The MDRN research lab at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) in UK is awarding six doctoral scholarships within the research programme Literary Knowledge, 1890-1950: Modernisms and the Sciences in Europe.
Successful applicants receive a four-year scholarship (doctoraatsbursaal).


The Project
Literary Knowledge, 1890-1950: Modernisms and the Sciences in Europe is funded by the University of Leuven Research Council. This research programme seeks to better understand the epistemic function of Western European literature between 1890 and 1950 by studying literature’s role within a larger economy of knowledge production during the period. More specifically, the programme investigates the ways in which literature related to knowledge stemming from the life sciences, physical sciences, social sciences and the humanities. A large-scale research initiative coherently framed and involving scientists from various disciplines, the programme houses six smaller-scale comparative projects that will result in PhD theses on English, French, German, Italian and Dutch literature’s ties to fields as varied as archaeology, genetics and cosmology (click the titles for more detailed information):
Literary Knowledge, 1890-1950: Modern Etruscans
Literary Knowledge, 1890-1950: Avant-Garde Egypt
Literary Knowledge, 1890-1950: Colonized Citizens
Literary Knowledge, 1890-1950: Eugenic Women
Literary Knowledge, 1890-1950: Popular Astronomy
Literary Knowledge, 1890-1950: Poetic Cosmos
When successful you will become a full-time member of the MDRN lab, a research centre of excellence that currently houses about 30 experts in the expanding field of modernism studies. MDRN unites scholars from various languages and disciplines. The lab offers an exciting environment that allows young scholars to pursue their individual research goals, while at the same time offering the benefits of collaborative work. To learn more about working at MDRN as a young scholar, or about MDRN’s many other projects, people and activities, just browse their site. The lab is based at the Arts Faculty of the University of Leuven. Located in a historic city in the heart of Belgium, the university is 20 minutes from Brussels and less than two hours from Paris, London and Amsterdam.

Worth of Award
A highly competitive, once renewable two-year scholarship (doctoraatsbursaal), a budget for research-related travel, the prospect of a post-doctoral career.


  • You hold either an MA in English (major in literature), an MA in literary studies (major in German, Italian or French), or an MA in German, Italian or French studies (major in literature)
  • You additionally have a high level of proficiency in at least one of these languages: English, German, French or Italian
  • You have a passion for literature and want to become an outstanding scholar
  • You are interested in European modernisms, the avant-gardes, and the ties between literature and science (understood in the broadest sense)
  • You are willing to communicate on your research at conferences, through publications and on social media
  • You are happy to work on campus at least three or four days a week
  • You are ready to work in team and to play an active role both within the research programme and the MDRN lab.

How to Apply

  • To apply simply push the application tool button found on the above-listed pages of the KU Leuven jobsite.
  • With additional questions, please get in touch with the programme’s main supervisor, prof. dr. Sascha Bru: [email protected]
  • The university seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, contact [email protected]

Deadline: applications close 1 Sept. 2018

Click here for more details and to apply

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