PhD studentship in GROUNDS Advertised

We’re advertising another PhD studentship! Come join us! The advertisement can be found at this link.

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The School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science at the University of Leeds is offering one studentship for a student commencing a full-time PhD in Philosophy in October 2020. This forms part of the ERC-funded project Group Thinking: New Foundations.

Group Thinking: New Foundations draws on several fields of philosophy including:

  • Philosophy of mind and language (e.g. metasemantics, metaphysics of mental content, collective intentionality, group attitudes in psychological theory).
  • Metaphysics (e.g. social ontology, personal identity, group persistence).
  • Formal Epistemology (e.g. representation theorems, social choice, analysis of common knowledge, judgement aggregation)
  • Philosophy of action (e.g. nature and grounding of intention, collective action).
  • Philosophy of normativity (e.g. nature of reasons and rationality, group reasons)
  • Ethics/political philosophy (e.g. group attitudes and duties, legitimacy, complicity).

Applications for the studentship should be for a PhD project in one or more of these project areas. You should be willing to participate in project activities, including regular meetings and workshops with project members across the various project topics. You will be expected to assist other members of the project team who will be organizing these events.

Funding information

The studentship is tenable for up to 3 years. Renewal of the studentship each year is subject to satisfactory academic progress.

The studentship includes support sufficient to cover fees (at home/EU rates) and maintenance (currently £15,009 p/a). There will be additional support and benefits associated with the studentships.

The award is not suitable for part-time PhD study. International applicants may apply for this as a partial scholarship: to be eligible, applicants will be expected to demonstrate their ability to pay the remainder of their international fees (approx. £15,000 p.a.)

Details of Group Thinking: New Foundations

Group Thinking is a five-year project, running 2019-2024, on the metaphysics and epistemology of collective representation. Funded by the European Research Council, it explores group thought: its nature, and its significance for explanatory projects inside and outside philosophy. It seeks to reveal the underlying unity between the facts that constitute the beliefs and desires of individuals, and the facts that constitute the beliefs and desires of groups. It will provide criteria for demarcating which groups genuinely have beliefs and desires, distinguishing this situation from circumstances when attributing beliefs and desires is mere “loose talk”. The aim is new and rigorous foundations for theory and for public discourse about group belief and desire.

The project is located at the University of Leeds under the direction of Prof Robert Williams. The project team includes local experts (Drs Thomas Brouwer, Daniel Elstein, Heather Logue), two postdoctoral researchers (Drs Haixin Dang and Andrew Peet) and two PhD studentships (Ludovica Adamo and the holder of the currently advertised position). The project will run regular seminars, host visits from international experts, and run conferences and workshops.

Faculty information

The School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science

The School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science is committed to research excellence, productivity, and the international development of its disciplines. With around 50 research-active staff and almost 100 PhD students, we have a diverse, lively, and robust community of researchers.

Our strong ethos of supporting research across the School ensures that we nurture high-quality research at the cutting edge of our disciplines. Staff publish books and articles in peer-reviewed journals and edited collections, have significant responsibilities in national and international research bodies, editorial boards, and international research groups, and achieve an impressive record of research grant capture.

How to apply

A formal application for research degree study should be made – instructions can be found here:

Please state clearly that the funding you wish to be considered for is “ERC-funded PhD studentship”.

Any enquiries about the application process can be sent to

Entry requirements

Applicants should normally have, or expect soon to be awarded, a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) and a Masters degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline.

English language requirements

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.5 overall with at least 6.0 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

Contact details

Please contact the project director for more information on this opportunity, or for details about how to apply.

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