University of Zurich: PhD positions in subproject "Ethnography of Human Reproduction and Single Case Studies in Threshold Areas"

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PhD Positions in the fields of Social Anthropology, Science of Religion and History of Medicine  in subproject «Ethnography of Human Reproduction and Single Case Studies in Threshold Areas» 60 %

The University Research Priority Program (URPP) "Human Reproduction Reloaded" will explore, as of January 1, 2021 and for maximum 8 years, the rapidly changing medical technology on human reproduction. As part of the strategic orientation of the research conducted at the University of Zurich, this program aims at researching and analyzing the societal impacts and legal implications of human reproduction. This interdisciplinary positioned URPP brings together researchers from six faculties as well as from various disciplines from the humanities, social, medical and natural sciences. A central concern of the URPP is the promotion of young researchers in this field, which is why several PhD positions are available in various fields of the social sciences and humanities.

For more information on the topic and the organization, see a short summary of the URPP available via the following link: URPP

For more information on topics in the subproject «Ethnography of Human Reproduction and Single Case Studies in Threshold Areas», please click here: SP 3

Your responsibilities

  • You write a PhD thesis in the fields of Social Anthropology, Religious Studies or History of Medicine on research questions related to the increasing medicalization of human reproduction.
  • You participate in the URPP's events and actively take advantage of the opportunities for interdisciplinary exchange and interfaculty networking.
  • You are able and willing to apply for a third-party-funding for your PhD thesis after a three-year period.

Your profile

  • You hold an excellent degree in the field of Social Anthropology, Religious Studies or History, or a related discipline.
  • You are interested in researching the field of human reproduction from a perspective of ethnology, history, ethics and/or the study of religions. Your focus will be on the perspectives, activities and interactions of those who develop, implement and use reproductive technologies as well as on the relations among them. Moreover, you may investigate the historical emergence of reproductive medicine in Switzerland. If possible, you are able to show your interest with a corresponding preliminary draft, project outline, or at least by considerations regarding a concrete question in this field.
  • You are able to work in an interdisciplinary and international team; you master both German and English as scientific and working languages; additional language skills, especially in Swiss national languages, are an advantage.
  • You are able to work independently, fast and under pressure.

What we offer

  • Focus on the PhD project and regular feedback from qualified peers and experts from the various fields involved.
  • A stimulating environment with the highest level of expertise from all areas related to the research question as well as excellent opportunities for networking with both experts and the public.
  • Attractive employment conditions (SNF conditions, limited to 3 years), including flexible working hours.

Place of work

University of Zurich, Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies, Department of Religious Studies, or Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine, depending on the subject classification of the project.

Start of employment

From January 1, 2021, to be agreed between supervisors and applicants.

Please submit your application documents by November 08, 2020, exclusively electronically and in a single PDF document, to