PhD-scholarship in postwar British political history

4 March 2020

The Gerda Henkel Foundation funds three PhD-scholarships in the political history of post-war Europe as part of the research project The Voice of the People. Popular expectations of democracy in post-war Europe, c. 1945-1980s.

On behalf of the Foundation, the project team is looking for a highly motivated and talented PhD candidate in post-war British political history. You will be part of a research team of three PhD candidates investigating and comparing the articulation and mediatisation of popular expectations of democracy in three Western European countries – Britain, West Germany and the Netherlands – roughly between the end of the Second World War and the early 1980s. The Voice of the People combines an interest in both the actual perceptions and expectations of politics voiced by citizens and the various practices through which their voices were rendered legible and brought in the public sphere. This means that the role played by, inter alia, journalists, pollsters and broadcasters in mediating and co-constructing the ‘voice of the people’ will also be part of the investigation. The project is led by Dr. Harm Kaal (Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands).

At Radboud University you will be granted the status of external PhD candidate at the Graduate School for the Humanities. You will not be employed by Radboud University. You are not expected to take residence in or near Nijmegen for the whole duration of the project. Your task will be to conduct research and to complete a PhD thesis in a timely fashion. Your PhD thesis will be submitted and defended at Radboud University. You will furthermore participate in conferences, workshops and other scholarly activities, write scientific articles, and collaborate with societal partners.


The PhD-candidate working on the British subproject will be supervised by Professor Adrian Bingham (University of Sheffield), Professor Wim van Meurs (Radboud University), and Dr Harm Kaal (Radboud University).


Candidates for this PhD scholarship:

  • Have successfully completed an MA in History or a related field relevant to the PhD project.
  • Have demonstrable expertise about the political history of post-war Britain, West Germany or The Netherlands.
  • Meet high academic standards, as demonstrated by grade transcripts and CV.
  • Are proficient in English
  • Have demonstrable strong affinity with scientific research and excellent academic writing skills.
  • Are able to work collaboratively in an international research team.


  • You will receive a PhD scholarship of € 1,600 per month, directly funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation, for an initial period of 12 months. If so recommended by your supervisors, the scholarship will be extended annually, for a total maximum duration of three years.
  • Additional financial support (€ 400 per month) for conducting research abroad is available for a limited number of months.
  • As an external PhD candidate of the Graduate School for the Humanities at Radboud University you will also receive a number of perquisites, including funding for conference visits, printing costs of the PhD thesis and costs of the PhD thesis, and costs related to the public defense of the thesis.


Please address your application to Dr Harm Kaal and submit it via email to: The submission deadline is 23 March 2020, 23:59 Amsterdam Time Zone.

Your application should include the following attachments:• A motivational letter in which you clarify your motivation for and interest in one of the three subprojects and describe your competencies.• An outline of your ideas for the subproject (max. 1,000 words, excluding bibliography).• CV including a list of publications and other relevant research output.• Certified copies of your degrees.• Proof of your academic writing skills such as a chapter from your Master’s thesis or an academic paper.• The names and contact details of two referees

More information

For more information about these scholarships, see the project website or get in touch with:Dr Harm KaalTel.: +31 24 3612921Email: