PhD Fellowship in Functionaries of Humanity

Catholic University of Leuven Institute of Philosophy

The Husserl Archives at the Institute of Philosophy, KU Leuven invite applications for one PhD-fellowship (and one postdoctoral position) as part of the research project Functionaries of Humanity. Functionaries of Humanity will reassess the philosophical value of the application dossier that Flemish philosopher H. L. Van Breda submitted to the UNESCO in 1949, with letters by 40 leading intellectuals, presenting Husserl’s philosophical legacy as a contribution to the renewal of a universal world culture after the atrocities of WWII.


The project will be supervised by Prof. Julia Jansen and Dr. Emanuele Caminada and will rely furthermore on an interdisciplinary guidance based on the approaches of our project partners, i.e. Positioning Theory (Prof. Baert, Cambridge), Global Governance Studies (Prof. Wouters, KU Leuven) and Digital Humanities (Prof. Truyen, KU Leuven).

The PhD-fellowship (4 years) is financed by KU Leuven, project: C14/20/008: “Functionaries of Humanity: UNESCO Through The Crisis.” This project involves a re-reading of Husserl’s Crisis, both in relation to cultural politics after WWII and to the current crisis of practical rationality and the role of science in society.

Start of the PhD position: 1 September 2021, or as soon as possible thereafter


Successful applicants will conduct archival and philosophical research relevant to the respective project, independently and as part of the project team. Moreover, they are expected to participate in the common activities of the Husserl Archives, including meetings, seminars, workshops and conferences, and generally to contribute to the collaborative and collegial environment of the archives and research center.

Requirements for the PhD-fellowship:

  • An outstanding MA, Mphil, or ResMA thesis, or equivalent in phenomenology.
  • Demonstrable expertise in philosophical positions and debates concerning Husserl’s Crisis.
  • At least initial awareness of issues concerning post-WWII and/or current debates concerning crises of culture, science, global governance, etc. as relevant to the project.
  • Skills in archival research, or enthusiasm for acquiring them.
  • Skills in digital humanities, or enthusiasm for acquiring them.
  • Knowledge of German and French, excellent reading and writing skills in English. Knowledge of Dutch is an advantage.
  • Willingness and capability to work closely in a team with the projects leaders and with the postdoc on the related project.
  • Willingness and competence to work and publish predominantly on the topic of the project.


The successful candidate will be employed at KU Leuven under the standard conditions for Doctoral Fellowships. The fellowship provides for social and health benefits, office space, and a budget for research expenses.


Applications should include

  • a cover letter
  • CV
  • a writing sample (between 10 and 20 pages)
  • a one-page research statement, outlining your initial research ideas and priorities within the general frame of the project
  • the names of two referees

For further information, please contact Prof. Julia Jansen ( or Dr. Emanuele Caminada (

You can apply for this job no later than April 30, 2021 via the
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  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Leuven
  • Apply before: April 30, 2021
  • Tags: Filosofie