CfA: Postdoc Position in Philosophy of Life Sciences/ Environmental Health Sciences, Bielefeld University

At Bielefeld University the Faculty of Health Sciences and the Faculty of History, Philosophy und Theology (Department of Philosophy) have the following job opening:

Postdoc Research Position
in the Philosophy of the Life Sciences/Environmental Health Sciences
- ID: Wiss21909
- Start: as soon as possible
- fulltime
- salary according to Remuneration level 13 TV-L
- temporary (3 years)

application deadline: 18.10.2021

The successful candidate will contribute to one of the central projects within a large joint research initiative that examines “Individualisation in Changing Environments (InChangE)” in the interdisciplinary discourse of the life sciences, humanities, and social sciences. The recently founded “Joint Institute for Individualisation in a Changing Environment (JICE)”, which is based at the universities of Bielefeld and Münster, will be the host and main hub of the research. InChangE consists of three individual research fields and one cross-sectional research field that links the three research fields and the disciplines involved. In addition to biology, the health sciences, philosophy, psychology, medicine/ psychiatry, economics and sociology are part of InChangE.

The PostDoc project advertised here is located in the cross-sectional research field titled "concept formation and synthesis". The aim is to develop a common vocabulary for InChangE. To achieve this aim, not only must central terms be clarified and sharpened. The mostly isolated ways of scientific thinking and structuring scientific work within the individual disciplines are to be analysed comparatively and brought together in innovative approaches. One central task of the PostDoc project is the cross-disciplinary analysis of two central concepts of InChangE, namely ‘environment’ (=UmWelt) and ‘individualisation/individuality’. Each discipline focuses on a different UmWelt (e.g., the territory, the habitat, the fabricated-material environment, or the ecosystem of human or animal individuals). It also depends on the discipline whether animals or humans show individualised behaviour and personality traits or whether also environments and niches can be individualised. In addition to this conceptual analysis, the epistemic and social practices of all the disciplines involved must be examined in order to go beyond a merely consensual understanding of the terms and develop an "inclusive understanding of science" (=inklusives Wissenschaftsverständnis”) that is thoroughly based on the analysed concepts.

The position is advertised subject to funding commitment.

Your Tasks
- conduct independent research in the above described project in the context of the InChangE initiative (80 %)
- actively participate in regular meetings and events of the InChangE group and the working groups from health sciences and philosophy of science (10 %)
- contribute to organizing workshops and other events (5 %)
- organisational tasks that are part of the self-administration of the university (5 %)

We offer
- salary according to Remuneration level 13 TV-L
- temporary to 3 years (§ 2 (1) sentence 1 of the WissZeitVG; in accordance with the provisions of the WissZeitVG and the Agreement on Satisfactory Conditions of Employment, the length of contract may differ in individual cases)
- fulltime
- internal and external training opportunities
- wide range of health, consulting and prevention service
- reconcilability of family and working life
- constant place of work (Bielefeld) without travel activities
- flexible working hours
- job ticket for regional public transport network
- supplementary company pension
- collegial working environment
- open and pleasant working atmosphere
- exciting, varied tasks

Your Profile
We expect
- university degree in a discipline relevant to the project (e.g., philosophy, philosophy of science, health sciences, environmental sciences, biology)
- PhD in philosophy of science, health sciences, or in an area relevant to the project, ideally related to environmental topics
- independent and innovative research and interest profile in a field relevant to the project
- proven experience and strong interest in interdisciplinary collaborations
- knowledge of at least one of the following methods: expert interviews, philosophy of science in practice, literature analysis, discourse analysis, epistemological analysis
- relevant publications
- experience and strong interest in conceptual analysis, science studies and environmental topics
- strong interest to cooperate (internationally)
- excellent proficiency in written and spoken English
- independent, autonomous, and dedicated way of working
- excellent coordination, communication, and organisation skills
- ability to work as a member of a team

Preferred experience and skills
- interest to qualify for a professorship (=Habilitationsinteresse)
- international orientation of research activities
- experience in the organization of scientific events
- academic experience abroad

Link to job announcement:


Prof. Dr. Marie I. Kaiser (Philosophie) / Prof. Dr. Annette Malsch (Gesundheitswissenschaften)