Gepubliceerd op 22-09-2015

Vacature – PhD candidate ‘Ancient Philosophy and Medicine’, Utrecht University

Galen of Pergamum (129–c.213 CE) may count as the father of western medicine, whose influence dominated medical history until well into the 19th century. But he saw himself as a philosopher no less than a doctor, and in his voluminous writings we find medical and philosophical perspectives combined. The NWO-funded research project ‘Human Nature: Medical and Philosophical Perspectives in the Work of Galen of Pergamum’ explores Galen’s view of human nature from a variety of perspectives: philosophical, physiological, anatomical, psychological, moral and religious. Apart from studying Galen’s position and its intellectual background, the project is designed to contribute to present-day debates on well-being and illness, concepts of humanity in bio-ethics, the societal role of medicine and the doctor as well as multidisciplinarity and discipline-formation.

As a PhD student you will carry out the subproject ‘Galen and the Aristotelians,’ which is aimed at clarifying Galen’s relation to the Aristotelian tradition with particular reference to the human soul. This entails an in-depth historical study of a few specially relevant (parts of) treatises as well as a selection of passages from other works by Galen. You will work under the supervision of the project leader prof. dr. Teun Tieleman and complete a dissertation within four years.

In addition, you will play your part as member of the core research team, which apart from prof. Tieleman will consist of two post-doctoral researchers. As such, you will participate in workshops and other activities related to the project.
You will take part in the PhD curriculum organized under the auspices of OIKOS, the Dutch national research school in classical studies. This curriculum is designed to support PhD students in developing their skills, competence and self-awareness as researchers.
You will be based at the Utrecht Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, section History of Philosophy, which provides a relevant, stimulating and internationally oriented research environment.


  • You have completed a Master in Classics or (Ancient) Philosophy or a comparable degree;
  • You have sufficient command of ancient Greek to work on the relevant sources;
  • You have the ability to work both independently and as part of a team;
  • You have experience in combining historical and philological work with conceptual analysis;
  • You have a pro-active attitude and excellent communication and collaborative skills;
  • Interest in interdisciplinary work and societal challenges is considered an advantage.

You will be offered a full-time PhD position (1,0 fte), initially for a period of 18 months. Upon good performance, the contract will be extended for another 30 months (4 years in total). The gross monthly salary starts at € 2,125 in the first year, ending at € 2,717 in the fourth year (1,0 fte).

Utrecht University offers a pension scheme, a holiday allowance of 8% per year, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% and flexible employment conditions. Conditions are based on the Collective Employment Agreement of the Dutch Universities. More information: terms of employment.

Utrecht University strives for excellence in teaching and study performance. This also holds for the clearly defined research profiles with respect to four core themes: Dynamics of Youth, Institutions, Life Sciences and Sustainability. Utrecht University has a strong commitment to community outreach and contributes to answering the social questions of today and tomorrow.

The Faculty of Humanities has around seven thousand students and nine hundred staff members. It comprises four knowledge domains: Philosophy and Religious Studies, History and Art History, Media and Culture Studies, and Languages, Literature and Communication. With its research and education in these fields, the Faculty aims to contribute to a better understanding of the Netherlands and Europe in a rapidly changing social and cultural context. The enthusiastic and committed colleagues and the excellent amenities in the historical city centre of Utrecht, where the Faculty is housed, contribute to an inspiring working environment.

For further information about the vacancy, please contact prof. dr. Teun Tieleman, project leader..
More information about the project: Human Nature: Medical and Philosophical perspectives in the work of Galen of Pergamum

You can apply for this job until 15 Oktober 2015.

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.