Fully-funded PhD: Better Understanding the Metaphysics of Pregnancy

25 July 2019

Department of Philosophy, University of Southampton.

Deadline for applications: Tuesday 13th Aug 2019 

We invite  applications for one fully-funded*, three-year PhD position in Philosophy, in the context of Elselijn Kingma’s ERC Project “Better Understanding the Metaphysics of Pregnancy” (BUMP). The primary research areas of the project are metaphysics, philosophy of the life sciences, and certain areas of ethics, but students are welcome to propose any project, in any area, that falls within the remit of the project, broadly construed. The successful candidate will join a lively and collegiate research group, presently comprising two PhD students and four Postdocs, in addition to Dr Kingma.
The PhD will be registered at Southampton under the primary supervision of Elselijn Kingma; a second supervisor will be chosen from the Southampton philosophy staff. Southampton is an active and large research department with a flourishing postgraduate community and particular expertise in the philosophy of pregnancy, birth and early motherhood. The ‘BUMP’ research group, of which the PhD-candidate will be a member, provides a happy, productive and welcoming research environment.  The group meets every week during term for a reading group and work in progress session.
The PhD is tenable for a maximum of three years. It is envisaged that the student will commence 1st October 2019, at an annual maintenance stipend of £15,009.  Fees, at the UK/EU rate, will also be covered. The candidate will also have access to generous additional funding for conference travel and other research activities – e.g. workshop organization – on an as needed basis and within the remit of the project, subject to approval by Dr Kingma.

The PhD candidate will be expected to

*   carry out their own independent PhD-sized research project within the remit of the grant and under the supervision of Kingma. (See below for examples and a project description.)
*   publish at least two academic papers.
*   be a proactive and collegial member of the BUMP research group and actively participate in all its activities;
*   undertake some minor administrative tasks – e.g. helping out at workshops.

For further details or questions, please contact: Elselijn Kingma

Eligibility: this scholarship is open to UK and EU nationals. Overseas candidates may also apply, but will have to find other funds to pay the differential between home and overseas fees, and provide evidence of their ability to do so.

Entry requirements: The minimum of a good 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) and a Masters in a relevant discipline.

Application: Please email Tracey Storey  by Tuesday 13th Aug 2019 with:

*   a max. 1000 word research proposal outlining your proposed research project and demonstrating its fit with the overall BUMP project.
*   a max 400 word personal statement indicating why and how you plan to contribute to the overall research project/group.
*   a writing sample (no more than 10.000 words).
*   a CV, including publications (if any).
*   the details of two academic references. Please also arrange that your referees send their confidential references directly, by email, from their professional address, to the address above by the deadline.

Shortlisted applicants may be invited for a SKYPE interview, provisionally scheduled for Friday 23rd of August.

Project Description: A project description and short and long versions of the project proposal are available on the BUMP project page. The long version of the proposal includes two examples of PhD projects (p10). Candidates may use these as the basis for their research proposal, but should not feel constrained by them. Any proposal within the remit of the project, broadly construed, will receive full and equal consideration.
*subject to ERC and Faculty final approval

Job: Research Associate in negligence, Cambridge

31 May 2019

An excellent opportunity has arisen to work at the Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge, on a two year collaborative research project involving the Faculty’s Centre for Law, Medicine and Life Science and THIS Institute.


Specifically, applications are invited for a Research Associate or Senior Research Associate to conduct research on the law of negligence and communicating differential diagnosis to patients.

The project will investigate and critically evaluate the scope of a physician’s legal duties to record and communicate the uncertainty that is inherent in the process of developing a patient’s ‘differential diagnosis’. The aim of the project is not only to clarify how the law shapes the development and communication of differential diagnoses, but also assess whether and how the law in this area should be reformed.

The position requires a degree in law, with expertise in tort law. In addition, it requires a doctoral degree or equivalent work experience.

The funds for this post are available for two years from the start date.

Job: Research Officer (fixed term) Nuffield Council on Bioethics

20 May 2019

Closing date for applications: Tuesday 28 May 2019

Interview date: Wednesday 5 June

Salary: In the range of £32K to £35K depending on experience

Full-time position working 35 hours per week based at our office in Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3JS, although there may be some flexibility available.


This is an excellent opportunity for someone interested in the high-profile area of bioethics.

The Research Officer (RO) will be part of the active response team, currently led by Catherine Joynson, which aims to respond to developments and debates in bioethics through a number of activities. The RO will work primarily with Catherine to research and draft policy briefing notes, and manage the production, dissemination and follow-up of these publications. The briefing notes are aimed at policy makers and are clear, concise summaries of the science and ethical issues raised. The RO will also research and organise workshops and meetings on bioethics issues, and produce notes of the discussions. Research for these activities will involve both desk research and discussions with experts and stakeholders. In addition, the RO will contribute to the general activities of the research teams, which include managing information resources, drafting fortnightly news bulletins, and writing blog posts. Help with in-depth projects might also be required from time to time.

This is a varied and interesting role that will enable the RO to gain experience in a range of areas. The RO will have the opportunity to attend external meetings and conferences, and will work closely with the academics, clinicians and other experts who sit on the Council’s committees.

The candidate will require a relevant degree (for example in biological sciences, medicine, philosophy, law or social science) and knowledge of bioethical issues. Good communication skills and experience of research, drafting and event organisation is essential.

How to apply

Apply via this link.

If having read the briefing pack you have any questions about the position, please contact Carol Perkins on 020 7681 9619 or via email on cperkins[at]nuffieldbioethics.org.

