Postdoctoral Research Associate in ARC Laureate Project A Philosophy of Medicine for the 21st Century
University of Sydney, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Postdoctoral Research Associates (Two Positions)

Department of Philosophy, School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Reference No. 651/0418F

  • Work alongside internationally renowned experts in the field
  • Contribute to new developments in the philosophy of biomedicine
  • Full time, fixed-term position for 3 years by negotiation, with the possibility of further offers for up to 2 additional years. Remuneration package from 106k p.a. to 114k p.a. (which includes base salary, leave loading and up to 17% superannuation)

About the opportunity

These positions are part of the ARC Laureate Project A Philosophy of Medicine for the 21st Century. The appointees will work with Chief Investigator Professor Paul E. Griffiths and collaborators to develop a new vision of health and disease which can accommodate developments in contemporary biology and to make the discipline of philosophy an active participant in identifying new directions for integrative biomedical research.

Specific research topics will include:

  • Exploring and developing accounts of biological function and biological normativity through their application to data and theory in current biology and medicine
  • Implications of life history theory and the developmental origins of health and disease paradigm for conceptions of health and disease
  • Implications of genetic conflict perspectives and recent work on biological individuality for health and disease


The research will be conducted in close collaboration with the biomedical research community at the University of Sydney.

The positions will be located in Theory and Methods in Bioscience, a research group headed by Professor Griffiths in the Charles Perkins Centre, a multi-disciplinary research centre involving over 1000 researchers from all faculties at the University of the Sydney. The mission of this state-of-the-art facility is “To ease the burden of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and related conditions by generating collaborative research and education that translates into real-world solutions.”

The skills required for this position lie at the intersection of philosophy and the biosciences. While all current members of the Theory and Methods in Bioscience group are appointed in the Department of Philosophy, the possibility exists for a candidate to be appointed in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences within the Faculty of Science if such an appointment is more suitable given their career trajectory.

About you

The University values courage and creativity; openness and engagement; inclusion and diversity; and respect and integrity. As such, we see the importance of recruiting talent aligned to these values and are looking for a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Philosophy with: 

  • PhD in Philosophy or Biological Sciences or another field relevant to the research project 
  • expertise in Philosophy of the life sciences or theoretical biology
  • evidence of research potential by publications, successful completion of previous research projects, etc.
  • demonstrated interest in biological and biomedical sciences. For candidates with a PhD in Biological Sciences a demonstrated interest in philosophy of science and biological theory
  • evidence of ability to work as part of a research team, including to efficiently schedule tasks and to meet deadlines
  • experience in modelling and/or familiarity with formal methods in population biology


About us

The University of Sydney’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences has a proud history and tradition of intellectual rigour and offers one of the most comprehensive and diverse range of humanities and social science studies in the Asia-Pacific region, and a vibrant research and teaching environment. ?

The School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry (SOPHI) is one of six schools in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, made up of the departments of Archaeology, Classics and Ancient History, Gender and Cultural Studies, History, and Philosophy. The School brings together an exciting group of academics and students who participate in a wide array of undergraduate and postgraduate programs. It is home to some of the leading researchers and teachers in Australia and the world, as well as regularly hosting prominent visitors and international colloquia. 

Philosophy at the University of Sydney has research strengths in philosophy of science — especially biology and cognitive science, history of philosophy — especially early modern, logic, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, epistemology, decision theory, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of law, pragmatism, and moral, social and political philosophy. The 2017-18 Wiley-Blackwell Philosophical Gourmet Report ranked Sydney equal first in the world for Philosophy of Biology.

Since our inception 160 years ago, the University of Sydney has led to improve the world around us. We believe in education for all and that effective leadership makes lives better. These same values are reflected in our approach to diversity and inclusion, and underpin our long-term strategy for growth. We’re Australia's first university and have an outstanding global reputation for academic and research excellence. Across our campuses, we employ over 6000 academic and non-academic staff who support over 60,000 students.

We are undergoing significant transformative change which brings opportunity for innovation, progressive thinking, breaking with convention, challenging the status quo, and improving the world around us.

Please refer to the candidate information pack for further details.
Specific enquiries about the position can be directed to: Professor Paul E. Griffiths, ARC Laureate Fellow at 

Enquiries regarding the recruitment process can be directed to Mohammed Abu Naser on +61 2 8627 1215 or at

Closing date: 13 May 2018, 11.30pm Sydney time.

The University of Sydney is committed to diversity and social inclusion. Applications from people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; equity target groups including women, people with disabilities, people who identify as LGBTIQ; and people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, are encouraged.

The University reserves the right not to proceed with any appointment. Selection CriteriaCandidate Information Pack


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