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Joint PhD degree between Aarhus University and University of Oslo (ANTHUSIA): social anthropology (5+3), 2023-8

1 PhD fellowship in social anthropology - Joint PhD degree between Aarhus University and University of Oslo

Aarhus University in collaboration with the University of Oslo, invites applications for 1 joint fully-funded 3-year PhD fellowship (5+3), related to the Anthropology of Human Security in Africa, provided the necessary funding is available. The candidate who is awarded the PhD fellowship must commence his/her PhD degree programme on 1 February 2024. 

Aarhus University and University of Oslo are founding participants of the collaborative project ANTHUSIA: Anthropology of Human Security in Africa. ANTHUSIA originated as a multi-disciplinary research and training project conducted by a consortium of four universities in Aarhus (Denmark), Edinburgh (United Kingdom), Leuven (Belgium) and Oslo (Norway). The consortium draws together academics, practitioners and activists with expertise in understanding and enhancing human security, defined broadly, in Africa. Between 2018 and 2022, The innovative training programme enabled candidates to combine anthropological field research in order to enhance our understanding of human security in Africa, and beyond. Anthropological and critical human security approaches can be applied to a range of phenomena, such as emerging health and environmental issues, the expansion of young populations and marginalisation of elderly, processes of urbanisation and unequally distributed growth, recurring conflicts and population displacement.

Over five years, the research network has built an academically stimulating and interdisciplinary working environment that allows the PhD fellows to obtain specialist knowledge on a specific research topic as well as transferable skills that can be employed in non-academic institutions, as well as to build scholarly networks across Europe, Africa and beyond. The available new PhD positions offer salary, as well as funding for fieldwork, conference participation and dissemination, books and equipment.

The universities are equal opportunity employers and strive for diversity among PhD students. We encourage candidates from all continents to apply.  

Available position
As part of ANTHUSIA, Aarhus University invites applications for 1 joint PhD fellowship, hosted by Aarhus University as primary university, and the University of Oslo as secondary university, where the student will spend one semester during his/her PhD degree programme.

The PhD student will be supervised by Professor Lotte Meinert with a co-supervisor at the University of Oslo. The position will be twinned with an equivalent PhD fellowship with the University of Oslo as primary university and Aarhus University as secondary university.

The two PhD students will collaborate and each spend one of six semesters at their respective secondary university.

Project proposals
We invite applicants to develop PhD projects on the anthropology of human security in Africa in a broad sense (https://anthusia.eu/). In particular, we encourage projects that innovatively connect health challenges (e.g., epidemics of non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes, malnutrition, mental health and child development issues; emerging viral diseases in humans and animals; or re-emerging infectious diseases like malaria and sleeping sickness), and changing natural environments (shaped by e.g. toxic pollution of air, water, soil or food; urbanization, industry, mining and farming; or changing vegetation and biodiversity, rainfall, and temperatures). Examples for such human-made environment-disease constellations could be: insecticides in agriculture or disease control; extractive industries and  air pollution, antibiotic resistance or the spread of disease vectors. 
Applicants are free to propose the particular issue, environmental-epidemiological and political-economic situation, as well as the proposed study site in Sub-saharan Africa, bearing in mind feasibility, and the applicant’s prior experience. 

Project proposals will be evaluated regarding their innovative potential, real-world relevance and, not least, potential to contribute substantially to on-going debates and theoretical developments in the discipline of anthropology.

 In line with Anthusia’s emphasis on innovative modes of dissemination, and Aarhus University’s expertise in visual anthropology as well as experimental ethnographic forms, applicants are encouraged to reflect on forms of academic communication beyond academic articles and books, as well as public engagement, policy input and activist collaboration in the societies where the research is conducted.

Write a maximum of 5 A4 pages of 2,400 characters per page (total 12,000 characters) and use the following structure in your proposal:

  • Introduction/background
  • Research questions and study objectives
  • Theory
  • Methodology (incl. ethics)
  • Work schedule

Please include a separate reference list with up-to-date literature on the chosen topic (max 2 A4 pages). The project description must also include a timetable (mandatory form) that shows all the elements of the study programme.