Seminar: Ancient Myths of Metamorphosis, Body, Self

3 May 2019
Thursday 30 May, 2019, 6.00 p.m.
Maudsley Philosophy Group Seminar.
Boardroom at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, 16 de Crespigny Park, London, SE5 8AF.
Professor Esther Eidenow, Professor of Ancient History at the University of Bristol.
This paper will explore how stories about metamorphosis in Greek myth can give some insight into culturally specific notions of the body and ideas about the ‘self’. Focusing on stories about petrification, it will examine how this imagery was used to convey character, and to describe the emotional, physical—and spiritual—state of individuals and their relationships.


My broad area of expertise is ancient Greek society and culture, with specific focus on ancient Greek religion and magic. I have published monographs on oracles, curse tablets and binding spells, concepts of fate, luck and fortune, and the social emotions surrounding ‘witchcraft’ trials in classical Athens. I am the editor with Thomas Harrison (St Andrews) of a new series on Ancient Religions and Cognition for Cambridge University Press, and co-founder and co-Editor in Chief (with Luther Martin, Vermont) of the Journal of Cognitive Historiography.

I take an interdisciplinary approach to research, employing cognitive and anthropological theories to investigate ancient evidence, with particular interest in questions about social emotions, the concept of the individual and ideas of the self, network theory, and the socio-cultural power of narrative. I am currently working on projects exploring narratives and environmental risk; myth and landscape; the idea of ‘belief’; and concepts of change in the ancient world.

Much of my work is informed by a broader curiosity about how different cultures respond to not knowing about the future (raising questions about responses to uncertainty, risk, and decision making). This has been shaped by my career before academia, when I worked as an editor and writer, specializing in scenarios and strategy for business, governments and international organisations, such as UNAIDS. I still work with some of my business and strategy colleagues on related questions—e.g. what makes a narrative about the future seem plausible.”

All are welcome and the event is free. However pease register in advance by emailing Felix Warnock at felix.warnock[at]kcl.ac.uk


Job: Lecturer in Bio Law at Brunel

13 March 2019

College of Business Arts & Social Sciences

Brunel Law School

Full Time
Closing Date 04/04/2019
Ref No 1349

Job Description

Division of Private and Commercial Law                                   

Salary: H3 – £39,511 – £50,843 per annum including London Allowance

Brunel University London is a research-intensive University ranked among the UK’s top 50 and London’s top 10 universities in the Complete University Guide 2018.  The University has a global reputation for combining academic excellence with the practical entrepreneurial and imaginative approach of its namesake, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. It is an exciting time to be part of our team as it is going through a significant and exciting transformation.

Applications are invited for a Lectureship in Bio Law in the Division of Private and Commercial in the Brunel Law School. Preference will be given to candidates who have a demonstrated interest in Bio Law. The appointments are being made to consolidate further the School’s strong research and teaching profile.

The successful candidate will have a strong research and publications record suitable for submission for the REF2021, and will be able to demonstrate coherent future research plans as well as the potential for obtaining external funding. This is an exciting opportunity to pursue research related to areas such as social and ethical dimensions of Bio Law and health care, bioethics, medical law and AI and health care.

The successful candidate will be expected to contribute to the teaching of Private Law foundation subjects (Tort, Contract, Land or Trust) at the undergraduate levels, to contribute to other undergraduate or postgraduate teaching as the need arises, to be able to demonstrate coherent future teaching plans and to undertake administrative duties within the School. Candidates must already hold a PhD or be able to evidence that they are very close to completing their PhD.

The successful applicant will also be expected to participate in at least one of the College research centres, Entrepreneurship and Sustainability and Global Lives, or a University Research Institute.

The position is tenable as soon as possible, or from 1 September 2019.

Closing Date: 4 April 2019

Interviews will be held on 4 June 2019. 

The recruitment process involves a presentation, formal interview, and meeting with staff members.
For further information about this post, or to discuss it informally, please contact Dr Christian Heitsch, Head, Division of Private and Commercial Law – Christian.Heitsch [at] brunel.ac.uk

Radio: Test Case on Debbie Purdy and assisted suicide

27 February 2019

Two related programmes on BBC Radio 4, available now on BBC Sounds until 28 March 2019

Test Case: Debbie Purdy

Debbie Purdy was a journalist who fell in love with a Cuban jazz musician, just as she discovered that she had primary progressive MS. Years later, their love led to a legal challenge in the House of Lords. Debbie was asking for the law to be clarified. If her condition meant she needed an assisted death, would her husband be likely to be prosecuted? Debbie’s book “It’s Not Because I Want To Die”, a gutsy account of love, life and facing death, is dramatised by Joy Wilkinson, and features the music of Debbie’s husband, Omar Puente.

Test Case: The Legacy of Debbie Purdy

So what became of Debbie Purdy and her husband Omar, who inspired her case? Why did Debbie’s legal battle, which happened 10 years ago, have such an impact? Deborah Bowman discusses these questions with the people who were there: her husband, Omar Puente, her solicitor, Saimo Chahal, and Lord Falconer, the barrister and Labour peer who campaigned on the issue in Parliament.

Conference: Human rights in end of life care: putting theory into practice

26 February 2019

27th June 2019, 09.30-15.30

Bush House, Lecture Theatre 1, King’s College London, Aldwych, London

The conference will hear from expert speakers on human rights legal cases and how they are using a human rights framework in end of life care, as well as offering a chance to hear and reflect on in-practice outcomes and experiences, from the perspective of the end of life care practitioner, and most importantly, the service-user.

Confirmed speakers include:

Dr Sanchita Hosali, Director, British Institute of Human Rights
Tor Butler-Cole, Barrister and Trustee of Compassion in Dying (and MA Medical Ethics & Law alumna)
Richard Harding, Herbert Dunhill Chair & Director of the Centre for Global Health Palliative Care
Professor Jenny Kitzinger, Cardiff University, Coma & Disorders of Consciousness Research Centre

Tickets are free, and on a first come, first served basis.