PhD position on Better Understanding the Metaphysics of Pregnancy (BUMP)

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. (visit the staff list. 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.
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
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