allowance for moving costs. You may also be eligible for an allowance for alternative housing.

Other secondary conditions include e.g. a pension scheme and partially paid parental leave.

You will be provided with shared office space and a PC. 

Starting date: 1 January 2022. Location: Maastricht

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website www.maastrichtuniversity.nl > About UM > Working at UM.



Maastricht University

Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 20,000 students and 4,700 employees. Reflecting the university’s strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.



Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS) has about 250 staff members, and about 1,730 students. More than 77% of the students are non-Dutch (65 different nationalities). All programmes are offered in English and some are also offered in Dutch. FASoS offers four 3-year bachelor’s programmes: Arts and Culture, European Studies, Digital Society and Global Studies. It also offers eight different 1-year Master’s programmes and two 2-year research master’s programmes.

Research is organised around four programmes: Politics and Culture in Europe; Science, Technology and Society Studies; Arts, Media and Culture; and Globalisation, Transnationalism and Development. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is housed in the historic city centre of Maastricht.

Graduate School

Our Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences offers the opportunity to pursue a PhD in the interdisciplinary field of arts and social sciences. You receive a coherent program of introductory courses, intensive supervision and frequent discussion with the senior researchers inside and outside the Faculty. The Programme can be characterized by its international and interdisciplinary nature and the emphasis on cultural and societal issues of the modern world.

The School focuses on four themes:

  1. Politics and Culture in Europe.
  2. Maastricht University Science, Technology and Society Studies.
  3. Globalisation, Transnationalism and Development.
  4. Arts, Media and Culture.

Further information on the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and its Graduate School may be accessed on: http://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/fasos



Further information on the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciencesis available on our website:


Any inquiries about the position or the details of the project may be addressed to the co-principal investigator: prof. dr. Cyrus Mody (c.mody@maastrichtuniversity.nl)

Cite this blog post
Frédérique Bordignon (2021, September 9). [Applications closed] PhD Candidate, “NanoBubbles” at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of History, Maastricht University 1.0fte, 4 years. NanoBubbles . Retrieved May 23, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.58079/rqvr

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