PhD Position in Global History

ETH Zurich


PhD Position in Global History

100%, Zurich

The Swiss National Science Foundation-funded Research Project ‘Fighting Insect Enemies at the Tropical Frontier: Entomology in Plantation Economies c. 1890-1930’ directed by Dr. Tomás Bartoletti offers a Ph.D. position associated with the professorship for History of the Modern World in the Department of Human, Social and Political Sciences of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich, Switzerland.  

The position is funded for four years and the thesis will be supervised by Prof. Dr. Harald Fischer-Tiné in close cooperation with Dr. Tomás Bartoletti. The start date is 1 September 2023 (or at the candidate’s earliest convenience).

Job description

The successful candidate will work in close cooperation with Dr. Tomás Bartoletti and the doctoral and postdoctoral researchers of the professorship ‘History of the Modern World’. The candidate is expected to present interim results at national and international conferences, write the Ph.D. thesis and publish two scholarly articles in peer-reviewed journals during the four years of the contract.

The Ph.D. project should be concerned with the history of agricultural sciences, particularly entomology and phytopathology, and capitalism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It can address one or several of the following topics: the history of the tobacco industry in Switzerland and/or Europe; the history of pest and plant diseases; the trajectories pest control research; the growth of chemical companies producing insecticides; pesticides and agricultural development; or other subjects related to the history of economic entomology in plantations. Prospective applicants should submit a project proposal relevant to the research project, detailing research questions, the geographic scope of the project, and potential source bases. Projects focusing on regional, national, transnational, and/or the global scale are welcome. There is no preference for specific regions and the call is open to all geographical contexts. Scholars with a project pertaining to the history of Switzerland and/or its European neighbours and their global or colonial connections are also encouraged to apply.

Tomás Bartoletti’s project will contribute to the costs of the successful applicant’s research stays in Swiss and international archives, as well as travel expenses for conferences. The professorship ‘History of the Modern World’ offers an inspiring research environment with an international team of doctoral and postdoctoral students, and regular exchanges with scholars from around the world. Successful applicants will have full access to a modern infrastructure in one of the world’s leading research universities located in the heart of Europe. The salary is according to ETH regulations.

Your profile

  • You should hold an MA (or an MPhil) by July 2023
  • You  should have a background in 19th to 20th century Global History; Imperial/Colonial History; European History, Latin American History, African History, Middle Eastern History, South-East Asian History, East Asian History; Economic History; Environmental History; History of Science, and related fields.
  • You should be proficient in English. Knowledge of German and/or French is a welcome asset, but not mandatory.

We offer

ETH Zurich is a family-friendly employer with excellent working conditions. You can look forward to an exciting working environment, cultural diversity and attractive offers and benefits.

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We value diversity

In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application addressed (in Englisch) to Dr. Tomás Bartoletti with the following documents:

  • Motivation letter
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Documentation of qualifications
  • Project description (3–5 pages, maximum 15,000 characters, not including references)
  • Chapter from the MA/ MPhil thesis or an article
  • Letter of reference from an academic familiar with the applicant’s work

Applications via email or postal services will not be considered. The deadline for applications is 31 March 2023.

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

For further information please visit our website, and/or contact Dr. Tomás Bartoletti, (no applications).

About ETH Zürich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.

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