[Job Vacancy] Full-time PhD position in the research project BELTRANS

INTRA-BELGIAN TRANSLATIONS 1970-2020, 4 years-grant

Université catholique de Louvain, Institut des Civilisations, Arts et Lettres
Institut d’Analyse du Changement dans l’Histoire et les Sociétés contemporaines
Centre de recherche en Ecriture, Création et Représentation : Littératures et Arts de la scène (ECR)
Laboratoire de recherches historiques (LaRHis)


Required degree: MA Degree (at least with honours) that gives access to a doctorate in:

  • History;
  • Modern languages (Dutch, French and/or another modern language);
  • Comparative literature;
  • Translation studies;
  • Or related fields.

This position is also open to candidates who will have obtained a Master’s degree at the end of the academic year 2020-2021.

Required skills/qualifications

  • very good command of Dutch and French, good knowledge of English
  • ability to work both independently and as part of a team
  • motivation and intellectual curiosity
  • ability to integrate into a multilingual and interdisciplinary research environment
  • excellent organisational and communication skills


A minimum level of competence in as many of the following areas as possible is an asset:

  • cultural (literary) history or cultural transfers
  • history of Belgium (specialization: contemporary period), history of the present time
  • prior experience with translation, translation studies
  • prior experience with edition, book sciences

Project description

The selected candidate will work on a PhD project fully funded by the research programme BRAIN.be (Belgian Research Action Through Interdisciplinary Networks) of BELSPO as part of the research project BELTRANS – Intra-Belgian literary translations 1970-2020.

The project Intra-Belgian literary translations since 1970 (BELTRANS) aims to study the circulation and reception of literary texts published by Belgian authors and translated into Dutch and French. It will examine the link between intra-Belgian cultural transfers and the mutual knowledge of each other’s culture, as well as the underlying strategies, frames and norms. The objective will be to question the role of translations in the perception of a common cultural repertoire and the constitution of a shared Belgian identity. More specifically, the project examines if a period of increasing regionalization of the state had an impact on cultural policies, and if changes and evolutions in the political landscape have affected the translation dynamics, and therefore the mutual cultural perception between Flanders and francophone Belgium.

Work environment

This PhD-research project, as part of BELTRANS, will be conducted at UCLouvain, on the campus of Louvain-la-Neuve, during max. 4 years (employment will start on July 1st, 2021) under supervision of Prof. Stéphanie Vanasten (UCLouvain) and Emmanuel Debruyne (UCLouvain). The PhD candidate will be collaborating closely with colleagues from the research consortium BELTRANS (KBR, KULeuven, UCLouvain) and their respective research groups and networks. The position corresponds to a PhD-grant according to UCLouvain scales and regulations for PhD scholarships. The selected PhD candidate will participate, within the research team of BELTRANS, in international workshops, seminars and conferences, publications and cultural projects related to the project. His/her research is expected to result in a doctoral degree.

How to apply

Candidates are invited to submit their applications by e-mail to Prof. Stéphanie Vanasten et Prof. Emmanuel Debruyne by July, 15th, 2021. Start date of employment: September 2021.

The application should include the following documents

  • a CV with bibliography (including an overview of the applicant’s study results and a copy of the applicant’s MA degree, as well as contact details for two academic referees who may be contacted as part of the application procedure)
  • a letter of application (max 2 p.) that outlines the candidate’s motivation for applying for this project and his/her vision of it.
  • a pdf-copy of the Master’s thesis or a publication that can attest the suitability of the candidate to the required profile for this project.

On the basis of these documents, candidates will be selected for an interview. UCLouvain, through its action plan on gender policy, aims to be inclusive, respectful of equal opportunities, and favourable to diversity.

For further details and questions, please do not hesitate to contact Stéphanie Vanasten et Emmanuel Debruyne