PhD scholarship at the Faculty of Letters, Translation and Communication - Université libre de Bruxelles

Kamila Kociałkowska's picture


PhD scholarship (Russian/Slavic and Comparative Literature & Culture) – ULB


PhD scholarship at the Faculty of Letters, Translation and Communication - Université libre de Bruxelles


Job description and criteria


Workplace: Université libre de Bruxelles (Solbosch)

Department: Languages and Letters/Slavic Languages and Letters

Research centres: MODERNITAS, PHILIXTE

Website unit:

Research areas: Russian/Slavic, and comparative literature, theory and history of culture and literature, social studies and cultural economics, visual studies (including art and cinema), area studies.

Application Deadline: 05/04/2023

Expected start date: 5th October 2023

Salary: appr. 2300 € per month.

Hours: Full-time, fixed term contract (24 months, renewable for 2 more years)

Contract type: Doctoral grant attached to a research project ARC

Main supervisor: Prof Dennis Ioffe (ULB); secondary supervisor Prof Petra James (ULB)


Overview of the role:

Funded by an ARC scheme, the successful candidate will work under the supervision of Professors Dennis Ioffe & Petra James on a big-scale project entitled

“The Artist, The Scientist and the Industrialist”: Science, Economics and Sociopolitical Geography of Modernist Creative Networks between East and West (1880-1970)” which considers cultural history of various branches of European Modernism(s), focusing on the geographical regions often omitted in this context. Our project perceived modernist culture as a result of a truly complicated linguistic, social, and political circumstances that were at play. Consequently, while insisting on aesthetic, socio-economic, scientific, and geopolitical specificities we also aim at stressing the fundamental shared features. Presenting the common ground of European Modernisms will be a major contribution to the understanding of common ground of contemporary European culture.

           The successful candidate will offer a tentative description of a realistic PhD project focused on one of these (or closely/reasonably related) subjects:

-Russian/Slavic comparatively envisaged modernism in interdisciplinary setting (visual arts/cinema/politics/economics/exact sciences/ religions/ psychology/theatre/education/geography/philosophy/ augmented reality)

-Russian/Slavic modernism and the issues of authenticity

-Russian/Slavic modernism and Jewish heritage

-Russian/Slavic modernism and Belgian/or Dutch heritage

-Russian/Slavic modernism and French heritage

-Russian/Slavic modernism and the Anglophone world

-Russian/Slavic modernism, and the cosmopolitanism


His/Her degree will be delivered by Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB).


The doctoral student will:

1.       carry out doctoral research on the selected subject (within the chronology of between 1880-1960).

2.       collaborate with the supervisors in all essential practical activities, including offering a full administrative routine support to the center MODERNITAS on a daily basis

3.       contribute to creating an online map Geographies Modernism that will be set up in the frame of the project by the supervisors

4.      will offer first-hand support in organizing an exhibition related to the chosen exponents


This full-time post is offered from 1st October 2023 for a fixed term of 24 months (renewable for 2 more years).


Shortlisted candidates will be invited to take part in interviews online.


General conditions

The Faculty of Letters, Translation and Communication of Université libre de Bruxelles is looking for a fully funded four-year doctoral student in the field of Comparative literature and Translation. The successful candidate will be granted a doctoral untaxed fellowship.


Contract that is equivalent to an employment contract. Depending on the nationality of the beneficiary, this fellowship contract is subject to the general  or to the partial  provisions of the Belgian Social Security System covering health insurance, maternity leave, sick pay in case of hospitalization, disability insurance, national pension system, national unemployment system, insurance against workplace accidents, family benefits and provisions towards occupational diseases. For all recipients of a doctoral fellowship, whether it is subject to the general or partial social security system, the scholarship holder may receive family allowances for the children in their household.

The monthly net fellowship is expected to be around 2320 € the first two years. The candidate will also benefit from a certain additional budget for their research costs.


Located at the heart of Europe in the city of Brussels, ULB is a comprehensive university with 12 faculties, schools, or institutes, covering all major research fields. Its Faculty of Letters, Translation and Communication is composed of three departments (Languages and Humanities, School of Translation and Interpretation ISTI - Cooremans, and Information and Communication Sciences) and five research centers.

The successful candidate will be based in the Faculty of Languages, Translation and Communication (in a shared office, with full administrative and technical support) and attached to the MODERNITAS research center, located on the Solbosch campus, and will benefit from a stimulating scientific environment (international exposure through scientific events, research seminars, networking activities at national and international level, specific training sessions, etc.).

Selection criteria:

•        A master’s degree in modern languages, comparative literature, or a relevant related discipline (including philosophy or history) is required.

•        Fluency (B2-C1) in Russian is mandatory, active knowledge of French (and or English) is required as well. Knowledge of an additional Slavic language, especially Czech or Polish is a serious advantage.

•        Proven administrative and organizational skills.

•        A prior demonstrable interest in literature and/or creative arts will be an advantage.

•        Skills in digital humanities will be an advantage.


•        This program is opened to applicants of any age and any nationality.

•        We encourage applications from candidates who are neuro-diverse, disabled or come from ethnic groups that are under-represented in academia.

•        Applicants must have obtained a master’s degree or equivalent for maximum 5 years at the latest on the application deadline. This latter maximum period is extended for one additional year per childbirth and/or adoption.

How to apply:

Applications should be written in French or English, and submitted as a single PDF file, by email to by 1st of April 2023 at 17:00 Brussels time (UTC + 2).

The application file should contain the following parts:

•        Cover letter explaining your interest in the post, describing the suggested research project related to Russian/Slavic modernism in comparative, interdisciplinary and multicultural setting.

•        CV

•        The names and email addresses of two or three referees

•        A sample piece of written work, published or unpublished, of not more than 8000 words (e.g., a part their master’s dissertation or an article)

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to take part in interviews online after April 15, 2023.


All candidates will be notified of the outcome of their application before mid-April.

The successful candidate will then have 5 working days to accept the fellowship.



ULB’s GDPR policy: Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) -1050 Bruxelles, avenue Franklin Roosevelt 50, Belgium - is the Data Controller of the personal data collected in the context of applications to this call. In this capacity, ULB respects the provisions of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (General Data Protection Regulation - GDPR). The personal data collected through this call is solely processed for the purposes of evaluating the applications of research projects against the evaluation criteria and selecting projects. Applications will only be valid if the aforementioned personal data is provided; such data is collected to take steps at your request prior to entering into a contract. ULB commits to taking the appropriate measures to guarantee its confidential processing, that is limited to ULB's staff in charge of the selection procedure. It is locally securely stored for 1 year after the end of the call for non- selected applicants. Candidates can address their queries on the process of their personal data at This address can also be used to exercise the rights to request access to and rectification or erasure or, under conditions, restriction of processing, the right to object to processing as well as the right to data portability. For any complaints regarding GDPR, applicants are free to contact the Belgian Supervisory Authority (Data Protection Authority) if the answer provided by the ULB proves unsatisfactory.