ERC programme “NOSCEMUS – Nova Scientia: Early Modern Science and Latin” – Call for postdoc (PhD) funding applications

Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck
ERC programme “NOSCEMUS – Nova Scientia: Early Modern Science and Latin”
Call for postdoc (PhD) funding applications

The ERC Advanced Grant programme “NOSCEMUS – Nova Scientia: Early Modern Science and Latin” on the role of Neo-Latin literature in early modern science, led by Martin Korenjak (Univ. of Innsbruck), is now accepting applications for up to four five-year postdoc (PhD) positions (01/10/2017 – 30/09/2022).
The application deadline is 15th of June 2017.

Project description
Fundamental changes occurred in the study of nature between the late 15th and 18th centuries, leading to the emergence of natural science as we know it today. This process would have been impossible without Latin as the scientific lingua franca of the era, just as today's science is hard to imagine without English. At present, the crucial role of Latin has been insufficiently acknowledged, and the hundreds of thousands of scientific texts written in Latin have largely remained neglected. This severely limits the scope of research into the history of early modern science, an otherwise thriving field. 
The present project intends to decisively advance our understanding of the interrelation of Latin and science in early modern times. By applying the methods of Latin philology, yet at the same time reaching out to historians of science, it will establish early modern scientific literature in Latin as an interdisciplinary research field. This will be accomplished 
(a) by examining and classifying the formal variety and range of content of this literature to create an overall picture
(b) by analysing its function as a medium of communication within and beyond the scientific community. 
To realise the first of these objectives, a tripartite database for authors, early modern texts, and secondary literature will be compiled and a sourcebook with a selection of digitally searchable texts put together, both of which will be made available online. A monograph will provide a general overview structured according to the literary genres of early modern scientific literature in Latin. The second objective will be achieved through a series of interlinked monographs, whose analyses will build on the system of ancient rhetoric, the most important communicative paradigm of the early modern age. On this basis, four key functions of Latin scientific texts will be assessed: naming new phenomena; describing and explaining them; convincing others of the views expressed; promoting science.

Context and working conditions
Successful applicants will work in a team based in Innsbruck and consisting, besides the principal investigator, of four postdoc (PhD) researchers and one information scientist. Together with the principal investigator, they will work collectively on the database and the digital sourcebook. They will also participate in the organisation of five workshops (one per year). Their main task will however consist in writing an interpretative monograph on one of the four topics mentioned at the end of the project description, which should constitute a second book (or a PhD thesis). Publications should be written primarily in English. Working languages can be English, German, Italian and French.
Gross salaries will be at least € 3636,60 and € 2731.– per month (14 times) for postdocs and PhD students respectively.

Candidates must have excellent Latin and experience in Neo-Latin studies. Expertise in the rhetorical tradition and the history of science is requested. For the monograph on naming, a background in linguistics is desired. A degree in the history of science or in the natural sciences will be an additional asset. Candidates must be fluent in English in word and writing.
Although this job advertisement is primarily directed at postdocs, exceptionally good PhD students may also apply.

Candidates are asked to send their application together with
      a CV
–    a publication list
–    and a writing sample,
but WITHOUT a letter of recommendation
by email to Martin Korenjak ( The application should specify whether the applicant is interested in one specific, several or all of the four posts.