Open Search PhD candidate in Moral Psychology


Faculty of Philosophy


University of Groningen

Job description

The Department of Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy at the University of Groningen is pleased to invite applications for a fully-funded PhD position in the field of philosophy. Candidates are encouraged to submit their own research proposals, aligning with the research interests of the daily supervisor, Dr Daphne Brandenburg. Dr Brandenburg's expertise primarily encompasses issues related to agency and responsibility, as well as the nature and value of emotions.

Possible topics for your proposal include, though are certainly not limited to:

• The Onset of Responsibility: When do children become responsible, what does that depend on, and what does it entail?
• Dealing with Uncertain Responsibility: What should be the appropriate institutional and interpersonal responses in cases where there is significant uncertainty about an individual's responsibility for their actions?
• Moral Insights from Anger: Does anger serve as a source of moral knowledge or insight, and if so, how?
• The Significance of Praise: What is the value of praise and praise-related emotions in human interaction, and what are ethical and societal implications of this?
• Moral Agency in Animals: How can one consider (certain) animals to be moral agents, and what are the implications of this?
• Artificial Intelligence and Responsibility: How and to what extent should artificial agents be included in our responsibility practices, and how might it change those practices?

We look forward to receiving innovative and thought-provoking research proposals that engage with these questions or related topics within the realm of philosophy. Interdisciplinary and applied angles are thereby welcome.

Feel free to reach out for any further inquiries.

Since its founding in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative center of higher education, offering high-quality teaching and research. We encourage the 37,000 students and researchers to develop their own individual talents. Among the best research universities in Europe, we join forces with prestigious partner universities and networks around the world, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.

The Faculty of Philosophy is a vibrant, international community of excellent researchers and teachers. It consistently receives the highest evaluations for research among philosophy departments in The Netherlands.


We are looking for candidates who have finished, or are close to finishing, a Master’s degree in philosophy. Additionally, we require that candidates have:

• excellent written and verbal communication skills in English
• affinity with the philosophical debates they propose to engage in, and related disciplines
• an interest in integrating insights from psychology into a philosophical framework
• a strong motivation for doing a PhD.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 48 months.

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

• a gross salary of € 2,770 gross per month in the first year to a maximum of € 3,539 gross per month in the final year (salary scale PhD), based on a full-time position (1.0 FTE)
• a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income and a 8.3% year-end bonus
• a position for four years (full time). Each successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the contract period is to be expected. A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of the Faculty.

The preferred starting date is January 1st, an earlier start is possible and a later start may be negotiable. Successful candidates are expected to move to Groningen.

Job Application

Your application needs to contain:

• a motivation letter
• a curriculum vitae, a writing sample
• a research proposal of at most 1200 words (excluding references)
• a transcript of grades
• the names of three academic referees.

You can submit your application until midnight on 25 October 11:59pm / before 26 October 2023 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

A first round of interviews will be held at the end of October 2023.

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage:[…]/

Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers:

We provide career services for partners of new faculty members moving to Groningen.

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Dr Daphne Brandenburg, Assistant Professor in Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy

In your application, please always include the job opening ID V23.0623

Digital application form