PhD White Sisters and nursing practices in East Africa, 1890-present (1.0 FTE)

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 01 Nov 2021


The University of Groningen has an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative center of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 36,000 students and researchers to develop their own individual talents. Belonging to the best research universities in Europe and joining forces with prestigious partner universities and networks, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.

The Faculty of Arts is built on a long-standing tradition of four centuries. Our mission is to be a top-ranking faculty with both an excellent education and world-quality research, with a strong international orientation, firmly rooted in the North of the Netherlands. We build and share knowledge benefits to society. We work at a modern, broad and international institution, educating over 5.000 Dutch and international students to become forward-looking, articulate and independent academics. We are a hardworking and diverse team of 700 staff members.

The Chair Group of Economic and Social History is a young and ambitious group of researchers dedicated towards understanding global and regional histories of population and health, gender and social inequalities, and agriculture and sustainability, focusing on the role of spatial, socioeconomic, and cultural contexts in historical change. We have a specific interest in social science history and long-term historical developments, and apply theories and methods from the social sciences in our research. The candidate will also have an opportunity to contribute to the activities of the faculty-wide Groningen Centre for Health and Humanities and the History of Medicine and Health Group of the Centre for Historical Studies.

Job description

Within the Chair Group of Economic and Social History, Faculty of Arts at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, a PhD research position on the broader project “White Sisters, nursing practices, and reproductive health in East Africa, 1890-present” is currently available. The PhD project takes the congregation of the White Sisters as a case study to examine through a critical, intersectional lens the historical changes in (missionary) nursing and care practices in colonial and postcolonial East Africa. Underlying gender, racial, and cultural tensions between nurses and doctors, nurses and patients, and colonial and indigenous nurses are central.

A concise project proposal is available upon request.


The successful candidate has a Research Master degree in History or a related discipline (anthropology, sociology) with relevant experience in the area of medical and health history, African history, and/or colonial history and preferably with experience in archival research and fieldwork in sub-Saharan Africa.
The successful candidate has a good command of English (oral and written), is a team player, and possesses excellent communication skills (indicated by the ability to write scientific papers and deliver presentations). Command of Kiswahili and/or Chichewa is considered an advantage.

Conditions of employment

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

• a salary of € 2,434 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,111 gross per month in the fourth and final year
• a full-time position (1.0 FTE)
• a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
• an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance
• minimum of 29 holidays and additional 12 holidays in case of full-time employment.

The position must result in a PhD thesis within the four-year contract period. A PhD training program is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Groningen Graduate School and in the NW Posthumus Institute, Research School for Economic and Social History. The successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of a three-year extension, conditional on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that successful completion of the PhD thesis within the next three years is expected.


For information you can contact:

Prof. Hilde Bras (for the proposal and other information),

(please do not use the email addresses above for applications)

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