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Postdoctoral Researcher in the project "Do we owe anything to ourselves?"

Wetenschappelijke functies
Omvang (fte)
Geplaatst op
16 juli 2024
22 september 2024 Nog 63 dagen om te solliciteren

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Leiden University, the Faculty of Humanities, Institute for Philosophy invites applications for a:

Postdoctoral Researcher in the project “Do we owe anything to ourselves?” (0,8 fte )

The postdoctoral researcher will be working on a subproject within the Starting Grant project “Do we owe anything to ourselves?”, funded by the Dutch Government. The project is directed by Dr. Marijana Vujosevic (Assistant Professor in Moral and Political Philosophy at Leiden University).


The question whether we have obligations to ourselves is an old one. Indeed, doubt has long been raised about the possibility of duties to the self, that is, duties requiring such things as self-respect, self-improvement, self-care, standing up for oneself and self-cognition. A key objection is the paradox of self-release. Marcus Singer’s well-known spin on the paradox argues that the notion of a duty to oneself is internally incoherent: having such duties would amount to having duties from which one could always release oneself. Despite this objection, obligations to oneself have come back in fashion. Immanuel Kant was a proponent of duties to oneself and even criticized his predecessors for failing to fully acknowledge their significance. This project aims to examine whether we still owe something to ourselves by combining the insights of the ongoing debate on duties to oneself, Kant’s views on such duties, and the relevant conceptions in the literature on contemporary moral psychology.

What you will do
As a postdoctoral researcher you will be part of a research team working on the project. Dependent on your specialization and research interests, carrying out this project will involve the following:

  • An examination of different arguments for and against the idea of obligations to oneself;
  • A study of Kantian arguments for duties to oneself;
  • A study of related issues in contemporary moral psychology;
  • You will also conduct research on these issues and publish your findings;
  • You will participate in research group meetings;
  • You will present papers at conferences;
  • You will devote 20% of your time to teaching duties for the BA and/or MA programmes in Philosophy.

What you bring
In this team, we are looking for someone who can work independently. Every job is different, so we will devote attention to your onboarding. If some of the work activities are new to you, we will look together at what you need, and draw up a development plan. This position is a good fit for you if you recognize yourself in the following:

  • You hold a PhD, awarded by the time of appointment, ideally on a topic related to the theme of the research project;
  • You have a strong research profile and publication record appropriate to career stage, in relevant research;
  • You are a team player and have the ability to work in a collaborative research environment;
  • You have excellent command of English;
  • You have a record of high-quality teaching appropriate to career stage;
  • You are results-oriented;
  • You are capable of highlighting societal potential of your work.

If you immediately recognize yourself in this profile, or if do you not quite meet all the requirements, but you believe that this is the right job for you, we look forward to your application!

Where you will work
The Faculty of Humanities at Leiden University is a unique international centre for the advanced study of languages, cultures, arts, and societies worldwide, in their historical contexts from prehistory to the present. Our faculty is home to more than 6,000 students and 800 staff members. For more information see: https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/humanities .

The Institute of Philosophy (IPH) conducts research and offers teaching in the standard areas of philosophy in analytic and Continental traditions and in intercultural philosophy as well as their history. With around 40 employees and 600 students, the institute offers an innovative, collegial, and international working environment. The Institute is located just steps away from Leiden’s lively city centre.

What we find important

Promoting an inclusive community is central to Leiden University’s values and vision. Leiden University aims to be an inclusive community in which all students and staff members feel valued and respected, and are able to develop to their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High-quality education and research means inclusive education and research. In our hiring policy we are attentive to a diverse make-up of our team in terms of race, gender, sexuality, and (dis)ability.

Our goal is to work together to create a transparent and inclusive work environment in which everyone feels welcome and appreciated. Our organisation is always evolving and we need your ideas for improvement and innovation to take us further. We want to devote attention to your personal development.

We offer:

  • A temporary position as a postdoctoral researcher (UFO researcher 3), for 0,8 fte (30,4 hrs per week), for the duration of one year, with the prospect of extension for another two years conditional on good performance.
  • The starting date is 1 February 2025.
  • A salary in accordance with the collective salary agreement of the Association of Dutch Universities (CAO) and depending on qualifications and experience. The gross monthly salary is € 4,332,- (scale 11.0) based on a full-time appointment (38 hours). Depending on qualifications, the appointee may start at the appropriate step in scale 10 until they fully meet the requirements for scale 11 as specified by the Faculty of Humanities, particularly with regard to the number of years of relevant work experience.
  • Leiden is your place of employment.
  • You live and are officially registered as resident in The Netherlands, or are willing to relocate upon starting the position.

Leiden University also offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3%), and training and career development. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. For more information, see Application process and working conditions - Working at Leiden University.

Want to apply or find out more?
If you want to apply straight away, click the application button. If you would like more information about what the job entails, please contact Dr. Marijana Vujosevic (m.vujosevic@hum.leidenuniv.nl).


Applications should be in English and be submitted via the blue button in our online application system. Please ensure that you include the following documents in one single PDF document named “FAMILY name – Given name – Vacancy number – number and name of the project” in this order:

  • A letter of motivation;
  • A CV including education and employment history, publications, language skills, invited talks, presentations, courses taught, and a very brief (max. a half page) summary of your dissertation;
  • A two-page concrete and realistic project proposal that fits the broad description of the position for which you apply;
  • A sample of written work (5,000 to 10,000 words);
  • The names and contact details of two academic references (no reference letters). Please list these names on your CV.

You can apply until 22 September 2024. (Online) interviews with shortlisted candidates are tentatively scheduled to take place in the third week of October (week 42).

A pre-employment screening (references, diplomas, certificate) may be part of the selection procedure.

Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated. If you nevertheless choose to send us CVs, no rights can be derived from this.

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