Studentship: Fully funded European Research Council (ERC) PhD Studentships 2012-2016 - University of Cambridge (UK) - Deadline: February 15, 2012

Fully funded European Research Council (ERC) PhD studentships 2012–16
(please forward to any interested parties)

“Economics in the Public Sphere: USA, UK, France, Poland and Brazil since 1945.”

The Department of History and Philosophy of Science (HPS), University
of Cambridge, invites preliminary applications for two ERC
Postgraduate Research Studentships to start in October 2012. The
studentships will support three years of doctoral research with
funding continuing into a fourth year of thesis writing. The project
is funded by the European Research Council.

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, and two postdoctoral researchers, all based in Cambridge.

Project description
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 by 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 the in
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 a original perspective on how public
knowledge of the economy is a 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.

Research studentships
The doctoral studentships will focus on the study of one of the
following national cases: UK, France, Poland and Brazil. Applicants
must show proficiency in the language of the national case they elect.
Applicants with familiarity with one or several of the research
methods: archival research, oral history, ethnographic observation,
content and textual analysis of media, will be preferred. Applicants
must submit with their application feasible doctoral projects
demonstrating their qualification to undertake them.

Further details of the project, including a description of its
envisaged methodology, can be found in this document, which contains
excerpts from the original ERC proposal:
ECONPUBLIC research outline

The successful candidates 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
holders of the award will form part of the five-person research team
and join in a range of activities to promote research on the theme 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 2011. 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.

Application procedure
Interested candidates should begin by contacting Tiago Mata
( to discuss the suitability of their intended
project. They should then send a preliminary application to David
Thompson (, to arrive by 15 February 2012. 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