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Message posted on 30/06/2022

fully funded PhD position on care/technologies/end of life

Dear colleagues, I am looking for a student with a master’s degree in STS, sociology or anthropology to join me as a PhD candidate in the project “(Im-)Possibilities of Letting Life End”. The detailed job application can be found below or here: https://jobs.unisg.ch/offene-stellen/fully-funded-phd-position-for-project-on-care-technologies-end-of-life-m-w-d/17021046-3e29-4868-b0e3-5ec7d4cc9fa0

Thanks for circulating the information among your students and colleagues. Best Anna Mann, Technology Studies, University of St.Gallen


We are looking for a PhD candidate who is intrigued by the complex intersections between care, technologies and end of life. The PhD position is part of the research project “(Im-)possibilities of letting life end. An ethnography of medical specialist practices”.

The overall project provides an ethnography of the ways in which in the clinical practices of medical specialties non-life prolonging treatment and care are made possible. It consists of two case studies each focusing on one medical speciality in a clinical setting in Switzerland. One case study will be carried out by the principal investigator and one by the selected PhD researcher. The case studies might trace, for instance, how in the mundane goings-on of providing health care to patients with life-limiting, -threatening or chronic diseases in a hospital “conservative management”, “supportive treatment”, or “palliative care” are made thinkable, discussed and implemented. The case studies might also follow the activities that physicians undertake to increase possibilities for providing non-life prolonging treatment and care in the structures they are embedded in (e.g. writing guidelines, producing scientific evidence, teaching specialist palliative care courses). Or they might zoom in on the scripts that are embedded in life-prolonging technologies, treatment protocols, in scores and indicators that are used in clinical practice. More generally, the project seeks to articulate emergences of novel forms of “good” medical care at the beginning of the 21st century.

The PhD candidate is expected to •  carry out a case study that investigates the ways in which non-life prolonging treatment and care are made possible in one specific medical specialty (that is neither paediatrics nor oncology) •  collect qualitative data in Switzerland •  complete a dissertation for a PhD degree at the University of St.Gallen •  present research outputs at conferences •  organize a workshop with the PI

Your profile •  fulfilment of the formal admission criteria of the DOK-Program •  two year's Master's degree (or equivalent qualification) in STS, Sociology, or neighbouring disciplines •  documented experience with and/or well described interest in the fields of medical STS, medical sociology or medical anthropology •  documented experience with qualitative methods, in particular ethnography and interviews •  fluency in English and either German or French •  the ability to work autonomously and collaborate in teams

We offer •  ongoing supervision by Dr. Anna Mann, the PI of the project, and Prof. Tanja Schneider, the formal supervisor •  opportunity to enrol in the DOK-Program of the University of St. Gallen (discipline: Technology Studies, SHSS) •  scientific engagement in national and international networks •  opportunity to conduct research that is both, theoretically innovative and practically relevant •  salary in accordance with the guidelines of the SNSF

Application: Please submit through the link below before the 9th August 2022 •  CV •  letter of application describing your motivation and experience •  a text (max 2 pages) that describes which 3 questions you find important to investigate empirically and analytically in a project on (im-)possibilities of letting life end in medical specialist practices •  writing sample (e.g. chapter of your Master's thesis, article,...) •  copy of Master's degree diploma* •  names and contact details of two persons to serve as referees

*If you have not yet completed your Master's thesis, provide a written statement of your Master's thesis supervisor that you will do so before the beginning of the employment.

Interviews are estimated to take place via Zoom in the week 35 (30th August 2022)

The project is based at the Department of Technology Studies at the School for Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS) of the University of St.Gallen. It is fully funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. For questions regarding the DOK PhD-Program (Organisation & Culture) at the University St.Gallen, including its formal admission criteria, you can go to: https://www.unisg.ch/en/forschung/doktorat/organisationundkultur/zulassung (Please keep in mind that the overall framework, research question and research design are given.)


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