Mercator Scholarship (PhD): “Phenomenology, Medicine, and Therapy”

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Call for PhD Applications (Department of Philosophy at the University of Cologne). 1-4 years fully funded. Next Application: October 2021.

Mercator Scholarship in the field of “Phenomenology, Medicine, and Therapy” (1-4 years fully funded)
Call for PhD Applications (University of Cologne, Department of Philosophy)

Currently, there is a growing interest in making classical phenomenological thinkers (Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Stein, Walther, and many others) fruitful for questions of medicine, health, and ageing. In this context, already at the beginning of the 20th century, Karl Jaspers with his General Psychopathology provided a framework for a multi-methodical examination of mental illnesses, initiating a strong dialogue between philosophical theory and clinical practice. These impulses have clearly shaped the way phenomenology, psychology, and medicine interact until today. Yet, there is still insufficient evaluation of the historical and epistemic relationships between phenomenology and therapy.

For a period of four years (see two funding options on the a.r.t.e.s. website), the Mercator Scholarship provides a dual doctorate combining philosophical and scientific research on an excellent and international level. With a practical phase of at least 12 months – which is of central importance for the research question of the dissertation – at a selected institution (see below), you will be able to benefit from and contribute to interdisciplinary research in the fields of phenomenology and therapy under the supervision of Professor Thiemo Breyer (Cologne) with co-supervisors such as

> Professor Frank Jessen (Head Working Group Clinical Dementia Research and Working Group Depression in older Age)
> Professor Kai Vogeley (Head Working Group Social Cognition; both Clinic and Polyclinic of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Cologne)
> Professor Thomas Fuchs (Head Phenomenological Psychopathology and Psychotherapy; Department of General Psychiatry, University Hospital Heidelberg)
> Professor M. Cristina Polidori (Head Aging Clinical Research; Department of Nephrology, Rheumatology, Diabetology and General Internal Medicine, University Hospital Cologne)

Thematic foci of the doctoral project can lie on a variety of topics, for instance, on dementia, palliative care, autism, depression, or on healthy and active aging and maintenance of robustness and intrinsic capacity. In addition, the studentship will take part in the training structure of the a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School for the Humanities Cologne’s Integrated Track programme and the existing activities of our university networks such as the Husserl Archives Cologne, EUniWell, EITHealth etc. as well as the wider research student community.

Do you want to begin a doctorate and would you like to use phenomenology as an applied method? Do you have an excellent degree in philosophy and an inclination towards medicine and therapy? Are you open to inter- and transdisciplinary research? Then you are encouraged to apply. We look forward to getting to know your profile!

Working languages of the position are German and English.

Next Application: October 2021

Contact person and contact: Prof. Dr. Thiemo Breyer, Department of Philosophy at the University of Cologne – thiemo.breyer(at)

For further information on the Mercator scholarship and the application requirements, please visit the website.

Contact (Mercator scholarship): Simona Böckler – mercator-stipendium(at)