Offre d’emploi – Junior Research Group « The Laboring Poor and their Networks in the Middle Ages » (Department of History /RWTH Aachen University, Germany):

A PhD RESEARCHER Ausschreibung Englisch_AE_300920
One PhD Researcher (Full-Time Predoctoral Researcher (f/m/d)) or two PhD Researchers (Part-Time (50%) Predoctoral Researcher (f/m/d))

Within the framework of the junior research group, the position(s) of one PhD researcher (pay category TV-L 13 (100 %) (f/m/d)) or two PhD researchers (pay category TV-L 13 at 50% each (f/m/d)) is/are to be filled by January 1, 2021 or at the next possible date. The position(s) is/are initially limited to a period of 2 years with the possibility of an extension of 2 more years.

Our Profile

The junior research group « Between Patronage, Social Mobility, and Technical Innovation: The Laboring Poor and their Networks in the Middle Ages », funded through a Junior Principal Investigator Fellowship of RWTH Aachen University (within the framework of the German Universities Excellence Initiative), is based at the Department of History of RWTH Aachen University. The Department of History at RWTH Aachen University offers a dynamic and innovative working environment at a research-oriented university of excellence. Medieval Studies at RWTH Aachen University cover a wide range of subjects and methodological approaches, and actively promote and support the development of young scholars. The position(s) offer(s) the opportunity for international and interdisciplinary networking and the development of an independent, international research profile.

Project description

The consequences of globalization, digitization and rationalization, as well as their effects on laboring poor and unskilled workers are omnipresent in current social discourses. However, economic and social changes triggered by technological innovations are not a unique phenomenon of the present. In pre-modern societies, similar developments had immense effects on workers, the economy, and ultimately on society as a whole. Similar to today, the groups directly and severely affected by these developments were the unskilled workers and the laboring poor.

The aim of the junior research group is to investigate the laboring poor and their networks in medieval Europe in a comparative approach. The project will examine poverty from the perspective of urban economic practices by investigating specific functionaries and strategies of urban laboring poor and their networks, and will shed light on their significance for urban economic life. In particular, the project will examine the integration of the laboring poor into urban economic activity and the impact of social and economic change and technological innovation on this group and its networks.

Doctoral students are free to choose the regional and thematic focus of their dissertation projects. Topics can include aspects of gender studies, migration of the laboring poor, child labor, or other social and economic issues concerning the laboring poor. Possible regions to be investigated are all regions of Europe, including Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Byzantium and the Mediterranean area.

The project requires close interdisciplinary and international cooperation with various departments within RWTH Aachen University and with other institutions in Germany and abroad.


  • –  a university degree (master’s or equivalent) in history or a related subject
  • –  experience with Latin sources and knowledge of other ancient and other pre-modern languages relevant to the respective dissertation project
  • –  active knowledge of English and other modern languages relevant to the respective dissertation project
  • –  previous experience or willingness to become acquainted with topics of social and economic history
  • –  applications from internationally experienced students or students from abroad are particularly welcome Duties and Responsibilities
  • –  to carry out research and publish on the subject of the junior research group
  • –  to prepare, and complete, a doctoral thesis on the subject of the junior research group
  • –  to present at international conferences and workshops
  • –  to actively participate in the junior research group (coordination of and participation in conferences, workshops and publications of the junior research group) Application deadline Please send your application (including a cover letter, a CV, copies of diplomas, contact information for two references, and a project outline [3-5 pages]) by November 1, 2020 to Julia Exarchos, M.A., Department of History, RWTH Aachen University, Theaterplatz 14, 52062 Aachen or by e-mail to: If you have any questions, please contact the head of the junior research group, Julia Exarchos (E- Mail:

RWTH is an equal opportunities employer. We therefore welcome and encourage applications from all suitably qualified candidates, particularly from groups that are underrepresented at the University. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability or age. RWTH is strongly committed to encouraging women in their careers. Female applicants are given preference if they are equally suitable, competent, and professionally qualified, unless a fellow candidate is favored for a specific reason.

As RWTH is committed to equality of opportunity, we ask you not to include a photo in your application. You can find information on the personal data we collect from applicants in accordance with Articles 13 and 14 of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) at

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