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 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


Voluntary position: Animals in Science Committee

17 January 2019

Do you want to play a key role in advising the government on a range of issues relating to the welfare of animals used in research?

If so, this is an exceptional opportunity to deliver reports and policy advice to ensure that government is best placed to maintain the highest standards in the welfare of animals used in research.

The Animals in Science Committee (ASC) is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Home Office to provide independent advice to the Government on the use of animals in scientific procedures, advise the Animal Welfare Ethical Review Bodies on good practice, and exchange information with other national bodies within the European Union.

We are seeking six new members with expertise in veterinary science, neuroscience, industry (pharmaceutical/toxicology), animal technology/welfare/3Rs and legal expertise (regulatory). The successful candidates will possess excellent communication and influencing skills, the ability to work as part of a team, and the ability to evaluate complex issues to reach a consensus.

This will be a three year appointment with the possibility of re-appointment. Applications are due on 28 January 2019.

Seminar: The Salvation Agenda: The Politics of Medical Humanitarianism During Zimbabwe’s Cholera Outbreak 2008/09

2 January 2019

Thursday, 7 February 2019, 5.30 – 7.00pm, Lecture Theatre, St Cross College, University of Oxford.

Speaker: Assoc. Professor Simukai Chigudu (Associate Professor of African Politics, Oxford Department of International Development)

Abstract: This paper examines the humanitarian politics of responding to Zimbabwe’s catastrophic cholera outbreak of 2008/09, the worst in African history. It demonstrates how humanitarian relief operations are riven by competing claims to leadership, authority and legitimacy but often converge on the ineluctable logic of saving lives – ‘the salvation agenda’. Nevertheless, the paper contends that the exigency of saving lives in this case did not, and could not, address the background political and socio-economic conditions that led to the epidemic. Thus, the paper explores the possibilities, pitfalls and paradoxes of the salvation agenda and mounts a novel critique of how the humanitarian industrial complex operates in Africa.

For further details and online booking please see https://bookwhen.com/uehiro

Enquiries to rachel.gaminiratne[at]philosophy.ox.ac.uk

Job: Associate and Assistant Professor in Biolaw at Durham

10 December 2018

Associate Professor In Biolaw

Durham University – Durham Law School

Location: Durham
Salary: £51,630 to £58,089
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Permanent
Placed On: 3rd December 2018
Closes: 15th February 2019
Job Ref: LAW19-52

Assistant Professor In Biolaw

Durham University – Durham Law School

Location: Durham
Salary: £40,793 to £48,676
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Permanent
Placed On: 3rd December 2018
Closes: 15th February 2019
Job Ref: LAW19-59

Durham Law School is seeking to appoint … outstanding scholar[s] to the role of Associate Professor and Assistant Professor in Biolaw with research interests in this broad field understood to also include environmental law.

The Law School is in its largest expansion of permanent, full-time appointments in our distinguished 50-year history as we build additional capacity in core areas and further develop other strengths building critical mass in the area of Biolaw. Our award winning 53 academic staff are producing ground-breaking research with significant impact and are highly active in public engagement both nationally and internationally. We are a top 50 QS World Ranked law school and our research ranked 3rd best in grade point average in the UK’s last national Research Excellence Framework exercise in 2014. Durham Law School is consistently ranked among the top ten or higher UK law schools across various league tables, including 3rd in The Daily Telegraph, 8th in The Time and The Guardian. Our graduates include some of law’s leading figures, such as current members of the UK Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the Government, Members of Parliament and beyond.

The successful candidates will join our vibrant and inclusive academic community while supported by a very generous research leave scheme and individual research allowances. Applicants must demonstrate research excellence in the field of Biolaw, with the ability to contribute to our research groups like our Durham CELLS and to teach our students to an exceptional standard and to fully engage in the services, citizenship and values of the University.


13 November 2018

Thursday 24 January 2019, Edinburgh.

With speakers ALASTAIR MacDONALD (the second person, and first male, ever to be born who was conceived via IVF) and his mother GRACE MacDONALD (one of the original fertility patients treated by the pioneers of IVF)

Alongside other speakers including:

  • SALLY CHESHIRE (Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority)
  • PROFESSOR COLIN DUNCAN (Professor of Reproductive Medicine and Science at the University of Edinburgh)
  • DR KAY ELDER (Senior Research Scientist at Bourn Hall Clinic, previously worked with the pioneers of IVF)
  • DR ABHA MAHESHWARI (Clinical Lead in Reproductive Medicine at the Aberdeen Fertility Centre)

Chaired by PROFESSOR ALLAN PACEY (Trustee at the Progress Educational Trust and Professor of Andrology at the University of Sheffield),

See https://www.progress.org.uk/40yearsofivf for details.