PhD Studentship / Postdoc Position in Medieval History in the Dissident Networks Project

Brno, Czech Republic
21 Jun 2022
End of advertisement period
15 Sep 2022
Contract Type
Fixed Term, Permanent
Full Time

Department: Centre for the Digital Research of Religion – Faculty of Arts
Deadline: 15 Sep 2022
Start date: 1 November 2022 (negotiable)
Job type: full-time
Job field: Science and research

Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University announces an open competition for: PhD studentship or postdoc position in history in an ERC-funded digital research project on medieval heresy and inquisition

Department: 213850 Centre for the Digital Research of Religion, Department for the Study of Religions, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University
Position: researcher
Work time: 50% (PhD candidate) or 100% (postdoc)
Number of open positions: 1
Expected start: 1 November 2022 (negotiable)
Duration: 30 October 2023 (first contract), 30 October 2024 (full duration for a postdoc) or 31 August 2026 (full duration for a Ph.D. candidate)
Deadline for applications: 15 September 2022 23:59 (CET – Prague)

The Dissident Networks Project (DISSINET, – an ERC Consolidator Grant-funded research initiative based at Masaryk University (Brno, Czech Republic) – offers a PhD studentship or postdoc research fellowship. The focus of research for the successful candidate will be the computational study of medieval religious dissent and inquisition, and will be founded on medieval inquisition records (c. 1230-1520).

We are looking for candidates with background in history, medieval studies, study of religions, medieval Latin language and literature or a similar field.

They can be either:

  • (a) M.A. graduates interested in enrolling in doctoral studies in the Study of Religions at Masaryk University; or
  • (b) Ph.D. candidates approaching the completion of studies; or
  • (c) holders of a doctoral degree.

A successful M.A. graduate applying for a doctoral position would receive the normal doctoral stipend for full-time Ph.D. students at Masaryk University, and would in addition be offered a contract for their participation in the DISSINET project (weighted at 50% of a full-time employee). They would be assigned a Ph.D. supervisor within the team.

A successful Ph.D. candidate approaching the completion of their studies and applying for a post-doctoral position would be able to negotiate the amount of work time they can initially dedicate to the project (minimum 50% required).

A successful holder of a doctoral degree applying for a post-doctoral position would be offered a full-time role.

The successful candidate will develop their own research direction in consultation with the Principal Investigator, Dr. David Zbíral. They will receive hands-on training, building on their core skills as medievalists through the use of computational techniques including social network analysis, geographic information systems and computational text analysis. The position thus represents a unique opportunity for building a truly cutting-edge research profile.

The position is residential (although with reasonable flexibility for pandemic-related travel restrictions). Brno is a very pleasant university city ca. 2 hours by direct train connection from Vienna and Prague, and offers all the opportunities of a modern metropolis.


  • M.A. or Ph.D. degree in history, medieval studies, study of religions, medieval Latin language and literature or a similar field.
  • Latin language.
  • Competence in historical research.
  • Computer-friendly mindset.
  • Competence in academic writing.
  • English language (C1 or higher).

Other qualifications of interest to the project:

  • Further languages relevant for reading the historiography of medieval heresy and inquisition.
  • Experience with structured data (spreadsheets, databases).
  • Interest in social scientific approaches to history.
  • Experience in heresy & inquisition studies, notarial records, medieval religion or late medieval history.

We do not expect candidates to possess all of these “other qualifications of interest”, and recognise there are other qualifications beyond this list that can enhance DISSINET’s research profile.

We offer:

  • Freedom to pursue your intellectual interests and to work creatively across disciplines in an exciting frontier-research project.
  • Growth in interdisciplinary research.
  • Competitive salary commensurate with an ERC-funded project.
  • Individual research budget for participating in conferences and workshops, choosing books and software to be purchased, etc. (ca. 4,000 € each year).
  • Participation in writing high-profile publications in history, social network analysis, and the digital humanities.
  • Friendly and informal working environment.


  • Leading a key research strand within the larger project, concerning selected sets of medieval inquisitorial records.
  • Compiling structured datasets on the basis of inquisitorial records.
  • Co-authoring articles (incl. as lead author).
  • Participating in the team’s discussions, meetings, tutorials, and other activities.
  • Contributing to the project’s visibility (papers at conferences, publications, online outcomes, social media, etc.).
  • Reading and summarizing literature, contributing to the project’s annotated bibliography.
  • Organizational and administrative responsibilities related to the project.

Attachments to the application:

  • Letter of motivation (in English).
  • Two letters of recommendation from established scholars in a relevant field (candidates may either submit their referees’ letter themselves or, if preferable, ask their referee to send it to the PI confidentially at
  • Structured CV (in English) with an overview of competences, language skills (preferably using the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages), previous research and work experience, and optionally a list of publications (incl. submitted).
  • Two examples of academic texts (co-)authored by the applicant.
  • Scanned proofs of the university degrees.
  • Optionally (for Ph.D. candidates approaching the completion of studies) written proof of thesis submission or progress in studies.

The candidate’s degree does not need to be recent for this position. We are open to those seeking to return to academia or to change their focus within it. Applications from female candidates are particularly encouraged.

How to apply...?

Application with all required documents should be sent by e-application available below. Electronic application deadline is: September 15, 2022.