ERC-funded Dual Doctoral Award – University of Exeter and Vrije Universiteit Brussels – within the project Average - Transaction Costs and Risk Management during the First Globalization (Sixteenth-Eighteenth Centuries) Ref: 2609

About the award

About the award

Applications are invited for one ERC-funded Dual Doctoral Award with the Department of History at the University of Exeter and the Faculteit Recht en Criminologie (Faculty of Law and Criminology), Vrije Universiteit Brussels (Belgium). This doctoral position will focus on researching the development and practice of Maritime Averages in Bruges and Antwerp between the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries under the supervision of Professor Maria Fusaro (Exeter), Principal Investigator of the project, and Professor Dave De ruysscher (Brussels).

This doctoral position will last for 42 months – to allow for the appropriate technical and quantitative training to analyse this complex documentation – and all its activities will be fully embedded into the wider project’s activities.

The overall aim of the project (ERC grant agreement number 724544) is to investigate the legal and economic development of General Averages comparatively across Europe (in total 4 doctoral positions are being advertised for different countries). A topic neglected by scholars, even though rich and substantial (serial) documentary evidence about it has survived for the early modern period. The project will be articulated along two principal axes: one principally concerned with economic analysis, which will analyse (and make available) data extracted from archives in Italy (Venice, Livorno, Genoa), the Low Countries and Spain; the other concentrating on the legal and political elements behind GA historical development. You can hear more details about the project from this link:

Developments in the Low Countries between the Fifteenth and Sixteenth centuries are an essential element of the project, as the presence of foreign merchants and shipowners (especially Italian and Spanish) in Bruges and Antwerp stimulated important transfer of legal institutes and cross-fertilisation between different legal systems. The successful candidate will focus his/her work on the investigation of legal texts, and of judicial practices in the Great Council of Mechlin and the Municipal Courts of Bruges and Antwerp.

The project offers exciting opportunities for excellent students eager to continue his/her study whilst being actively embedded into an exciting interdisciplinary and transnational research project. The successful applicant will be dividing his/her time between the UK and Belgium, taking advantage of the excellent training facilities available at the Universities of Exeter and the Vrije Universiteit Brussels.  S/he will also be expected to present aspects of his/her research in workshops, seminars and conferences organised within the project over its lifetime.


Application deadline:1st May 2017
Number of awards:1
Value:£14,553 plus full tuition fees for eligible students
Duration of award:per year
Contact: Dr Matt Barber, Graduate School

How to apply

Entry criteria

We invite applications from candidates with a strong academic background in early modern history, preferably economic and social history of Europe. Successful applicants should normally have a good first degree (at least 2.1, or international equivalent) in a relevant field of humanities and/or social sciences, and have obtained, or currently working towards a Masters degree at Merit level, or international equivalent, in early modern history.  Knowledge of Dutch and English is a requirement for this position. Experience with reading Latin and Spanish or Italian is an advantage.  If English is not a candidate’s native language, s/he will also need to satisfy the English language entry requirements of the University of Exeter.

To apply

Applicants should complete an online web form and upload a full CV, a sample of recent work (maximum 10,000 words) (please upload this in the research proposal section of the application form), a cover letter outlining your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake the project, transcripts, and details of two referees by 1 May 2017.  If relevant, proof of English/Dutch language proficiency will be required prior to signing the studentship agreement.

Applicants should ensure two referees email their references in the form of a letter to the Postgraduate Administrator at by 1 May 2017. The responsibility for ensuring that references are received by the deadline rests with the candidates. Referees must email their references to us from their institutional email accounts (references sent from personal/private email accounts will not be accepted unless in the form of a scanned document on institutional headed paper and signed by the referee).

All application documents must be submitted in English. Certified translated copies of academic qualifications must also be provided.

It is anticipated that shortlisted candidates will be notified within a week of the deadline and that interviews will take place at the University of Exeter in late May.

More information:

If you have any queries or would like to discuss this opportunity before applying, please contact Professor Maria Fusaro (

If you have any queries regarding the application process please contact:

Postgraduate Administrator at:
College of Humanities Graduate School, University of Exeter
Queen's Building, The Queen's Drive
Exeter, Devon, EX4 4QH

Visit for more information.