Contrats doctoraux – Johannes Gutenberg University, Mayence

Call for Applications
6 doctoral positions Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz

The interdisciplinary Research Training Group 1876 “Early Concepts of Man and Nature: Universal, Local, Borrowed” established by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz invites applications for 6 doctoral positions (wissenschaftliche/r Mitarbeiter/in, 13 TV-L 65%) starting on October 1st, 2016. Initial appointment will be for two years. Subject to continued funding by the German Research Foundation, a further appointment for one more year will be made.

The Research Training Group is directed by scholars from the fields of Egyptology, Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Near Eastern Archaeology, Classical Archaeology, Classics, Byzantine Studies, Medieval German Studies, and Medical History.

In the Research Training Group’s research programme, the object is to record concepts of man and nature in the Near Eastern, Northeast African and European area in the period from ca. 3200 BC until the Middle Ages – starting out from textual, pictorial and material sources – by means of examples and to study them in a culturally immanent as well as transcultural respect. In order to align the spectrum of potential fields of topics in a targeted manner four main focal points of research have been defined:

(1) The origin of the World and the primordial elements;
(2) Natural phenomena, the forces of nature, and natural catastrophes;
(3) Flora, fauna, and landscape;
(4) The conceptualization of the human body, of disease and healing.

Topics for PhD theses must be chosen from one of these four areas and belong to one of the academic the disciplines mentioned above.

We are looking for:

(c)     PhD projects that will connect with and complement dissertation projects within the Research Training Group and
(d)     individual dissertation projects for one of the four areas.

For detailed information regarding our programme for research and training and the academic staff involved with our graduate school, please refer to our homepage (

 Requirements for appointment:
–          a diploma or master’s degree (or equivalent) with excellent results in one of the disciplines mentioned above and fulfill the necessary requirements for studying for a doctoral degree in either Fachbereich (Faculty) 05 or 07 of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

We provide:
–          a PhD programme with clearly defined steps and instruction
–          ample opportunities for intensive professional and interdisciplinary exchange
–          close supervision by two professors of different academic disciplines of the Research Training Group’s core faculty
–          a mentoring programme with cooperating partners in Germany and abroad
–          traineeships within cooperating institutes
–          additional funding for staying for up to four weeks abroad at a research institute cooperating with our programme as well as for attending conferences inside and outside Germany
–          classes helping you to acquire key qualifications (e.g. time-management or academic writing courses)
–          a modern and pleasant working environment
–          optional six months’ funding for a new research project once you have completed your PhD

We expect:
–          prepare a doctoral thesis within our research programme
–          scientific training within a structured dissertation programme
–          continuous participation in the study programme
–          cooperate with other PhD students and scholars from neighbouring fields and discipline
–          presence at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
–          after the three year funding period: doctorate at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

The following documents must be provided:
–          application form (available on thewebsitefor download)
–          a letter of motivation
–          a curriculum vitae
–          a complete transcript of academic records, including the last school report obtained before entering university (Abitur or equivalent)
–          a résumé of the graduate thesis you submitted (3 pages)
–          your graduate thesis in a pdffile
–          an exposé for a PhD thesis in one of the areas of the Research Training Group, summarizing the idea, outlining research questions and state of the art, approach and methods to be used, work and time schedule (4 pages)
–          two letters of reference from members of academic staff allowing us to judge your abilities (to be sent before the closing date directly to the spokesperson)
–          if available: a list of attended conferences and publications

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz is keen to increase the number of women among its scholars and thus encourages women to apply. Disabled persons will be given preference if equally qualified. Further details regarding the application process and the selection of candidates are given on the homepage of our graduate school. You may also contact a member of the Research Training Group’s staff in your discipline if you have a specific question. For organizational questions you may contact the coordination office.

Please submit your complete application in electronic form (pdf) only no later than May 1st, 2016 to the Research Training Group spokesperson Univ.-Prof. Dr. Tanja Pommerening (

The Wolfgang Fritz Volbach Fellowship

The Wolfgang Fritz Volbach Fellowship, Mainz

The Wolfgang Fritz Volbach-Fellowship was conceived as a link between the centre of research Mainz and international scholarly work within Byzantine Studies. The fellowship reaches out to foreign fellows with a doctoral degree who work in a field related to the subject of the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus: Byzantium between orient and occident. The invitation consists of a one month research residence with full access to libraries, academic infrastructure and participation in interdisciplinary exchange.


The library of the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum (RGZM) contains c. 170.000 media items and c. 2000 periodicals and is therefore one of the largest and most important specialist libraries on the archaeology of the old world in Europe. Combined with the comprehensive collections of the libraries of the Johannes Gutenberg-University, especially of the area Byzantine Studies at the Institute of History and the department Christian Archaeology and Byzantine History of Art at the Institute for History of Art and Music Science provide excellent conditions for academic work on all aspects of Byzantine culture.

Aside library structures, the collection of the RGZM comprises numerous Byzantine original finds and replicas and the collection of Prince Johann Georg zu Sachsen in the Landesmuseum Mainz (permanent loan of the Institute for History of Art and Music Science), and thus offers reference material for research in archaeology, history of art and material culture.


·         Grant of Euro 2000,- for four weeks residence in Mainz either during the summer or the winter term

·         Free accommodation in the guest house of the RGZM if within the following periods:

         – winter term 2015/16: January 11th – March 6th

         – summer term 2016: May 2nd – June 26th

         – winter term 2016/17: October 24th – December 18th

·         Fellows are invited to present their current research with a paper in the lecture series Byzanz in Mainz.


Application requirements

·         Applicants must possess a doctorate or an equivalent academic degree (e.g. PhD) and have a permanent residency abroad.

·         Applicants are engaged in a research project relevant to the subject of the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Mainz: Byzantium between orient and occident.

·         Applications are always welcome considering the following deadlines:

          – until May 1st 2015 for winter term 2015/16

          – until November 1st for summer term 2016

          – until May 1st 2016 for winter term 2016/17

·         Please send applications via mail to managing director of the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Mainz Dr. Benjamin Fourlas (fourlas(at) including application form and copies of academic certificates.

Wolfgang Fritz Volbach

The fellowship is named in honour of the important archaeologist and art historian Wolfgang Fritz Volbach († 1988) who was born in Mainz in 1892. He studied History of Art, Classical Archaeology and Medieval History at the universities of Tübingen, Munich, Berlin and Gießen. During his long academic career he significantly influenced research in late antique and Byzantine monuments in Germany. From 1917, for instance, he was employed in the department for Early Christian and Byzantine Art of the Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum in Berlin, from 1930 to 1933 in the function of its director. From 1950 to 1953 he was the co-director of the RGZM, then head of the museum from 1953 to 1958. His studies on Early Christian and Medieval Archaeology and Art crossed traditional disciplinary limitations, a legacy that the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus aspires to continue. Volbach co-operated with famous representatives of contemporary Byzantine research, produced numerous catalogues and contributed greatly to the field of fundamental research, in particular.

His activity and academic profile set the foundations for the establishment of Byzantine studies at the RGZM, foundations which prove profitable to his successors until today. He has to be regarded as a pioneer of Byzantine studies in Mainz. Without Volbach, the foundation of the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Mainz: Byzantium between orient und occident under the aegis of the RGZM would not have been possible.