KU Leuven

Two PhD positions (100%) in didactics of philosophy

2024-08-22 (Europe/Brussels)
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KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.

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The Institute of Philosophy of KU Leuven offers a complete study program in English, has 40 professors, and more than 100 doctoral students (most of which are international). It is one of the few philosophy departments where nearly all main disciplines of Western philosophy are studied and taught.
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In this four-year PhD project, you will collaborate on the project “Bringing Up Thinking: Philosophy and Philosophy Education in Textbooks for Secondary Education”, financed by the Internal Funds of the Research Council KU Leuven (C1-project for fundamental research, acquired by Prof. dr. Griet Galle). You will work towards a PhD in Philosophy under the guidance of Prof. dr. Griet Galle (supervisor, Institute of Philosophy, Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science) and Prof. dr. Maarten Simons (co-supervisor, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Laboratory of Education and Society). 
Here is a short presentation of the project. In many countries, philosophy is incorporated into secondary school curricula. For most subjects in secondary education, textbooks are one of the main didactic tools and exert a significant influence on teachers' teaching and pupils' learning. As cultural artifacts, they reveal societal values and norms. Philosophy textbooks from various countries take very different forms in terms of content and didactics: from a detailed account of the history of philosophy to a collection of primary texts around themes, from a meticulous analysis of key concepts to exercises to teach critical thinking and argumentation. These books often shape students’ perceptions of philosophy and usually guide the didactic approach to teaching philosophy. Despite this important role, philosophy textbooks are still virtually unstudied. By analyzing and comparing contemporary philosophy textbooks for upper secondary education from the Western world, this project aims to investigate how philosophy is characterized, how philosophy education is shaped in these textbooks, and which factors influence this characterization of philosophy and its philosophical-didactic approach. 
One of the PhD candidates will concentrate on the characterization and presentation of philosophy in textbooks and the other on didactics of philosophy. The two PhD candidates will work closely together. 


  • You have a Master’s or Research Master’s degree in Philosophy, or a Master’s or Research Master’s degree in the Humanities or Social sciences, combined with a clear indication of substantial philosophical interest and knowledge (e.g. a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy). 
  • You must meet the requirements to be admitted to the PhD at the Institute of Philosophy.
  • You have very good reading and writing skills in English.
  • Knowledge of other Western languages, and particularly Spanish or Portuguese, is a plus.
  • You are good at analyzing texts.
  • Basic notions of educational and didactical theory and/or experience with teaching are a plus.
  • You are willing to support the teaching and research activities at the Institute of Philosophy (e.g., correcting exams, teaching a seminar, text editing).
  • You can work independently, have good organizational skills, and a sense of initiative.
  • You are willing to cooperate constructively in a team.
  • You are willing to travel abroad ca. three times a year for a short period.
  • You are willing to help build a website on philosophy education in Western countries.


We offer two full-time doctoral scholarships according to the usual Belgian regulations for PhD students. The scholarships start with a period of one year. After a positive evaluation, the scholarship will be renewed. The total duration of one of the scholarships is four years. 
The start date will be determined in consultation with the candidate, with the ambition to start in October 2024. 
The two PhD candidates will have regular meetings with the supervisor and co-supervisor. They can attend seminars at KU Leuven (e.g., Institute of Philosophy, Laboratory of Education and Society, Master of Teaching, Leuven Institute for Educational Research, Child & Youth Institute), visit international conferences, and have a research stay at the Leibniz Institute for Educational Media (GEI). 
They will follow the doctoral program in philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy. You can find more information on the doctoral program on the website of the Institute of Philosophy.


Please include a writing sample (e.g., thesis or paper) in your application.
We will organize an online test (analysis of a part of a philosophy textbook) on Monday, 2nd September (CEST). Please indicate in your application which time zone you will be in on this date.
Job interviews are scheduled as much as possible on Tuesday, 3rd September.
For more information, please contact Prof. dr. Griet Galle, tel.: +32 16 32 63 26, e-mail: griet.galle@kuleuven.be. Due to the summer holidays, the response may be somewhat delayed.

KU Leuven strives for an inclusive, respectful and socially safe environment. We embrace diversity among individuals and groups as an asset. Open dialogue and differences in perspective are essential for an ambitious research and educational environment. In our commitment to equal opportunity, we recognize the consequences of historical inequalities. We do not accept any form of discrimination based on, but not limited to, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, ethnic or national background, skin colour, religious and philosophical diversity, neurodivergence, employment disability, health, or socioeconomic status. For questions about accessibility or support offered, we are happy to assist you at this email address.

Job details

Two PhD positions (100%) in didactics of philosophy
Oude Markt 13 Leuven, Belgium
Application deadline
2024-08-22 23:59 (Europe/Brussels)
2024-08-22 23:59 (CET)
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About the employer

KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.

Visit the employer page