Netherlands: 2 PhD researchers in Philosophy & Biology (Research Project: Evolutionary Ethics) at Utrecht University

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The Netherlands Foundation for Scientific Research NWO finances the research project “Evolutionary Ethics? The (Meta)-Ethical Implications of Evolutionary Explanations of Morality” from January 1st, 2014, onwards. The programme will be supervised by Prof. dr. Herman Philipse (Philosophy, main supervisor) and Prof. dr. Johan J. Bolhuis (Cognitive Neurobiology, co-supervisor).

Candidates are asked to apply for one of the following two sub-projects:

  • Project 2: The Ethical Consequences of the Evolutionary History of Morals (PhD student).
  • Project 3: The Meta-Ethical Implications of Evolutionary Theory (PhD student).

Planned Deliverables
Each of the PhD projects will result in a dissertation and 2 research articles based on the dissertation.


You are expected to hold a good honours degree in a relevant subject and to have obtained a good result (merit or distinction or equivalent) in a postgraduate qualification (MA or equivalent) in Philosophy and, preferably, also in another discipline relevant to your research project, such as Behavioral Biology. You should be ambitious and aim at a career in research.

Conditions of employment:

We offer two full-time PhD positions (1.0 fte), consisting of an initial period of 18 months which, after a satisfactory first year, will be extended by another 30 months (4 years in total), with a gross monthly salary starting at € 2,083 in the first year, ending at € 2,664 in the fourth year (1,0 fte). Utrecht University offers a pension scheme, a holiday allowance of 8% per year, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% and flexible employment conditions. Conditions are based on the Collective Employment Agreement of the Dutch Universities. More information: terms of employment


Utrecht University has great ambitions for its teaching quality and study success rates. This also applies to its clear research profiles which are centred around four themes: Sustainability, Life Sciences, Youth & Identity, and Institutions. Utrecht University plays a prominent role in our society and contributes to finding the answers to topical and future societal issues.
The Faculty of Humanities has around 7,000 students and 900 staff members. It comprises four knowledge domains: Philosophy and Religious Studies, History and Art History, Media and Culture Studies, and Languages, Literature and Communication. With its research and education in these fields, the Faculty aims to contribute to a better understanding of the Netherlands and Europe in a rapidly changing social and cultural context. The enthusiastic and motivated colleagues and the excellent facilities in the historic town centre of Utrecht, where the Faculty is located, provide a stimulating professional atmosphere.
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