PhD Position (full-time, 4 years) on Formal Models of Group Deliberation, Erasmus School of Philosophy

PhD Position (full-time, 4 years) on Formal Models of Group Deliberation, Erasmus School of Philosophy

Published Deadline Location
4 Feb 1 Jun Rotterdam

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Job description

The ENCODE project: Explicating Norms for Collective Deliberation (NWO VIDI project)

Deliberation is often seen as an antidote to the current crisis of democracy. People should not just vote or aggregate their opinions: they should talk, exchange arguments and preferences, and thus achieve consensus or at least mutual understanding through dialogue. But what norms should group deliberation satisfy, for it to count as democratic? What exactly can we expect from collective deliberation?

The ENCODE project seeks to answer these questions in exact terms. In particular, we want to study existing formal models of deliberation and develop new ones, in order to get a better understanding of the complex interactions that take place when people exchange their arguments and revise their position. The emphasis will be on philosophical logic, but we will also consider agent-based models of deliberation and decision-theoretic accounts.

This project is funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and run by Dr. Frederik Van de Putte within the Erasmus Institute for Philosophy and Economics (EIPE), Erasmus School of Philosophy (ESPhil). The PhD candidate will be jointly supervised by Dr. Frederik Van De Putte and Prof. Dr. Jack Vromen.

The PhD project

The candidate's primary responsibility will be to conduct research and write a PhD thesis. The candidate should also contribute to the ENCODE Project in other ways, such as by giving scholarly presentations and co-organizing reading groups and workshops. Furthermore, the PhD candidate will become part of a large and diverse community of PhD candidates, and is expected to contribute as a junior lecturer to the Erasmus School of Philosophy’s (ESPhil) educational programme.


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)


We are looking for a PhD candidate who satisfies the following requirements:

  • Completed master in philosophy or equivalent (i.e., BA in philosophy and MA in computer science, mathematics, or logic), with an interest in political philosophy, formal ethics, philosophical logic, decision theory, game theory, and/or analytic philosophy. In particular, familiarity with modal logic (as witnessed by e.g. BA or MA thesis or specific courses taken) counts as a plus;
  • Excellent speaking and writing skills in English;
  • An entrepreneurial and team player attitude is highly valued;
  • Conceptual capacity, presenting, planning and organizing and monitoring (VSNU competencies for PhDs).

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

The position preferably starts on September 1st, 2021, but the very latest on December 1st, 2021 and lasts for a maximum of four years. The appointment concerns a temporary PhD position for four years. This position comes with good employment conditions, compliant with the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO NU). The position begins with a temporary employment contract for 18 months in which the candidate’s suitability is evaluated. If the candidate is suitable, then an additional contract of 30 months follows, leading to a total appointment of 4 years.

The salary is in accordance with the doctoral candidate scale of the CAO NU. For a full- time appointment, the salary is € 2.395,- gross per month during the first year, which will increase annually up to € 3.061,- gross per month in the fourth year. In addition, the attractive employment package includes an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%, generous leave provisions for a healthy work-life balance, a good pension scheme, a budget for conference and research travel, excellent options for collective insurance, and a provision for the use of the Internet at home. The employee may also use a number of campus facilities, such as sports facilities and the library. For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme.


We particularly encourage members of underrepresented groups to apply: We genuinely value diversity and believe that a diversity of talents contributes to our vision and strategy to excel as a university on research and education. ESPhil is an equal opportunities employer and encourages applications from candidates of all genders, ethnicities, and nationalities. Given the current composition of the ESPhil academic staff and priorities relating to staff diversity, the School especially encourages candidates from an ethnic minority, candidates with an international background, and female candidates to apply.


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) is an internationally oriented university with a strong social orientation in its education and research. Inspired by the dynamic and cosmopolitan city of Rotterdam, our scientists and students work in close collaboration with internal and external parties to solve global social challenges. Our mission is therefore "Creating positive societal impact". Our academic education is intensive, active and application oriented. Our research increasingly takes place in multidisciplinary teams, which are strongly intertwined with international networks. With our research impact and thanks to the high quality of education, EUR ranks amongst the top European universities. Erasmian values ​​function as our internal compass and make Erasmus University recognizable to the outside world: engaged with society, world citizen, connecting, entrepreneurial and open-minded.


Erasmus School of Philosophy (ESPhil)

Erasmus School of Philosophy is a leading research and teaching institution of Erasmus University Rotterdam. The faculty is one of the two independent faculties of philosophy in the Netherlands. ESPhil has a broad international orientation, with many international students (total number of students is currently about 800), PhDs (about 15), and staff members (about 30), and has excellent connections with universities abroad.


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2395—€3061 per month
  • University graduate
  • ESPhil/PhD/04022021


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

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