PhD Project CAIDERA: Knowledge production and health seeking strategies in the field of infectious diseases (2022-2025)

We are looking for a PhD candidate to investigate the means and contents of knowledge and attitude production as well as health seeking strategies, that are formed and employed by individuals and communities in the context of infectious diseases. The research should take place preferably in Cameroon or Gabon. The candidate would be enrolled and placed in Tübingen, Germany, for a period of three –four years. The research project should consider the cultural and structural determinants or influences (plural medical systems, routinized practices and explanatory models, economics, logistics, access to health) of health seeking strategies.

Special emphasis could be placed in studying the role social media and other communicative processes have on these processes of knowledge/attitude/practice production. Questions here would include - how and where is different kind information produced and processed (e.g. through which channels of communication, in which languages and genres); - what kind of information (regarding e.g. the origin and meaning of infectious diseases) is circulated and received; - how are different kinds of information evaluated and discussed, - what is the impact on health seeking strategies as well as on social processes and imaginaries beyond the area of health and medicine. Another topic of interest is the co–habitation of humans and animals in relation to the spread of infectious diseases, e.g. rabies.

Requirements :

The candidate:

  • should have a first degree (MA) in Social Anthropology with at least a B/2.0
  • should be able to converse in English and have the certificate of Level C1 or C2
  • should be able to converse in French
  • local languages
  • should be able to conduct ethnographic fieldwork in the respective settings
  • should be able to spend time/live in Tübingen (approximately 2 years in total) and attend classes there and engage in discussions and teamwork with the department and other colleagues and students within the larger project

The PhD project is part of the DAAD funded project CAIDERA. The candidate would be enrolled and placed in Tübingen, Germany, for a period of three –four years. The first year would consist of course work and preparation, the second/third year is reserved for fieldwork, the third/fourth year for writing up. The PhD is funded by a stipend of the DAAD (€ 1,200 per month) with additional funding for health insurance and a research related travel allowance.

Severely disabled persons will be given preferential consideration in case of equal suitability. The University of Tübingen aims to increase the proportion of women in research and teaching and therefore invites applications from suitably qualified female academics.

For further information, please contact Prof. Dr. Gabriele Alex ( Please send your application with the usual documents – cover letter; curriculum vitae; certificates; letter of motivation (1-2 pages); prospective research project proposal within the framework of the project description above (4-5 pages plus bibliography) – in the form of a single pdf document by e-mail to Prof. Dr. Gabriele Alex ( by 01st of December 2021.

A document to help have the most information possible on the work to be done and the expectations of the job can be found here