Two Postdocs in Philosophy and/or History of Biology

The FNRS MIS project Digital History and Philosophy of Biology (DHPB), led by Prof. Charles Pence at the Centre de philosophie des sciences et sociétés (CEFISES) and Institut supérieur de philosophie (ISP) at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain) is advertising two two-year post-doctoral fellowships in history and/or philosophy of biology.

Application deadline: March 1, 2019
Starting date: May 1, 2019
Ending date: April 31, 2021 (with the possibility of an extension to a third year)

The DHPB project aims to expand the use of the tools of digital humanities – particularly textual analysis – to study the history and philosophy of the life sciences. We have developed an application (see doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0146004) and a corpus of journal article data (see doi:10.1016/j.shpsc.2016.04.003) enabling us to study at a broad scale the journal literature in evolutionary biology and related fields, offering a novel perspective on the growth and development of biological science (dating back to as early as 1860).

We will gladly review postdoctoral fellowship applications from candidates trained in either philosophy or history of science, as well as digital humanities or the sciences (if such candidates have expertise in philosophical or historical work). The project has a broad interdisciplinary focus, and the PI is trained in both the history and the philosophy of science. The ideal candidate will have similar interdisciplinary training and research credentials.

The project provides funding for each postdoc to hold one workshop inviting a senior researcher to campus for one week, and for the group as a whole to host a final conference in early 2021 (with the intent of publishing an edited volume containing its proceedings), as well as equipment and travel.

This postdoctoral research fellowship is funded by the Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique – FNRS under grant no. F.4526.19.

Additional Information


  • Two year fellowship, possibly extensible to a third year (depending on an application to the ERC which will be made during the funded period)
  • An exciting, international research environment with three faculty members, two emeritus faculty, and a variety of postdocs and graduate students in UCLouvain’s CEFISES
  • Highly competitive salary: net salary between €28,974 and €31,013 depending upon seniority
  • Access to travel and conference funding
  • No teaching obligations (though teaching possibilities may be available if desired)

Eligibility Criteria

  • PhD in philosophy of science, history of science, or related fields (will also consider candidates with doctoral degrees in digital humanities or the sciences, if expertise in philosophy or history can be demonstrated).
  • PhD earned no earlier than May 1, 2014, following the defense of a thesis. This date may be delayed by one year if the candidate has had or adopted a child. (Requirement of granting agency.)
  • Candidates must not have resided or exercised their principal activity (work, study, etc.) in Belgium for more than 24 months within the last 3 years. (Requirement of granting agency.)
  • Interest in working with digital tools is required; some demonstrated expertise or use of such tools (prior work in DH, visualization or programming experience, etc.) is a benefit.
  • A proposed research project in the history or philosophy of science that would be either impossible without, or substantially aided by, the application of digital humanities techniques.
  • Strong enthusiasm for interdisciplinary, collaborative work.
  • Written and oral proficiency in English is required. UCLouvain is a French-speaking university, but the working language of the lab is English. French proficiency would thus be useful for daily life, but is not mandatory.

Selection Process

Candidates are asked to prepare the following materials:

  • Description of a research project (between 5 and 10 pages), with particular emphasis on the applicability of digital research methods to the research goals
    • Projects which make an integral, ineliminable use of text analysis and related tools currently in use in the lab will receive top priority, though proposals which expand the lab’s focus or toolset will also be considered
  • Curriculum vita
  • Sample of written work
  • Two letters of reference
  • Graduate transcript, if available

The candidate is asked to submit all relevant materials using AcademicJobsOnline:, prior to March 1, 2019. (AJO is free for applicants, and also includes support for the submission of your confidential letters of recommendation.) All candidates will be notified of final decisions no later than March 15, 2019.

Additional Comments

For more information on life as a postdoc in the lab, please visit the lab’s web page: A full list of lab publications is also available there.

The position is also listed on Euraxess:

For more information about the project, please do not hesitate to e-mail the PI: