2-Year Postdoc Positions Kant and/or Kantian Ethics (2.0 FTE)


Faculty of Philosophy


University of Groningen

The University of Groningen is an innovative and research-driven institute in the Northern part of The Netherlands. It is an internationally oriented university with 32,000 students and 5,500 employees. The University has a strong international reputation and maintains a firm position in the international university ranking lists.

The Faculty of Philosophy is a vibrant, international community of excellent researchers and teachers. It consistently receives the highest evaluations both for research and for teaching among philosophy departments in The Netherlands. The Faculty has three departments: History of Philosophy, Theoretical Philosophy, and Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy.

Job description

The Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, offers two postdoctoral fellowships within the research program, ‘Universal Moral Laws: A New Approach to Kant and Kantian Ethics,’ funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and directed by Pauline Kleingeld.

Short description of this program:
Immanuel Kant is the paradigmatic defender of the idea that there are unconditionally binding moral principles that are based in human reason and universally valid. He prominently defended human dignity, moral autonomy, and the freedom of the will. Although the importance of Kant’s ethics is uncontested, his core arguments face a number of standard objections and are widely considered unsuccessful. The guiding idea behind this research program is that many of these objections stem from a failure to recognize that crucial elements of Kant’s ethics, as developed in his main works on the subject of the 1780s, should be read in light of the legal and political theory he defended at the time (e.g., in the Feyerabend lectures). The research program aims to shed new light on central notions of Kant’s ethics, such as ‘law,’ ‘autonomy,’ and ‘freedom,’ and his core arguments. It also aims to assess whether the resulting interpretations yield new philosophical avenues for defending a Kantian universalist ethics and for specifying its application in moral practice. We are looking for two postdocs with a background in Kant and/or Kantian theory who can contribute to (parts of) this project.


• PhD prior to appointment
• strong research profile and publication record appropriate to career stage, in relevant research areas in Kant scholarship (esp. Kant’s ethics and/or political theory) or Kantian ethics and/or political philosophy
• ability to work in a collaborative research environment
• excellent command of English; working knowledge of German is strongly preferred
• record of high-quality teaching appropriate to career stage.

Knowledge of Dutch is not required. The University of Groningen is a bilingual university (Dutch and English).

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 24 months.

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

• a salary between € 2,709 and € 4,294 gross per month (scale 10), depending on qualifications and work experience, for a full-time position
• a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
• an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance
• favorable tax agreements may apply to non-Dutch applicants
• the position of the postdoctoral fellows is temporary, for two years. A part-time appointment at 0.8 FTE is possible, in which case the appointment period will be extended proportionally.

The postdocs will devote approx. 80% of their time to their research and approx. 20% to teaching and/or other tasks in support of the program (e.g., the organisation of workshops).

Starting date: as soon as possible, but no later than September 1st, 2020.

Job Application

Applications should include the following:

• cover letter
• full CV, including a list of publications and presentations, a list of courses taught, and a very brief (max. a half page) summary of your dissertation
• a research statement (no more than 2 pages), indicating your suitability for contributing to the research program, and what contributions you could see yourself as making
• teaching evaluations, if available
• a sample of written work (5000 to 10,000 words)
• the names and contact details of three academic references (who will be contacted regarding the candidates who are longlisted).

Please combine all materials into one file.

You can submit your application until 29 January 11:59pm / before 30 January 2020 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

We strongly encourage applications from female candidates and members of other groups currently underrepresented in academic philosophy.Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP), https://nvp-plaza.nl/download/?id=7714 and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers, https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/jobs/charter/code

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Prof. Pauline Kleingeld

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 219652-53

Digital application form