Gepubliceerd op 06-10-2021

Interdisciplinary PhD Studentship on Sustainable Health: Historical Models

The Faculty of Arts and Campus Fryslân (both at the University of Groningen, NL) offer a four year studentship to complete a PhD within a joint interdisciplinary project led by Prof. Rina Knoeff (https://www.rug.nl/staff/h.g.knoeff/) and Prof. Valentina Gallo (https://www.rug.nl/staff/v.gallo/). The proposed PhD research plan will be embedded in the department of History at the Faculty of Arts and Campus Fryslân.

The PhD project is located at the crossroads of medical history and public health and has been formulated in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic painfully shows that epidemics represent both a societal and a medical problem. They act as catalysts of social inequities, political impotence, and ecological crisis. As we increasingly consider how to adapt to the virus, so also it increases the call for new sustainable health models that include into the strategy planetary health, social justice, and the preservation of health. In relation to the UG theme of healthy societies and the strategic plan of the Aletta Jacobs School for Public Health, we aim at involving historical ‘models’ of preventive/lifestyle medicine in designing this ’new better normal’.

We invite proposals for a PhD project on the history of lifestyle medicine and/or preventive health, preferably in the period 1650 – 1900. The proposal must consider environmental and social aspects and be formulated in conversation with recent trends in medical and health humanities.


The PhD student is expected:

• to have a thorough training in research skills in history of medicine, or any other field within the medical/health humanities
• to have a completed MA degree related to one of the areas mentioned above with an excellent academic record (MA thesis grade: min. 8/10)
• to have a special interest in interdisciplinarity and willingness to bridge between history of medicine and contemporary practice of public health
• to be fluent in English (both oral and written)
• to be able and willing to work in an interdisciplinary environment
• to be able to finish the PhD thesis in four years
• to enjoy planning, taking initiative, and academic writing; and
• to have a desire to publish.


Fixed-term contract: 48 months.

The successful candidate will receive a scholarship € 2,249 gross per month. She/he will be required to be resident in Groningen.

General information about the University of Groningen’s PhD scholarship programme can be found here https://www.rug.nl/(…)ditions-application/

The preferred starting date is 1 January 2022


Faculty of Arts
Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative center of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 36,000 students and researchers to develop their own individual talents. Belonging to the best research universities in Europe and joining forces with prestigious partner universities and networks, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.


Rina Knoeff: h.g.knoeff@rug.nl
Valentina Gallo: v.gallo@rug.nl
Het KNHG is de grootste organisatie van professionele historici in Nederland. Het biedt een platform aan de ruim 1100 leden en aan de historische gemeenschap als geheel. Word lid van het KNHG.
Het Huygens Instituut beoogt de Nederlandse geschiedenis en cultuur inclusiever maken. Het ontsluit historische bronnen en literaire teksten en ontwikkelt innovatieve methoden, tools en duurzame digitale infrastructuur.