Open Positions

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  • 3-year PhD position (100%) on the gendered history of science in Central Asia

    At the Department of Geosciences, Geography Unit, University of Fribourg, Switzerland

    This PhD position is part of a Swiss National Science Foundation grant titled “Myths of equality: the gendered history of science in Central Asia, 1870s-1970s”. The PhD candidate will explore the social history of women in the male dominated field work environments in Central Asia. Since the second half of the 19th century, but especially during the 20th century women from within the Russian Empire have been participating as scientists or observers in expeditions to the mountainous regions of Central Asia such as the Pamir mountains or the Tian-Shan. Through archival work in Tashkent, oral-history interviews, and the analysis of visual media the PhD student will study the dynamics of gender, exploration, and science in Central Asia. The project is a collaboration with historians and geographers from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and the United States and the PhD candidate will be able work closely with two other PhD candidates based in Tashkent.

    Job description

    • Archival and library fieldwork in Tashkent (Uzbekistan) and Dushanbe (Tajikistan)
    • Publication of one or more scientific articles in international peer-reviewed journals
    • Writing up of PhD thesis (monograph or publication-based)
    • Co-organisation of conference panels and the project conference
    • Support of the project leader in grant administration

    Required qualifications

    • A Master’s degree with specialization in 19th/20th century history of the Russian Empire or the Soviet Union, history of science, gender studies or other relevant fields.
    • Excellent writing skills in English
    • Good communication and writing skills in Russian, English, Uzbek an asset
    • Proficient organisational and communication skills
    • Interest and ability to work in a collaborative and interdisciplinary manner

    What we offer

    • A fully funded PhD position for three years
    • The opportunity to gain expertise in the fields of history of science, environmental history, archival work, and oral-history experience in Central Asia with the support of local collaborators
    • Supervision by leading experts in these fields
    • Working in a dynamic, interdisciplinary and international team at the University of Fribourg and with extended collaborators from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and the United States

    Except during the period of fieldwork, that will mainly take place in Tashkent, the candidate will work at the University of Fribourg. PhD supervision will be led by Dr. Katja Doose and Prof. Christine Bichsel. The salary corresponds to the official rates of the SNSF (approx. EUR 48.000 / annum). Additional funding for fieldwork and conference participation will be available.

    Starting date: 1 September 2024

    Please submit the following documents as a single PDF file to Katja Doose by mail 

    • Cover letter
    • Curriculum vitae
    • A short outline of a possible research project (ca. 300 words)
    • Publication list and one sample writing (e.g. Master thesis, scientific article)
    • Names and contact information of two referees

    Deadline for application: 15 June 2024

    Interviews: early July 2024

    All inquiries should be directed to Katja Doose by mail .

    For additional information about the Department of Geosciences at the University of Fribourg please visit ourwebsite