PhD in anthropology of medicine – Maastricht University (UM) – Maastricht

Maastricht University (UM)

Are you interested in doing a PhD in an interdisciplinary team environment? Are you curious and creative? Do you want to live in a beautiful city in Europe while having the opportunity to do in-depth ethnographic fieldwork abroad?

Job Description
The Department of Society Studies is looking for a PhD candidate to undertake exciting ethnographic work about hospital practices. You will be part of a new team doing a research project focusing on the increasingly relevant and escalating issue of clinical waste. The project is called Make Do Medicine.

The focus of this European Research Council funded project is on hospitals and clinics, which have become sites of disposability in recent years. Attempts to address this can be top-down and technocratic, often still reliant on a mode of further production. Make Do Medicine takes a different route into the problem. It focuses on creative practices already happening in the clinic, involving making the most of existing materials. You will be part of a team conducting fieldwork across five clinical sites around the world where such improvisations are highlighted due to different constraints. For your PhD you will undertake 10 months participant observation in a hospital, community healthcare centre and/or rural clinic in Ghana (preferred, other sites can be considered if appropriate for project and there is access). Often hospital ethnographies in the Global South are framed through the lens of scarcity. There is another story to tell, which looks further into improvisation and the conditions for this work.

You will work in a team environment with the Principle Investigator (PI) (Associate Professor Anna Harris), two post-docs, a project manager and research assistants. Sharing research material and comparison with the other cases will be part of the project. Within the context of the group project, you will have room to tailor your research to your own interests and background. As the PhD candidate you will specifically be involved in:

  • Setting up your project based on your own contacts and/or those of the PI
  • Creating a research plan
  • Writing ethics applications with the team and adhering to good data management practices
  • Undertaking 10 months fieldwork in Ghana (or another related site)
  • Writing a dissertation, including co-authoring 1-2 publications
  • Making digital sensory material to accompany the project’s open dataset
  • Participating in group meetings, events and workshops
  • Optional, though suggested: teaching 0.1 or 0.2 fte including Bachelor courses and/or thesis supervision
  • In this role you will learn how to further your ethnographic research practice, writing and teamwork skills while further trainings will be provided through the local and national Graduate Schools. There is the option to undertake teacher training and take Dutch language classes.

    In sum, you will be able to do a PhD in an exciting team research project with considerable scope for creativity, conducting research with the potential for significant societal impact in relation to sustainability in healthcare, while working on the cutting edge of ethnographic methodologies.

    What we are looking for
    All team members hired in Make Do Medicine project will be chosen because they have evidence of qualitative research skills (especially ethnography), so that we can quickly build together the more innovative methodological elements of the team project. For this particular position we are looking for someone who is open, willing, even excited about doing a PhD in a team setting and engaging in creative methodologies. Specifically we are looking for someone who has:

  • Ethnographic fieldwork experience (necessary)
  • English language competency, C1 level, academic English (necessary).
  • A completed Masters’ degree (by August 31st 2024) in relevant fields, such as the social science disciplines of anthropology, sociology, science and technology studies (necessary)
  • Is willing to move to Maastricht or the nearby area (necessary)
  • Is willing to engage in creative methods, meet deadlines and work towards shared goals (necessary)
  • Enjoys writing and exploring its craft (preferred)
  • Has skills or interests in video, podcasts, photography, sound or another multimodal research method (optional)
  • What we offer

    As a PhD at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, you will be employed by the most international university of the Netherlands, located in the beautiful city of Maastricht. In addition, we offer you:

  • Good employment conditions. The position is in graded in scale P according to UFO profile PhD, with corresponding salary, based on experience, ranging from €2770 to € 3539 gross per month (based on a full-time employment of 38 hours per week). In addition to the monthly salary, an 8.0% holiday allowance and an 8.3% year-end bonus are applicable.
  • An employment contract for a period of 12 months with a scope of 0.8 FTE (with an option to make this 1.0 fte with teaching tasks). Upon a positive evaluation, an extension of a further 3 years will follow.
  • Candidates will be asked to move to Maastricht or nearby. At Maastricht University, the well-being of our employees is of utmost importance, we offer flexible working hours and the possibility to work partly from home if the nature of your position allows it. You will receive a monthly commuting and internet allowance for this. If you work full-time, you will be entitled to 29 vacation days and 4 additional public holidays per year, namely carnival Monday, carnival Tuesday, Good Friday, and Liberation Day. As an inclusive employer UM offers the chance to substitute these dates for other religious holidays. If you choose to accumulate compensation hours, an additional 12 days will be added. Furthermore, you can personalize your employment conditions through a collective labor agreement (CAO) choice model.
  • As Maastricht University, we offer various other excellent secondary employment conditions. These include a good pension scheme with the ABP and the opportunity for UM employees to participate in company fitness and make use of the extensive sports facilities that we also offer to our students.
  • The Dutch language is not a requirement for this position, however learning the language is always encouraged and the Faculty/UM provides free language classes.
  • Last but certainly not least, we provide the space and facilities for your personal and professional development. We facilitate this by offering a wide range of Graduate School training programs and supporting various well-established initiatives such as ‘acknowledge and appreciate’.
  • The terms of employment at Maastricht University are largely set out in the collective labor agreement of Dutch Universities. In addition, local provisions specific to UM apply.

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