Funded ERC PhD studentship 2013–16: ‘Economics in the Public Sphere’
The Department of History and Philosophy of Science (HPS), University of Cambridge, invites applications for one Postgraduate Research Studentship to start in October 2013. The studentship will support three years of doctoral research and is funded by the European Research Council (ERC).
The doctoral research will be part of a new ERC-funded project entitled 'Economics in the Public Sphere: USA, UK, France, Poland and Brazil since 1945' (ERC Grant agreement no 283754). The project is directed by Dr Tiago Mata. It also employs an administrator/research assistant, two postdoctoral researchers, and a doctoral student, all based in Cambridge.
Media reporting on the economy is never far from controversy. Academic economists and the public regularly find journalists at fault in their interpretation of events and prescription of solutions. The project studies 'economic journalism' as a site for the production of public economic knowledge. The practices of journalists will be examined to reveal how they parse competing claims of expertise by academic economists, other social scientists and laymen.
The second half of the twentieth century was witness to increased homogeneity in academic economics and interdependence of national economies, yet the content and style of 'economic journalism' has remained distinctive across nations. The project sets out to understand how and why media representation of economic knowledge and so of the economy has remained distinctively different even while the content and style of economics converged internationally. The project identifies three international economic controversies as focal points for study: the reconstruction debate post 1945, the monetary and oil crisis of the 1970s, and the current economic crisis. The project takes a cross-national approach examining the economic press in the USA, UK, France, Poland and Brazil.
Cultural standards of trust, the history and economics of the media, and the history of economics and social movements will be used to explain the emergence of distinct national genres of 'economic journalism'. The project offers an original perspective on how public knowledge of the economy is an iterative process engaging journalists, academics and laymen and explores the implications of this knowledge formation for the possibilities of public support for economic action and policies.
The doctoral studentship will support research on a national case. A preference will be given to students proposing to study Poland's economic media, however proposals to study other nations will also be considered. Applicants must show proficiency in English and in the language of the primary sources. Applicants must submit with their application feasible doctoral projects demonstrating their qualification to undertake them, and showing familiarity with one or several of the research methods: archival research, oral history, ethnographic observation, content and textual analysis of media.
Further details of the project, including a description of its envisaged methodology, can be found in this document, containing relevant excerpts from the original ERC proposal:
The successful candidate will be supervised by Tiago Mata, in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. In addition to pursuing their own doctoral research, the holder of the award will form part of the five-person research team and join in a range of activities to promote research on the themes of the project as a whole.
Candidates must normally have obtained at least a first class honours degree (or equivalent) from a recognised institution of higher education before 31 July 2013. Applicants should also normally have, or be studying for, a master's degree or similar postgraduate qualification in an area related to the history and philosophy of science. If the candidate does not have such experience of formal graduate study, they must demonstrate evidence of sustained experience beyond undergraduate degree level specifically relevant to the research topic that could be considered equivalent to master's study. The studentship pays £21,146 in the first year with increments in the following years. Academic and residency eligibility for a full studentship award are strictly subject to the conditions imposed by the University of Cambridge.
Interested candidates should begin by contacting Tiago Mata (email@example.com) to discuss the suitability of their intended project. They should then send a preliminary application to David Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 11 January 2013. This should include the following:
- A full CV, including details of academic training and results
- A statement of proposed research, of not more than 1000 words
- Two samples of recent work in a relevant field
- Two letters of reference, to be sent directly to Mr Thompson
Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed by Dr Mata. The successful candidate will then be required to submit a separate formal application for admission to the University of Cambridge.