Three PhD positions in Economic and Social History (Ghent University)

RHN 9/2015 | Opportunity

The History Department (Research Group Economy-Ecology-Demography) at Ghent University (Belgium) announces four vacancies for researchers within the GOA project funded by Ghent University on “Economic growth and inequality. Explaining divergent regional growth paths in pre-industrial Europe (Late Middle Ages-19th century)”. We are looking for three PhD students and one Postdoctoral researcher.

Please submit applications before 1 April 2015

Job description

Three PhD students will work within the GOA project funded by Ghent University “Economic growth and inequality. Explaining divergent regional growth paths in pre- industrial Europe (Late Middle Ages-19th century)” which aims to explain regionally divergent paths of economic development in Europe. The project will search for the roots of modern economic growth using a long-term, regionally differentiated and comparative analysis of the divergent trajectories of economic growth. Regional dynamics as well as social relations, rather than national frameworks, are central to the project. A comparative analysis will be developed, using selected European regions as test areas. Each PhD student will focus on one area. The PhD projects will start October 1st 2015.

The PhD students will be based at the History Department of Ghent University (Belgium), and will be part of a research team, coordinated by prof. Erik Thoen, prof. Eric Vanhaute, prof. Koen Schoors, prof. Thijs Lambrecht and prof. Isabelle Devos (project-leaders and PhD supervisors). The PhD students will also be guided by external advisors and co-supervisors prof. Jane Whittle (University of Exeter, UK), prof. Paolo Malanima (Magna Graecia University, Catanzaro, IT) and prof. Markus Cerman (Universität Wien, AT).

  • One PhD student will study rural economic development in Southern England between c.1300-1800. The specific area will be chosen together with the successful candidate and the external supervisor.
  • A second PhD student will study rural economic development in Tuscany (Italy) between c.1300-1800. The specific area will be chosen together with the successful candidate and the external supervisor.
  • A third PhD student will study rural economic development in Central or East-Central Europe between c.1300-1800. The specific area will be chosen together with the successful candidate and the external supervisor.

Profile of the candidates

  • The candidate should have a masters degree in history or another social science with a clear interest in economic and social history. Successful candidates should have excellent qualifications at undergraduate and masters level. Candidates with excellent results who will obtain a masters degree before October 1st 2015 may also apply.
  • The candidate should have good skills in reading manuscript documents from the Late Middle Ages to the 19th century.
  • The candidate must be prepared to work in Ghent (Belgium) and as well as in the area under study.
  • The candidate should have a high level of proficiency in English sufficient to communicate effectively with colleagues. Candidates should also have language capabilities in one or more languages spoken in the area under study to enable them to undertake the necessary archival research.
  • The candidate should have the ability to write for and talk to an academic audience and to work well within international teams and networks.

Offer

We offer a full-time PhD position (1,0 fte) beginning October 1st 2015, consisting of an initial period of 12 months which, after a satisfactory first year, will be extended with another 36 months (4 years in total). The net monthly salary will be a minimum of € 1800 based on a full working week (38 hours) and depending on relevant work experience.

The PhD students will have the opportunity to work within a stimulating research environment which is internationally oriented as a result of the links of the project leaders with different international networks such as the CORN network (Comparative Rural History of the North Sea Area) (see: http://www.corn.ugent.be/).

To apply

Please submit applications before April 1st 2015 and send the following documents:

  • cv;
  • cover letter outlining your academic interests, research experience and reasons for wishing to work on this project;
  • one or two references from referees familiar with your academic work;
  • documents that can prove excellent qualifications at undergraduate and masters level; for students who will obtain a masters degree before October 1st 2015: a transcript of your undergraduate degree, or at least your average marks.

Please submit applications before April 1st 2015 via email (obligatory) with subject ‘PhD Application GOA project’ to erik.thoen@UGent.be. A paper copy of the application should also be sent to: Professor Erik Thoen, Ghent University, History Department Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 35 B-9000 Gent, Belgium

Further information can also be obtained via prof. Erik Thoen (email: see above; telephone numbers: +32(0)474891057 (prof. Erik Thoen), +32 (0)9 33 10288 (Mrs. Astrid Schoeters) or +32 (0) 9 331 02 18 (Mr. Bart Cosyns)).