PhD position in philosophy

Copenhagen University
September 20, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A

The Section for Philosophy, Department of Communication, Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark, invites applications for a PhD position in philosophy to be filled by January 1, 2024, or as soon as possible thereafter. The position is fully funded for 3 years.

The PhD position is part of a research project financed by the Independent Research Fund Denmark (DFF) and lead by Associate Professor Thor Grünbaum. Applicants are asked to situate and develop their research plan within the framework of the larger Theory Crisis in Cognitive Neuroscience project.

The larger project is about the hypothesis that vague and ambiguous theorizing in cognitive neuroscience is a cause of the low replicability of experimental studies . More than half of the studies in psychology do not replicate. Researchers commonly blame poor methodological and statistical practices. Recently, a growing number of researchers have argued that the crisis is due to poor theories. The aim of the project is to use the analytical tools of philosophy of science to assess the claim that absence of proper theorizing is the root cause of low replicability and to understand the type of theory needed to alleviate the crisis.

The PhD project should address the replication crisis and theory crisis in cognitive science from the perspective of a Bayesian philosophy of science. The PhD project should engage with recent philosophy of science and philosophy of confirmation, as well as relevant theoretical, methodological, and empirical studies in psychology. The successful candidate will be working in close cooperation with philosophers as well as cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists associated with the CoInAct Research Group (https: // and is expected to partake in the activities of CoInAct on a daily basis.

Information Potential applicants are encouraged to contact Associate Professor Thor Grünbaum ([email protected]), for more information about the Theory Crisis in Cognitive Neuroscience project.


PhD studies consist of research programmes that qualify students for independent and wide-ranging research, development and teaching at international level. The main emphasis is on PhD students organising and conducting their own research project (under supervision). The programme culminates in the submission of a PhD thesis, which the student must defend in public. The programme is prescribed to 180 ECTS points, corresponding to three years of full-time study.

A PhD opens up a range of career opportunities in academia and elsewhere. As well as writing a thesis, PhD students work in active research environments in Denmark and abroad. They contribute to the academic environment, take research training courses and convey the results of their research in teaching, at academic conferences and to the general public.

Qualification requirements

Applicants must have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS) or equivalent and, as a minimum, have submitted a master's thesis for which they have received pre-approval at the time of application.

The qualifications of applicants with non-Danish master's degrees will be assessed to ascertain whether they correspond to the Danish level. For further information, please refer to the website of the Ministry of Education and Research: https: //

Applicants must possess skills in written and spoken academic English at a high level. If deemed necessary, the department may request that applicants document their English skills.


All applications must be submitted online, in PDF or Microsoft Word format, via the link “Apply for the position” at the bottom of the page.

The application must include:

  • Project abstract
  • (max.1,200 characters with spaces)

  • Personal statement (max. one page)
  • In their personal statements, applicants are encouraged to:

  • outline how the PhD project relates to other research activities at the department, including the availability of supervisors.
  • describe as clearly as possible their competencies and personal qualifications relevant to the PhD programme.

  • CV

  • Applications must be accompanied by a CV ( page) and a list of publications, where relevant.

  • Documentation (diplomas and transcripts)
  • Applicants must upload the following:

  • A copy of their master's degree diploma or similar (if this is not available by the application deadline, applicants must document pre- approval of their master's thesis)
  • A copy of their master's degree transcript
  • A copy of their bachelor's degree diploma
  • A copy of their bachelor's degree transcript.
  • Applicants with a degree from a university where the working language is not English or one of the Scandinavian languages must submit a translation of their master's diploma and/or diploma transcripts approved by the Danish embassy or consulate in the country where the original document was issued. These documents must be translated into English, Danish, Norwegian, or Swedish. An official description of the grading scale (and a diploma supplement where relevant) must also be attached.

    Chinese applicants must attach a China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Evaluation Committee (CADGEEC) certificate. Read more about CADGEEC here.

  • Project description
  • Applications must include a detailed project description covering the problem formulation, overall objectives, methodology, design and timetable (max. five pages/12,000 characters, incl. spaces, excl. bibliography). This description should make reference to the Theory Crisis in Cognitive Neuroscience project mentioned above. The PhD project description should be clearly situated within the larger project.

    Guidelines and good advice on project descriptions are available here.

    Please do not upload or submit recommendations, publications, theses, etc.

    Assessment criteria

    The following criteria are applied when assessing PhD applications:

  • The quality, originality, and feasibility of the PhD project.
  • Research qualifications, as reflected in the attached CV and project description.
  • Competencies and knowledge of relevant fields of academic research.
  • Level (grades obtained) of bachelor's and master's studies.
  • Please note that only a few scholarships are awarded at each call for applications and competition is intense.

    The recruitment process

    After the deadline for applications, the Head of Department considers advice from the Appointment Committee and then selects applicants for assessment. All applicants will be notified whether or not they have been shortlisted. After this, the Head of Department sets up an expert Assessment Committee to assess the shortlisted applications. The selected applicants will be informed who is serving on the committee. Individual applicants will be offered the opportunity to comment on the committee's assessment of their application before the appointment is announced.


    It is a prerequisite for employment that successful applicants enrol at the PhD School of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Copenhagen.

    For further information about the structure of the PhD programme, please refer to: https: // the-phd-programme

    For further information about the guidelines for PhD studies at UCPH, please refer to: https: //

    Remuneration and terms of employment

    Appointment as a PhD Fellow is subject to the collective bargaining agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC).

    We seek to reflect the breadth and diversity of society and encourage applications irrespective of personal background.

    The deadline for applications is 1st of September 2023, at 23:59 CET.

    Any applications or additional material submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

    However, changes may be made to the submitted application right up until the deadline.

    For further information about the application procedure, please refer to the University of Copenhagen website: https: //

    For further information about the structure and rules of the PhD programme, please e-mail the PhD Administration at Søndre and City Campus, e-mail: [email protected].

    If you have any questions about the academic content of the PhD programme, please e-mail the Deputy Head of Department for Research, Mette Mortensen, [email protected],

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