PhD Studentship, HPS, Cambridge

Subject: PhD Studentship -
"Bridging the gap between populations and individuals: philosophical

Please forward to any interested parties:

PhD Studentship – “Bridging the gap between populations and individuals:
philosophical issues”

Fully funded studentship 2016-20

The Department of History and Philosophy of Science (HPS), University of
Cambridge, invites preliminary applications for one Postgraduate
Studentship to support four years of doctoral research at the University
Cambridge to start in October 2016.

This doctoral studentship is for a candidate to work on a central issue
the philosophy of medicine: the relationship between population-level
epidemiological data and medical decisions about individual patients.
Candidates may consider these issues as they relate to metaphysics,
epistemology, general philosophy of science, moral philosophy, or
of other scientific fields (for example, biology or economics).
are invited to propose feasible projects, and to demonstrate their
qualification to undertake them. By way of guideline, suitable topics
include: the role and limits of mechanistic reasoning in moving from
populations to individuals; the relationship between population-level
measures of risk and individual decision-making; whether
factors can be treated as causes of individual-level phenomena;
and disanalogies between risk factor epidemiology and the concept of
in population biology; the relationship between the goals of public
policy and medical care, and how these affect explanatory and predictive
strategies; and the prospects of “personalised medicine”.

The successful candidates will be supervised by Dr Stephen John,
Tim Lewens or a new Lecturer in Philosophy of the Life Sciences (to
start in
October 2016) in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at
University of Cambridge. It is anticipated that the successful candidate
will become a member of Hughes Hall. Candidates must normally have
at least a first class honours degree (or equivalent) from a recognised
institution of higher education before 30 September 2016. Applicants
also normally have, or be studying for, a master’s degree or similar
postgraduate qualification in an area related to the history and
of science. If the candidate does not have such experience of formal
graduate study, they must demonstrate evidence of sustained experience
beyond undergraduate degree level specifically relevant to the research
topic that could be considered equivalent to master’s study. The
pays fees at Home/EU rates, maintenance £12,750 in the first year with
increments in years two, three and four, and research expenses. Students
from outside the EU are welcome to apply, but will need to find extra
funding to cover the difference between EU and non-EU fees. Academic and
residency eligibility for a full studentship award are strictly subject
the conditions imposed by the University of Cambridge.

Application Procedure

Interested candidates should begin by contacting Stephen John
( or Tim Lewens ( to discuss the
suitability of their intended project. They should then send a
application to David Thompson (, to arrive by 15
2016. This should include the following:

A full CV, including details of academic training and results

A statement of proposed research, of not more than 1000 words

Two samples of recent work in a relevant field

Two letters of reference, to be sent directly to Mr Thompson

Shortlisted candidates will then be interviewed by Dr John and Professor
Lewens. The successful candidate will then be required to submit a
formal application for admission to the University of Cambridge, stating
Hughes Hall as their first choice college. Further information can be


Tamara Hug

Department of History and Philosophy of Science

University of Cambridge

Free School Lane

Cambridge CB2 3RH

Tel: 01223 334540/07799405394


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