Fully-funded PhD position "Contemporary Southeast European History" (Univ. Ghent)

PhD student in Southeast European Studies

Ghent University
Vom - Bis
01.09.2021 - 31.08.2025
Pieter Troch, Department of Languages and Cultures, Ghent University

The Department of Languages and Cultures at Ghent University has a fully-funded position for PhD research in contemporary Southeast European history. We are seeking well-qualified applications for doctoral research on social and spatial processes of peripheralization within Southeast Europe since the Second World War. Applicants are expected to develop their own research projects within this framework. Deadline for applications: 26 February 2021.

PhD student in Southeast European Studies

Contemporary Southeast European societies are characterized by sharp sociospatial inequalities, not only at a transregional and global scale, but also within the region. While imperial legacies are important to understand these intraregional patterns, post–World War II development politics brought about specific processes of inner peripheralization and relative deprivation. We are seeking well-qualified applications for a doctoral research project on the intertwinement of social and spatial processes of peripheralization within Southeast Europe since the Second World War. Applicants are expected to independently develop the precise topic, methods and questions of their research within this framework, taking into consideration the following parameters. Research proposals should give priority to well-defined case- and regional studies of peripheral social spaces (from regions, urban environments or rural areas, to firms, neighbourhoods or villages). Comparative proposals analysing multiple inner peripheries across political boundaries are particularly welcomed. The successful candidate should also demonstrate awareness of the wider and global ramifications and disciplinary relevance of the research beyond Southeast European area studies. While a historical approach to the theme is essential, research projects applying multiple methods (such as geospatial techniques, bottom-up historical research, anthropological methods and field-work) will be given preference.


- At least 90% of the assignment will be spent on academic research in preparation of a doctoral dissertation to be completed within the four years of the contract.
- The successful candidate is expected to independently develop and work on a research project within the framework outlined above.
- The successful candidate will be actively involved in teaching and academic events related to Southeast and East European studies.


- MA degree or equivalent in Slavic and East European Studies, History or any other field pertinent to the research theme (to be fulfilled by the application deadline). Recent graduates with excellent results may be given preference.
- Demonstrable academic interest in Southeast European studies. An excellent master’s thesis in contemporary history of Southeast Europe will be considered a plus.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills of English.
- Working knowledge of at least one South Slavic language. Working knowledge of additional languages of Southeast Europe will be taken into consideration.
- Willingness to reside and work in Ghent.


- The successful candidate will be employed at the Department of Languages and Cultures at Ghent University. The working language is English.
- We offer a contract of indefinite duration with a maximum term of four years.
- The contract will tentatively start on 1/09/2021.
- Remuneration will be determined by salary scale WM1. Click here for more information about our salary scales.
- A substantial bench fee for research purposes, including field research.
- Possibility to enrol in the doctoral training programme (specialist courses and academic and transferrable skills).
- All Ghent University staff members enjoy a number of benefits, such as a wide range of training and education opportunities (incl. Dutch courses for international newcomers), 35 days of holiday leave (on an annual basis for a full-time job) supplemented by annual fixed bridge days, a bicycle allowance and eco vouchers.


Ghent University is a world of its own. Employing more than 8,000 people, it is actively involved in education and research, management and administration, as well as technical and social service provision on a daily basis. It is one of the largest, most exciting employers in the area and offers great career opportunities. With 11 faculties and more than 80 departments offering state-of-the-art study programmes grounded in research in a wide range of academic fields, Ghent University is a logical choice for its staff and students. The Department of Languages and Cultures at the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy hosts teaching and research in area studies. The section for Slavic and East European studies boasts a rich tradition in Southeast European studies.


Apply online through the e-recruitment system before the application deadline (see link below). We do not accept late applications or applications that are not sent through the online system.

Your application must include the following documents:

- In the field ‘CV’: One pdf file of your CV with an overview of your study results and contact details of two referees who will be contacted for letters of recommendations (shortlisted candidates only).
- In the field ‘Cover letter’: Your application letter in pdf format, specifying why you are interested in this position and why you are a suitable candidate.
- In the field ‘Diploma’: A transcript of the required degree. If you have a foreign diploma in a language other than the national languages of Belgium (Dutch, French or German) or English, please add a translation in one of the mentioned languages.
- In the field “other documents”: An outline of your research proposal specifying its relevance to the research framework, key research questions and goals, and methodological approach (up to 2000 words, not including bibliography).

Note that the maximum file size for each field is 10 MB.

As Ghent University maintains an equal opportunities and diversity policy, everyone is encouraged to apply for this position.

All candidates will be informed about the outcome of the first round of the selection procedure before the end of March 2021. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an online interview, which will tentatively take place in the third week of April 2021.


For more information about this vacancy, please contact prof. dr. Pieter Troch (Pieter.Troch@ugent.be). Important: do NOT send your application by email, but apply online.



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