PhD Scholarship in the Political History of Post-War Europe: Britain

Job description

On behalf of the Gerda Henkel Foundation Radboud University recruits and selects candidates who are eligible for a PhD scholarship as part of the research project “The Voice of the People. Popular expectations of democracy in post-war Europe, c. 1945-1980s”. Within this project three subprojects are defined; the candidate selected for this PhD scholarship will be assigned to the subproject ’Britain’.

You will receive a scholarship from the Gerda Henkel Foundation directly for an initial period of 12 months. If so recommended by your supervisors, the scholarship will be extended annually, for a total maximum duration of three years. At Radboud University you will be granted the status of external PhD candidate at the Graduate School for the Humanities and will participate as a PhD candidate in the Voice of the People research project.

We are looking for a highly motivated and talented PhD candidate in post-war British political history. As an external PhD candidate, you will be part of a research team of three PhD candidates investigating and comparing the articulation and mediatisation of popular expectations of democracy in three Western European countries – Britain, West Germany and the Netherlands – roughly between the end of the Second World War and the early 1980s. The project combines an interest in both the actual perceptions and expectations of politics voiced by citizens and the various practices through which their voices were rendered legible and brought in the public sphere. This means that the role played by, inter alia, journalists, pollsters and broadcasters in mediating and co-constructing the ‘voice of the people’ will also be part of the investigation. Your task will be to conduct research on the British case study and to complete a PhD thesis (in English) in a timely fashion. Your PhD thesis will be submitted and defended at Radboud University. You will furthermore participate in conferences, workshops and other scholarly activities, write scientific articles, and collaborate with societal partners.

You will be supervised by Professor Wim van Meurs (Radboud University), Professor Adrian Bingham (University of Sheffield) and Dr Harm Kaal (Radboud University). For a full description of the project, see the project website or send an email to Dr Harm Kaal:


Candidates for this PhD scholarship:

  • Have successfully completed an MA in History or a related field relevant to the PhD project.
  • Have demonstrable expertise about the political history of post-war Britain.
  • Meet high academic standards, as demonstrated by grade transcripts and CV.
  • Are proficient in English.
  • Have demonstrable strong affinity with scientific research and excellent academic writing skills.
  • Are able to work collaboratively in an international research team.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 3 years.

  • External PhD position: 40 hours per week.
  • You will receive a PhD scholarship of €1,600 per month, directly funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation, for a maximum of three years. Additional financial support (€400 per month) for conducting research abroad is available for a limited number of months.
  • Duration of the scholarship: 3 years. If so recommended by your supervisors the scholarship will be extended annually, for a total maximum duration of three years.
  • As an external PhD candidate of the Graduate School for the Humanities at Radboud University you will also receive a number of perquisites, including funding for conference visits, printing costs of the PhD thesis and costs of the PhD thesis, and costs related to the public defence of the thesis.


Radboud UniversityWe want to get the best out of science, others and ourselves. Why? Because this is what the world around us desperately needs. Leading research and education make an indispensable contribution to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This is what unites the more than 22,000 students and 5,000 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent and collaboration. You have a part to play!


Faculteit der Letteren

The Faculty of Arts employs over 500 academic and support staff in the fields of history and art, languages and cultures, linguistics and communication. Research is embedded in one of the two faculty research institutes: the Centre for Language Studies (CLS) or Radboud Institute for Culture & History (RICH). The faculty currently enrols some 2,400 students in three departments: the department of History, Art History and Classics, the department of Modern Languages and Cultures, and the department of Language and Communication. We want to be a diverse and inclusive organisation, which is why we endeavour to create a culturally diverse staff.

As an external PhD candidate you will be part of the Chair Group of European Political History at Radboud University and the Graduate School of the Humanities and will participate in activities of the Research School Political History. The Graduate School offers a vibrant social, educational, and intellectual community for researchers at the start of their (scientific) careers.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact:
Harm Kaal, Assistant Professor
Tel.: +31 24 3612921
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