If you have questions concerning your thematic choice and other aspects of the research proposal, please contact the prospective supervisors, Professor Lotte Meinert at Aarhus University (+45 87162118/+45 24262202 or lotte.meinert@cas.au.dk) and Wenzel Geissler at the University of Oslo (+47 22857579 or p.w.geissler@sai.uio.no).

Eligible candidates must have an internationally recognised Master’s or an equivalent degree in anthropology or related disciplines, which would formally entitle them to embark on a doctorate in anthropology. They must have received their Master’s degree or equivalent (120 ECTS) no later than 31 January 2024.

All applicants must have achieved a high grade point average and must have fluent oral and written communication skills in English and submit their dissertation in English. The English language must be comparable to a minimum of TOEFL 83 or IELTS 6.5. Please see this page for further information: http://phd.arts.au.dk/applicants/english-test/

Applicants can be of any nationality.

We encourage applicants who have African language skills and relevant experience outside the academy.

The PhD candidates are required to spend time at each university, have a supervisor at each institution and will receive a single joint degree or a double degree signed by both universities.

The PhD student will receive a single joint degree or a double degree and his/her research project will be subject to an evaluation according to the standards of both Aarhus University and the University of Oslo. The format of the evaluation will be a public defence.

The details regarding time spent at each university, supervision, evaluation as well as other legal matters will be specified in a contract prior to the start of the PhD project.

Enrolment and employment at Aarhus University
The PhD student must complete the studies in accordance with the valid regulations for the PhD degree programme, currently the Ministerial Order of 27 August 2013 on the PhD degree programme at the universities: http://phd.arts.au.dk/applicants/thephddegreeprogramme/

Description of the graduate school’s PhD degree programme (5+3): http://phd.arts.au.dk/applicants/phdstudystructure/

Rules and regulations for the PhD degree programme at the Graduate School at Arts: http://phd.arts.au.dk/applicants/thephddegreeprogramme/ 

School of Culture and Society’s research programme: http://cas.au.dk/en/research/research-programmes/

The PhD fellow will be employed as a PhD student at the School of Culture and Society, Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University and affiliated with the PhD programme Anthropology, Global Studies and the Study of Religion. In general, the student is expected to be present at the school on an everyday basis when he/she is in Denmark.

The PhD fellow will be employed as a PhD student at the Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University. The terms of employment are in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (see section 6.1.4), as well as with the protocol to the agreement covering staff with university degrees in the state sector (see enclosure 5). The agreement and the protocol including amendments are available online: http://phd.arts.au.dk/applicants/thephddegreeprogramme/

Salary: http://phd.arts.au.dk/financing/salary-and-employment/salary-5-3/

How to apply
The application must include:

  • Motivation/cover letter (statement of motivation and research interests, max one A4 page of 2,400 characters including spaces)
  • CV (including a complete list of education, positions, publications and other qualifying activities)
  • Project description outlining how the candidate envisages completing the work to be undertaken during the course of the term of appointment.
    The overall project description (excl. list of project literature/bibliography/reference list and timetable) must not exceed 12,000 characters including spaces, tables, diagrams, footnotes and illustrations (5 A4 pages of 2,400 characters each)
  • Project literature/reference list
  • Timetable (mandatory form)
  • Cover sheet (form stating your degrees)
  • Copies of educational certificates (Bachelor and Master’s degrees). The diplomas or diploma supplement/transcript of records must state: name of university, education (Bachelor or Master), duration (number of years, full-time), courses, marks and (if given) ECTS credits.

Please see a detailed description of the requirements for the application in the guideline for the application facility and the FAQ: http://phd.arts.au.dk/applicants/how-to-apply/

The application must be submitted in English.

Applications for the PhD fellowship and enrolment in the PhD degree programme can only be submitted via the application form in Aarhus University’s web-based facility.

Guidelines for the application facility: http://phd.arts.au.dk/applicants/how-to-apply/

Deadline for applications: 1 October 2023 at 23.59 Danish time (CET/CETS).

During the assessments, Aarhus University can conduct interviews with selected applicants.