Job offer- PhD student/ Research Assistant-ERC grant

 Part-time (65%) / E 13 TV-L, contract 36 months

Starting date: 1 September 2021. 

Deadline for applications: 30 June 2021. 

Interviews: 15-16 July 2021.


We are looking for a highly motivated PhD student who will be willing to explore the historical role of the IAEA in standardizing and regulating the use of nuclear energy in the Global South. The successful candidate is also expected to pay attention to the legal framework of radiation protection that the IAEA shaped and introduced in developing countries throughout the post WWII period. We are especially interested in those who could explore IAEA’s role in the development of nuclear law. Regions of interest are Africa and Latin America.


This PhD Student/Research Assistant position is part of the research project “Living with Radiation: The Role of the International Atomic Energy Agency in the History of Radiation Protection” led by Professor Dr. Maria Rentetzi, Chair of Science, Technology, and Gender Studies at FAU Erlangen-Nurnberg and funded by a European Research Council Consolidator grant. Living with Radiation explores the role of international organizations and especially of the International Atomic Energy Agency in regulating and standardizing radiation protection on a global scale. We focus especially on IAEA’s technical assistance programs as a key post world war strategy for promoting the atom and supporting applications of civilian atomic energy worldwide; providing standards for use and safety, especially to developing countries in the Global South; creating a ‘world nuclear law’ that could support the development of nuclear industry. The research is highly interdisciplinary and combines methods from history of science, international history, new diplomatic history, science and technology studies and, hopefully, history of international law. We use oral history to document the role of nuclear scientists, diplomats and other relevant actors in radiation protection. Our interviews will be deposited in the Library of the Max Planck Institute for History of Science in Berlin and will be openly accessible to researchers. Our aim is to produce an on-line open-access database with key radiation safety standards and recommendations published by the IAEA since its inception as well as a virtual and travelling exhibition on the history of radiation protection. 


The PhD student will be employed as research assistant by the FAU and will be based at the Chair of Science, Technology, and Gender Studies in Erlangen, Germany. He/she will be part of a research team of five (the PI, a project manager, two PhD students and a postdoctoral researcher). The successful applicant is expected to complete a doctoral dissertation in English based on his/her research project and contribute to publicationsperform archival research related to this topic and process archival dataconduct interviews with key actors for his/her projectcontribute to administrative issues related to his/her own research (reporting, etc.)contribute to the dissemination activities of the project by posting to social media, the project’s website etc.contribute to the cross-cutting research agenda of the project as a whole and to the HRP-IAEA’s exhibition(s) on the history of radiation protectionparticipate in international conferences and the project’s events.



Applicants are expected to hold an MA degree in one of the following subject areas: history of science, technology and medicine; international law; science and technology studies; international history; political sciences, or other associated fields. They should indicate a strong interest in the project. Prior experience of working in a team and of conducting archival research and interviews is essential. Computer skills are desirable as well as excellent command of written and spoken English.


How to apply: 

Your application should include in a single pdf file carrying your last name the following: 


·      a brief cover letter explaining your research interests and your motivation to apply

·      a full curriculum vitae, 

·      a research proposal (1500 words) that directly addresses this call. 

·      a writing sample, 

·      and two reference letters 


Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed in mid-July 2021. 


To ensure equal opportunities between women and men, applications by women with the required qualifications are explicitly desired. Qualified individuals with disabilities will be favored. The FAU Erlangen-Nurnberg values the diversity of its members and is committed to the goals of equal opportunities. 


Specific questions regarding the project may be addressed to Prof. Dr. Maria Rentetzi.