PhD Candidate: Affectivity in the Anthropocene

0.8 - 1.0 FTE
Gross monthly salary
€ 2,770 - € 3,539
Required background
Research University Degree
Organizational unit
Faculty of Arts
Application deadline

The Department of Modern Languages and Cultures (Faculty of Arts) and the Department of Metaphysics and Philosophical Anthropology (Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies) at Radboud University are jointly looking for a PhD candidate in the interdisciplinary Environmental Humanities project 'Affectivity in the Anthropocene'.

This project is funded by the Christine Mohrmann Foundation at Radboud University to support research initiated by Professor Dr Marjolein Oele, Professor of Philosophy of the Humanities. It is organised around the concept of affectivity (Greek: pathos), which has been crucial to theorising ancient Greek notions of undergoing, suffering, emotion, illness, and qualitative change. In the 20th and 21st centuries, notions of affect and affectivity are at the forefront of research in continental philosophy (e.g. Heidegger, Henry, Irigaray) and affect theory more broadly (e.g. Ahmed, Berlant). The prominence of these concepts is such that scholars even speak of an "affective turn" in the humanities (e.g. Clough and Halley).

The specific aim of Affectivity in the Anthropocene is to provide in-depth philosophical reflections on the predominant human and non-human affects that are related to climate change and the Anthropocene. The methodological basis of the research project is philosophical, but the project also has interdisciplinary aspects in aiming to involve texts and artworks from the humanities more broadly (literature, art, digital media, film, etc.). Using authors from both philosophy and the wider environmental humanities, it is the project's aim to distinguish, among other things, the relevance of affects in times of ecological destruction, and to investigate the temporality of affects (short-term versus long-term), ethical and political aspects of affects (e.g. in terms of compassion, grief and trust), the co-emergence of affects (between human and non-human living beings) and individual versus communal affects.

As a PhD candidate, you will conduct research on the theoretical foundations of the meaning of human and non-human affects. You will investigate both (historical and continental) philosophical theories as well as artworks, literature and media that are part of the environmental humanities to theorise significant affects that relate to the Anthropocene. You will be asked to provide a brief research proposal including a research question and a description of how your proposed research will fit within the Affectivity in the Anthropocene project. 

As a PhD candidate at the Radboud Institute for Culture & History (RICH), you will be part of the Graduate School for the Humanities. Up to 75% of your time will be devoted to the research for and writing of your PhD thesis. The remaining 25% will be spent on training and academic service to the Faculty of Arts, including teaching and editorial assistance for the journal Environmental Philosophy. Given the interdisciplinary nature of this position, you will also be embedded in the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies, for instance by participating in activities organised by the Centre for Contemporary European Philosophy (CCEP), or by engaging in service and/or teaching activities. You will be expected to write your PhD thesis in English.


  • You hold an MA degree in Philosophy or Cultural Theory or in a closely related discipline with a solid basis in Philosophy or Cultural Theory. 
  • You are able to conduct independent academic research and work in a collaborative research environment.
  • You are results-oriented, have a good command of English and good writing skills. 
  • You are willing to perform teaching and service duties. 
  • You have a good knowledge of both the history of philosophy, 20th-century Continental philosophy and/or Cultural Theory and demonstrable interdisciplinary interests in extending this project towards the environmental humanities more broadly. Familiarity with the project's subject area is preferable.   

We are

You will also be embedded in the Department of Metaphysics and Philosophical Anthropology at Radboud’s Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies. This Faculty is a compact, ambitious division with approximately 180 staff and over 1,000 students from the Netherlands and abroad. The curriculum includes top-notch degree programmes in both in-depth disciplinary fields of study and interdisciplinary and interfaculty studies. The Faculty has innovative education and research programmes with a strong focus on current societal issues. 

Radboud University

At Radboud University, we aim to make an impact through our work. We achieve this by conducting groundbreaking research, providing high-quality education, offering excellent support, and fostering collaborations within and outside the university. In doing so, we contribute indispensably to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. To accomplish this, we need even more colleagues who, based on their expertise, are willing to search for answers. We advocate for an inclusive community and welcome employees with diverse backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives. Will you also contribute to making the world a little better? You have a part to play.

If you want to learn more about working at Radboud University, follow our Instagram account and read stories from our colleagues.

Faculty of Arts
The Faculty of Arts is committed to the development of knowledge with a strong scientific and social impact. With over 500 academic and support staff, we teach and conduct research in the fields of art, history, language, culture and communication, using innovative methodologies and collaborating closely across disciplines. Our research is embedded in two research institutes: the Centre for Language Studies (CLS) and the Radboud Institute for Culture & History (RICH). Approximately 2,500 students are currently enrolled with us across our three departments: the Department of History, Art History and Classics, the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures and the Department of Language and Communication. The faculty is characterised by a pleasant and open culture with various opportunities for the professional development of our staff.

We offer

  • We will give you a temporary employment contract (0.8 FTE 5- year contract- 1.0 FTE 4- year contract) 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) or 3.5 years (5-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 from the fourth year onwards (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. 

Additional employment conditions

Work and science require good employment practices. Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions reflect this. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself. For example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports membership. And, of course, we offer a good pension plan. We also give you plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.

Working at Radboud University

Practical information and applying

You can apply no later than 15 April 2024 only via the button below. Address your letter of application to Marjolein Oele. Please fill in the application form and attach the following documents:

  • A letter of motivation.
  • Your CV.
  • A research proposal (max. 500 words, i.e. one single-spaced page).
  • A writing sample of maximally 5,000 words (ideally taken from your MA thesis or a published article).
  • A transcript of records (i.e. a certified document showing the BA and BA courses you have taken and the grades you have received).
  • A copy of a relevant diploma or a statement from your Master’s thesis supervisor confirming that you will hold the required degree at the time of appointment.
  • The contact details of two referees.

The first interviews will take place on 21 May. Any second interview will take place on 28 May. 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. If you wish to apply for a non-scientific position with a non-EU nationality, please take notice of the following information

Apply now Application deadline

We would like to recruit our new colleague ourselves. Acquisition in response to this vacancy will not be appreciated.

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