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Münster: PhD Position (65%)


PhD position, RTG 2220, EvoPAD - Evolutionary Processes in Adaptation and Disease

Project in Philosophy: "Disease, health and enhancement as thick concepts in the context of evolutionary medicine"


Start: As soon as possible. 3-year position (TV-L E13 65 %)

The new DFG-funded Research Training Group "Evolutionary Processes in Adaptation and Disease" (EvoPAD, GRK 2220) unites biological, medical, and philosophical research at the University of Münster, Germany. The core idea is to use the theory of evolution to understand processes leading to adaptation and/or disease. 12 PhD students will work on advancing evolutionary theory, and in turn, apply modern evolutionary approaches to medical questions. EvoPAD doctoral researchers will perform cutting-edge research in an interdisciplinary environment. Our multidisciplinary qualification program is tailored to individual career tracks, and offers opportunities for international cooperation, summer schools, and courses covering evolutionary and population genetics, bioinformatics, experimental design, philosophy of science, and bioethics.
EvoPAD is coordinated within the stimulating city of Münster near Münster's University Palace and offers a family friendly and international atmosphere.

The successful candidate will work on subproject C2, supervised by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael Quante:
Concepts as 'health', 'normality' (or 'normal functions') and 'quality of life' do not only have descriptive content, but do have normative content, too, which is used in ethical arguments to forbid enhancement on the one hand and to accept therapy as ethically acceptable in principle. Since empirical findings both in evolutionary biology and evolutionary medicine will cause shifts of meaning concerning 'normality', 'health', 'organismic integrity' or 'quality of life' the ethical question - to be examined in this project - arises which consequences this will have for our biomedical ethics especially in the context of evolutionary medicine but for biomedical ethics in general, too.


For further information please visit: www.uni-muenster.de/EvoPAD/application/


  • Outstanding Master's or equivalent degree in Philosophy or related fields.
  • Proven qualifications with particular relevance to EvoPAD.
  • Capacity to formulate and solve research problems and effectively interpret research results.
  • Willingness to interact with colleagues in an interdisciplinary setting.
  • Motivation to manage a PhD project and to participate in our multidisciplinary qualification program.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English.


How to apply
The application should include:

  • CV including information about former academic education and degrees, professional experience, publications, fellowships/awards, conference contributions, languages, and further relevant skills and abilities.
  • Cover letter stating the candidate's expectation from EvoPAD and motivation to join the project.
  • Master's thesis abstract.
  • Two letters of recommendation from former supervisors.


Applications from women are particularly encouraged. Disabled candidates with equivalent qualifications will be preferentially considered.

Applications should be sent by e-mail as one PDF file (max. 5 MB) to the EvoPAD Coordinator Dr. Vanessa Kloke (evopad@uni-muenster.de) by 28th February, 2017



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