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PhD Scholarship 'Resistance to Isaac Newton in the Dutch Republic'

Category:  PhD

1 - Working at the VUB

For already 50 years, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel has stood for freedom, equality and connectedness. These values are strongly present on our campuses, in our students as well as our staff. At the VUB, you’ll find a diverse collection of personalities: pure innovators and especially people who are 100% their authentic selves. With about 3.500 employees, we are the largest Dutch-speaking employer in Brussels, an international city with which we are all too happy to be connected, and around which our four campuses are located.

 

Our education and research are grounded in the principles of free research with an eye on human progress. We disapprove of every purely authoritative argument and guarantee the free formation of judgement that is necessary for this basic principle to be incorporated in the community.

 

The VUB is autonomous and managed democratically. As such, we guarantee fundamental freedoms within our university, as well as the right of the university community to be involved in making and checking university policy.

 

The mission of the university includes:

  • the development, the transfer and the application of high-standing academic education and scientific research, free from any prejudice;
  • community integration of this in a spirit of social compassion;
  • critical development of everyone in light of the responsibilities borne in the community.

2 - Position description

The Faculteit Letteren en Wijsbegeerte, Department History, Archeology, Arts, Philosophy and Ethics, is looking for a PhD-student with a doctoral grant

 

More concretely your work package, for the preparation of a doctorate, contains: 


Within the Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science you will carry out research in the context of the recently awarded EOS-project ‘Responses to Newton’s Mathematical-Experimental Paradigm in 18th-Century Philosophy’ (RENEW18). This EOS project is funded by the Belgian research councils FWO and F.R.S.-FNRS and led by Karin de Boer (KU Leuven), Steffen Ducheyne (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and Arnaud Pelletier (Université libre de Bruxelles). More information on the project can be found at https://hiw.kuleuven.be/cmprpc/renew18. You will work on the subproject ‘Resistance to Isaac Newton in the Dutch Republic’ under the supervision of Prof. dr. Steffen Ducheyne. In addition to conducting independent research, you are expected to participate in the organization of common activities such as team meetings, talks, workshops, and conferences as well as to take up a modest teaching load. The working language is English.

 

More on the subproject: ‘With towering figures such as Herman Boerhaave, Willem Jacob ’s Gravesande and Petrus van Musschenbroek, the Dutch Republic is often considered to have rapidly welcomed Isaac Newton’s natural philosophical works and methods. This view neglects the fact that Newton's natural philosophical work and methods were also heavily criticised in the Dutch Republic. For instance, in 1718 Ruardus Andala attacked Boerhaave's ‘Sermo academicus de comparando certo in physicis’ (1715). Later Nicolaas Hartsoeker and Nicolaus Engelhard also attacked Newton's work. These interesting figures are nowadays mostly forgotten. The primary aim of this project is to gain more understanding of the ideas and arguments of the abovementioned anti-Newtonians (or of that of other Dutch anti-Newtonians).’ 

 

For this function, our Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering Campus (Elsene) will serve as your home base. 

3 - Profile

What do we expect from you?

 

  • You hold a master's degree in Philosophy or another diploma that is relevant for the subproject under consideration (e.g. History, Religious Studies, etc.).

 

  • You have good knowledge of the history of modern philosophy;
  • You hold excellent command of written and spoken English; 
  • You have excellent writing skills;
  • You have outstanding hermeneutical and analytical skills; 
  • Knowledge of Latin or Dutch, or experience with archive work is a plus. 

 

  • You have not performed any works in the execution of a mandate as an assistant, paid from operating resources, over a total (cumulated) period of more than 12 months.

4 - Offer

Are you going to be our new colleague?

 

You’ll be offered a full-time PhD-scholarship, for 12 months (extendable up to max. 48 months, on condition of the positive evaluation of the PhD activities), with planned starting date 01/02/2023, but a later starting date can be considered.

 

You’ll receive a grant linked to one of the scales set by the government.

 

IMPORTANT: The effective result of the doctorate scholarship is subject to the condition precedent of your enrolment as a doctorate student at the university.

 

At the VUB, you’re guaranteed an open, involved and diverse workplace where you are offered opportunities to (further) build on your career.

 

As well as this, you’ll enjoy various benefits:

  • Full reimbursement for your home-work commute with public transport according to VUB-policy, or compensation if you come by bike;
  • Cost-free hospitalisation insurance;
  • The space to form your job content and continuously learn via VUB LRN;
  • Excellent facilities for sport and exercise;
  • Ecocheques;
  • Delicious meals at attractive prices in our campus restaurants;
  • An open, family-friendly work environment where attention is paid to work-life balance, and exceptional holiday arrangements with 35 days of leave (based on a fulltime contract). 

5 - Interested?

Is this the job you’ve been dreaming of?

 

Send us ONLINE and at the latest on 10/12/2022:

  • your CV, including a publication list, if available, and the names and contact details of two referees;
  • your letter of motivation, including a research statement (max. 1 à 2 pages) that:
    • explains how your past research bears on the advertized subproject and the project as a whole;
    • sketches your approach to the topic of the subproject; 
  • a writing sample (15 à 25 pages); 
  • the highest degree you’ve attained, including your academic transcript.

 

Do you have questions about the job content? Contact Prof. dr. Steffen Ducheyne at steffen.ducheyne@vub.be or on +3226292784.

 

Would you like to know what it’s like to work at the VUB? Go to www.vub.ac.be/vacatures and find all there is to know about our campuses, benefits, strategic goals and your future colleagues.

DO YOU HAVE ANY FURTHER QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS VACANCY?

You can contact the person mentioned in the job description.