PhD Studentship: FraMEPhys - A Framework for Metaphysical Explanation in Physics Institution: University of Birmingham

University of Birmingham - School of Philosophy Theology and Religion

Supervisor(s) Dr Alastair Wilson
Application Deadline: 1 February 2018
Institution: University of Birmingham
School: School of Philosophy Theology and Religion
Funding availability: University-funded PhD project (UK, EU, Overseas (non-EU))

Research interests/description of main research theme:

FraMEPhys, a major 5-year project funded by the European Research Council, is investigating the nature of explanation in physics, with particular focus on metaphysical and non-causal explanations (including grounding explanations, geometrical explanations and unificatory explanations). The aim of FraMEPhys is to combine recent progress in metaphysics, philosophy of science and philosophy of physics to enhance our understanding of the nature of metaphysical explanation in physics. Case studies of special interest include curved spacetime, closed timelike curves and quantum entanglement.

The student will contribute to the broader FraMEPhys project either by exploring the general concepts of causation, grounding and explanation as they pertain to physical theories, or by examining in detail a particular case study in philosophy of physics that involves distinctive patterns of metaphysical explanation.

The student should have an excellent first degree and a Masters degree with a significant philosophy component. Candidates must be able to demonstrate competence in general philosophy of science and metaphysics.

Studentships will be supervised by Dr Alastair Wilson, with co-supervision from other members of Birmingham faculty as appropriate to the project.

For more information, please visit:

Funding information:

This award includes funding for a full-time PhD project studentship to begin on 1st September 2018. The award covers stipend of £20,500 per annum.

The successful applicant will benefit from:

  • A fully-funded three-year PhD (stipend of £20,500 per annum) in a leading UK university.
  • Guidance from leading experts in the field and research training from the University of Birmingham Graduate School.
  • Work space at the University of Birmingham Edgbaston campus, and resources to attend and present at conferences and workshops.
  • A vibrant research environment in the Department of Philosophy, with regular research seminars, reading groups, workshops and conferences.

Please note, course fees are not included separately and will be payable. Fees for 2018/19 are £4,270 full-time for UK/EU students or £16,320 full-time for international students. 

Contact for enquiries:

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Alastair Wilson: . To apply, please send a C.V. and an anonymised 5000-word writing sample, together with a covering letter outlining your suitability for the studentship and the names of two referees to by Thursday 1 February 2018. Quote: FraMEPhys

Interviews will be conducted in March 2018.

The names of two referees should be sent to by 1 February 2018.

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