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5 Research Associates (PhD Positions) (65%, TVL E-13)

The Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies invites applications for the above positions running three years, from 1 October 2021to 30 September 2024. There will be an option of extending the contract for an additional year after a positive interim evaluation (3+1 years)

The Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn is an international research university that offers a wide range of degree programs. With 200 years’ worth of history, some 38,000 students, over 6,000 employees, and an excellent domestic and international reputation, Bonn University is among Germany’s leading universities.

The successful candidates will be employed at the Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies(BCDSS). The BCDSS was awarded the status of "Cluster of Excellence: Beyond Slavery and Freedom. Asymmetric Dependencies in pre-modern Societies" by the German Research Council. The BCDSS offers excellent opportunities for interdisciplinary and comparative study of different forms of dependencies from antiquity to the present, across many regions. The Center’s research into different forms of dependencies are approached from five different thematic and methodological perspectives (Research Areas, RA):

  • RA A) Semantics –Lexical Fields –Narratives;
  • RA B) EmbodiedDependencies;RA C) Institutions, Norms, andPractices;
  • RA D) Labor andSpatiality;
  • RA E) Gender (andIntersectionality)

Among other academic positions, we are therefore recruiting graduate students whoare interested in contributing to an outstanding interdisciplinary and international research center. The successful candidates will be among a total of around 40 PhD students working with more than 40 advanced and senior researchers contributing to the BCDSS’ research.


Job description

The successful candidates will formulate independent projects within one of the BCDSS’ Research Areas. The proposed projects may address any issue relevant to the study of “Slavery and Dependency”, from any discipline respective to the chosen Research Area. Topics can therefore be of a wide variety –from micro studies to wide scale approaches, in any historical period or geographical region. The successful candidates will participate in the Center’s doctoralprogramthat offers academic seminars and a non-academic training, giving a competitive edge when seeking future positions.The positions are funded for up to four years (3 + 1 years) on a salary of 65% of the tariff of TV-L-E13, about €30,000 pro-rata per annum before tax. The successful candidates will receive a salary and social security benefits. In addition, access to extra funding for archive trips and conferences will be available, as well as institutional support for applicants with families and for women. PhD candidates at the University of Bonn are advised to enrollas PhD students at the bi-annual “fee” of about €250. This fee covers free public transport in the region of North Rhine-Westphalia, as well as student discounts at museums, cinemas, and other benefits.



Applicants are required to have a completed university degree (Master, Magister or Staatsexamen) in history, archaeology, philology, theology, sociology, anthropology, law, Chinese Studies, history and societies of the Islamicate World, Japanese Studies, Southeast Asian Studies, Religious Studies, TibetanStudies.

We welcome applications from all over the world. English is the working language within the BCDSS. Proficiency in English can be verified by one of the following:

  • ETS TOEFL certificate (minimum score of 600 for the paper-based test, 250 for the computer-based test, and 100 for the internet-basedtest);
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English, CPE (anygrade);
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English, CAE (grade A orB);
  • IELTS test (level7.0);
  • C1 level according to CEFRNative speakers or graduates from an English-speaking university are exempt from this verification.

Native speakers or graduates from an English-speaking university are exempt from this verification.

However, we do not require a formal certificate.


How to apply

Applicants are invited to submit:

  1. their application, consisting in: a) curriculum vitae; b) one copy of BAand MA certificatesor equivalents (including official transcripts);c) a list of publications (if applicable)
  2. an outline of the research projectthey would like to develop during the PhD (max 4 A4-pages), including: Key research questions and hypotheses; Originality of the proposed project vis-à-vis availablestudies (with a list of max 5 key publications); Sources and methodology; Connections of the proposed project with, and relevance to, the topic of the chosen Research Area of the Center. Cross-connections to another RA are also verywelcome;
  3. a suggestionfor a potential supervisorfrom our list ofPIs and BCDSS professorships. Please make sure that this potential supervisor has expertise in the discipline you locate your project in.
  4. the name and contact of two referees(position, professional address ande-mail).

The University of Bonn is committed to diversity and equal opportunity. It is certified as a family-friendly university. It aims to increase the proportion of women in areas where women are under-represented and to promote their careers in particular. It therefore urges women with relevant qualifications to apply. Applications will be handled in accordance with the Landesgleichstellungsgesetz (State Equality Act). Applications from suitable individuals with a certified serious disability and those of equal status are particularly welcome.

If you are interested in this position, please send your complete English application documents combined into one single Pdf file by 30 April 2021 to [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.] with the application code 10/21/3.202. For further information please have a look at our website or contact Sarah Dusend, email: [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.].


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