Stellenangebot: PhD Position in the project “(Im-)Possibilities of letting life end” (100%), University St.Gallen

Fully funded PhD position (m/w/d) Project «(Im-)possibilities of letting life end. An ethnography of medical specialist practices» (100%)

Your tasks

We are looking for a PhD candidate to become part of the research project
“(Im-)possibilities of letting life end. An ethnography of medical specialist practices”.
The project provides an ethnography of the ways in which in the clinical practices of medical specialties non-life prolonging treatment and care are made possible. On the one hand, it traces how in the mundane goings-on of providing health care to patients with life-limiting, -threatening or chronic diseases in a hospital “conservative management”, “supportive treatment”, or “palliative care” are made thinkable, discussed and implemented. On the other hand, the project follows the activities that physicians undertake to increase possibilities for providing non-life prolonging treatment and care in the structures they are embedded in (e.g. writing guidelines, producing scientific evidence, teaching specialist palliative care courses).
The project consists of two case studies each focusing on one medical speciality and collecting data, in regard to the issue exemplary hospital in Switzerland. The first case study, conducted by the PI, zooms in on paediatrics whereas the second case study, undertaken by the PhD candidate, focuses on nephrology.
Through the example of the so-called transition of patients from curative treatment to palliative care, the project analyses the enactments, contestations, and tensions arising around “good” medical care and the physician position within them. Rather than critiquing, it articulates emergences of novel forms of “good” care and experiments with forms of appreciating physicians and the work that they undertake at the beginning of the 21st century.

The PhD candidate is expected to carry out the case study of nephrology clinical practices. This implies:

  • developing a research design that includes, but is not limited to:
  • data collection at the Cantonal Hospital St.Gallen in the Department for Nephrology, in collaboration with the project partners on site
  • in collaboration and under the supervision of the PI and Ann O’Hare from the Division of Nephrology at the University of Washington collection of medical records, conducting a thematic, retrospective analysis of processes leading to dialysis withdrawal and writing of a co-authored paper targeted to an audience of medical professionals
  • complete a dissertation for a PhD degree at the University of St.Gallen
  • presentation of research outputs at conferences
  • organising a workshop with the PI

Your profile

  • fulfilment of the formal admission criteria of the DOK-Program
  • two years Master’s degree (or equivalent qualification) in STS, Sociology, Social and Cultural Anthropology or neighbouring disciplines
  • documented experience with and/or well described interest in the fields of medical STS, medical sociology or medical anthropology
  • documented experience with qualitative methods, in particular ethnography and interviews
  • fluency in German and English, French and Italien are of advantage
  • the ability to work autonomously and collaborate in teams

We offer

  • ongoing supervision by Dr. Anna Mann, the PI of the project, and Prof. Tanja Schneider, the formal supervisor
  • a dynamic, caring STS research group
  • opportunity to enrol in the DOK-Program of the University of St. Gallen (discipline: Technology Studies, SHSS)
  • scientific engagement in national and international networks

Please submit above documents as one single pdf file via online portal by 4th April 2022.

You can find the full version here.