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1 PhD-Position "Red Tower of Babel: Soviet Minorities Experiment in Interwar Ukraine" | Vacancy

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Universität Basel, Departement Geschichte


History Slavic studies


History of the Soviet Union


The Department of History at the University of Basel, Switzerland invites applications for a four-year PhD position in History.

Swiss National Science Foundation (PRIMA) project: "Red Tower of Babel: Soviet Minorities Experiment in Interwar Ukraine".

Period of contract : 1. January 2023, for 4 yearsActivity rate : 100 percentDeadline for receipt of applications: 15. May 2022

1 PhD-Position "History"

Officially founded in 2012, Basel's Department of History succeeds the 125-year-old Historisches Seminar, and is now one of six departments in the Faculty of the Humanities at the University of Basel. The Department has eight professors who are, together with about 100 staff members, responsible for research and teaching in the historical sciences. Approximately 900 students currently study history at Basel.

Your position:

The successful candidate will be member of the research group “Red Tower of Babel: Soviet minorities experiment in interwar Ukraine”, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and directed by Dr. Olena Palko. The project aims to provide a first of its kind comprehensive study of the Soviet minority regime as implemented during the 1920s–1930s within the borders of Soviet Ukraine. Various ethnic minorities are the primary focus of this project, which aims to scrutinise the Soviet minority experiment at various levels of power, from top to bottom, paying particular attention to its grassoots reception. Within this general frame the holder of the PhD position will conduct an independent, although thematically related project, that would extend the scope of Dr Palko's project either geographically – by investigating yet another Soviet republic; or chronologically looking at the continuation of the Soviet minority policies at a later period in Soviet history.

Your profile:

The successful candidate is expected to hold a university degree (MA or equivalent) in History (or a related discipline). Good knowledge of English or German, as well as working knowledge of Russian and – depenfing on the proposed project's scope, one other language of the former Soviet republics, and experiences in the field of Soviet history are essential. The candidate is expected to take residence in Basel during the contract.

We offer you:

The Department of History at the University of Basel provides excellent research and employment conditions in a stimulating academic environment. You pursue your dissertation project within a collaborative framework, affiliated as a member of the Basel Graduate School of History. Travel and other research expenses relating to the research projects will be covered by the Swiss National Research Foundation.

Application / Contact:

The University of Basel is committed to increasing the number of women in its scientific personnel and warmly encourages well-qualified women researchers to apply. As application please submit the following documents:

  • a short research proposal (max. 1.500 words plus max. two bibliography) outlining your proposed research questions, describing how you intend to carry out the dissertation project, together with a brief outline of the theoretical debate(s) that inform your project, the research problem and methodology 
  • CV and publications
  • Letter of motivation explaining your suitability for the position
  • Diplomas/MA certificates
  • Scientific writing sample (max. 10 pages)
  • Names and addresses of two possible referees to be contacted by the University of Basel

Applications may be submitted until May 15, 2022 in German or English, to the candidate's preference. Only applications submitted through this recruitment system will be considered. The interviews with shortlisted candidates will be held in August 2022.

Further details

Dr. Olena Palko
Pol-Int team

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