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Within the framework of the Research Training Group “Literary Form: History and Culture of Aesthetic Modelling” (RTG 1886/1), funded by the German Research Council, the University of Muenster advertises

up to 12 doctoral scholarships.

(For details of the scholarships see the regulations of the German Research Council:

Funding is to commence on 1 October 2016 and lasts for at least 30 months.

The Graduate Training Programme
The inter-philological Research Training Group (RTG) “Literary Form” is a co-operation of eight literature departments at Muenster University (English Studies, Arabian Studies, German Studies, German Medieval Studies, Classical Philology, Dutch Studies, French/Italian/Spanish Studies, Slavonic Studies). The programme offers young researchers working on innovative doctoral projects the chance to connect in a state of the art research context. The programme’s focus is on the re-interpretation and expansion of the concept of ‘literary form’ by means of a transdisciplinary model theory.

Research and Supervision
Doctoral training and supervision in this programme are situated in an ambitious research context supported by an excellent infrastructure, based on the faculty’s longstanding experience with structured doctoral programmes as much as on numerous national and international co-operations. Doctoral students benefit from a specially designed introductory course to the programme’s thematic and theoretical foundations, extensive individual supervision, office space for members, and the ready availability of funds for research travel and stays within Germany and worldwide. The strong transdisciplinary interface of the programme is maintained through collaborations with Muenster University’s Centre for Philosophy of Science and with the Association for Model Research at the Cluster of Excellence “Image Knowledge Gestaltung” at Humboldt University Berlin. Integrating doctoral students in the development of both the RTG’s strategic structures and research context, the programme is designed as a dynamic and flexible framework for initiating academic careers.

Form and Modelling
In terms of literary production, form is seen as the negotiation between stabilising closure on the one hand and dynamic opening on the other, as much in terms of the structural basis as of topics and concepts. Processes of aesthetic formation, thus, appear as a major concern for any study of literary production. They can be seen as manifestations of modelling combining extra-literary and literary models, or processes of representation and construction. The act of literary modelling entails fictional texts shaping their models of the world and of reality through forms of art, which in their turn can assume the nature of models – for instance in the adoption, adaptation and subversion of genres, in intermedial shifts or in cultural transfer. The programme approaches these issues in three methodologically distinct research areas:

1. Knowledge of forms and forms of knowledge (epistemology)
The main focus in this area is on the epistemic function of processes of formation and of concrete modelling authorities, e.g., in the fictional modelling of factual fields of knowledge as well as in the application of literary strategies to non-literary discourses, but also in formal experimentation and the reflection on form.

2. Cultural models and model cultures (cultural poetics)
This field addresses factors in the success, validity and prescriptive power of literary models, e.g. in view of the complex exchanges between ‘high’ and ‘popular’ culture, in media transfer, in advertising or in intercultural discourse.

3. Modelling at the limits of form (structure)
Research in this area focusses on the tensions inherent in all formational processes between assembling form and dissolving it. Projects examine the loss or destruction of form, as well as the transfer or transformation of forms, as aesthetic practices.

Project proposals should, ideally, focus on one of these aspects or indicate how they might link up with one or more of them. We welcome proposals from a wide spectrum of research on literature. The selection process will take into consideration the various stages of development and elaboration of proposals submitted, and any further profiling of projects within and towards the programme framework will, wherever necessary or desired, be closely supervised and supported after admission.

For further information, see

The following documents (in German or English) are to be submitted electronically by 29 April 2016 (in a single pdf file) to

  • motivational letter
  • CV
  • summary of the dissertation project (five pages)
  • certificates and diplomas (school leaving certificate, BA/MA etc.) and transcript of records including relevant marks

Please also identify two referees and ask them to submit their letters of reference to the above email address.
Interviews will take place on June 20 and 21, 2016 in Muenster. Successful candidates will be informed presently.

The University of Münster is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to increasing the proportion of women academics. Consequently, we actively encourage applications by women. Female candidates with equivalent qualifications and academic achievements will be preferentially considered within the framework of the legal possibilities.We also welcome applications from candidates with severe disabilities. Disabled candidates with equivalent qualifications will be preferentially considered.

Prof. Dr. Klaus Stierstorfer
Director, Research Training Group “Literary Form”

Leonie Windt, M.A. (Coordinator)
Graduiertenkolleg Literarische Form
Robert-Koch-Straße 29
48149 Münster
Tel. ++49-251-83-30150

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