PhD Studentship Opportunities | Two positions in philosophy of sports/philosophy of virtual reality | The Institute of Sport Science and the Institute of Philosophy, University of Bern). Apply no later than February 29, 2024


The two PhD positions are offered within the interdisciplinary project “Outdoor experience in the age of digitalization” which contributes to University of Bern’s “People in Digital Transformation” strategic focus. The overall research aim is to understand how digital tools mediate outdoor movement activities like hiking and mountain running in ordinary and virtual reality.

The first PhD project focuses on outdoor movement activities in ordinary reality and how the use of digital technology and in particular self-tracking devices mediates these experiences. In particular, it will be investigated whether the engagement with these technologies have implications for the embodied experiences and meaningfulness of these activities and if so, in what way. It is expected that both philosophical approaches and qualitative research will be used. The project will be based at the Institute of Sport Science, and the student is expected to have a Master’s degree either in sport science or in philosophy.

The second PhD project focuses on the use of virtual reality technology. The project aims to understand how embodied experiences differ in virtual and ordinary reality, and how valuable virtual outdoor experiences are for a good life. The project will be based at the Institute of Philosophy and it is expected that the applicant has a Master’s degree in philosophy.


      • Conducting research within the designated theme of the overall project
        Writing a PhD thesis
      • Participating actively in the research project, the supervisors’ research groups and networks
      • Contributing to research dissemination activities

The PhD candidates can also contribute to teaching and supervision in areas relevant to the PhD.

Required qualifications

        • Master’s degree (or close to completion) in philosophy or sport science (PhD 1) / philosophy (PhD 2)
        • Motivated interest and sound knowledge in the research area
        • Proficiency and interest in qualitative research methods (particularly for PhD 1)
        • Excellent writing and communication skills
        • Excellent knowledge of written and spoken English; fluency in the German language is considered an advantage

We offer

      • Collaboration in an attractive and dynamic working environment
      • Opportunity to work in interdisciplinary research team
      • Funding for four years
      • Remuneration according to cantonal guidelines of the University of Bern

*          *          *

The projects are supervised by Prof. Dr. Noora Ronkainen (Institute of Sport Science) and Prof. Dr. Dr. Claus Beisbart (Institute of Philosophy).

For further information, please contact Prof. Dr. Noora Ronkainen (general and PhD 1) or Prof. Dr. Dr. Claus Beisbart (PhD 2)

The application document (a motivation letter with indication which PhD project is preferred, CV, a copy of a certificate degree, transcript of records, 1-page proposal for the PhD project, a sample of work of about 8’000 words, e.g. excerpt from master’s thesis; all combined to a single pdf file) is to be submitted to the secretary at Institute of Sport Science: Valentina Wettstein,

We value diversity and encourage applications from groups that are underrepresented in academia and our disciplines.

The deadline for applications is February 29th, at 23:59 CET.

We are looking forward to your application!

Prof. Dr. Dr. Claus Beisbart
Universität Bern
Institut für Philosophie
Länggaßstraße 49a, CH-3012 Bern

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