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Research - Education: Call for Applications
The Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz logo
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by Archaeology Newsroom

University of Mainz: Five doctoral positions

Research Training Group: 'Early Concepts of Man and Nature: Universal, Local, Borrowed'

The interdisciplinary Research Training Group 1876 “Early Concepts of Man and Nature: Universal, Local, Borrowed” established by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz invites applications for

5 doctoral positions (wissenschaftliche/r Mitarbeiter/in, 13 TV-L 65%)

starting on October 1st, 2017. Initial appointment will be for two years. Subject to continued funding by the German Research Foundation, a further appointment for one more year will be made.

The Research Training Group is directed by scholars from the fields of Egyptology, Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Pre- and Protohistorical Archaeology (Pleistocene Archaeology), Near Eastern Archaeology, Classical Archaeology, Classics (Greek and Latin), Byzantine Studies, and Medieval German Studies.

In the Research Training Group’s research programme, the object is to record concepts of man and nature in the Near Eastern, Northeast African and European area in the period from ca. 100.000 years B.C.E. until the Middle Ages – starting out from textual, pictorial and material sources – by means of examples and to study them in a culturally immanent as well as transcultural respects. In order to align the spectrum of potential fields of topics in a targeted manner four main focal points of research have been defined:

(1) Primordial conditions and elements, the origin and the end of the world;
(2) Natural phenomena, the forces of nature, and natural catastrophes;
(3) Flora, fauna, and natural environment;
(4) The conceptualization of the human body, of disease, healing and death.

Topics for PhD theses must be chosen from one of these four areas and belong to one of the academic the disciplines mentioned above.

We are looking for dissertation projects that will connect with and complement dissertation projects within the Research Training Group as well as dissertation projects belonging to one of the four Areas.

For detailed information regarding our programme for research and training and the academic staff involved with our graduate school, please refer to our homepage.

Requirements for appointment:

-a diploma or master’s degree (or equivalent) with excellent results in one of the disciplines mentioned above and fulfil the necessary requirements for studying for a doctoral degree in either Fachbereich (Faculty) 05 or 07 of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (

We provide:

-a PhD programme with clearly defined steps and instruction

-ample opportunities for intensive professional and interdisciplinary exchange

-close supervision by two professors of different academic disciplines of the Research Training Group’s core faculty

-a mentoring programme with cooperating partners in Germany and abroad

-traineeships within cooperating institutes

-additional funding for staying for up to four weeks abroad at a research institute cooperating with our programme as well as for attending conferences inside and outside Germany

-classes helping you to acquire key qualifications (e.g. time-management or academic writing courses)

-a modern and pleasant working environment

-optional six months’ funding for a new research project once you have completed your PhD

We expect:

-preparation of a doctoral thesis within our research programme

-scientific training within a structured dissertation programme

-continuous participation in the study programme

-cooperatation with other PhD students and scholars from neighbouring fields and discipline

-presence at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

-after the three year funding period: doctorate at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

The following documents must be provided:

-application form (available on the website for download)

-a letter of motivation

-a curriculum vitae

-a complete transcript of academic records, including the last school report obtained before entering university (Abitur or equivalent)

-a résumé of the graduate thesis you submitted (3 pages)

-your graduate thesis in a pdf-file

-an exposé for a PhD thesis in one of the areas of the Research Training Group, summarizing the idea, outlining research questions and state of the art, approach and methods to be used, work and time schedule (4 pages)

-two letters of reference from members of academic staff allowing us to judge your abilities (to be sent before the closing date directly to the spokesperson)

-if available: a list of attended conferences and publications

Please submit your complete application in electronic form (pdf) only no later than May 15st, 2017 to the Research Training Group spokesperson Univ.-Prof. Dr. Tanja Pommerening (