Vacancy at KU Leuven for a PhD researcher working on Science News in/and Translation

Our Translation Studies Research Unit seeks to hire a full-time PhD researcher for an interdisciplinary, multi-campus research project on ‘The Circulation of Science News in the Coronavirus Era’. The successful candidate will work in close collaboration with a second PhD researcher, based at the Institute for Media Studies (IMS). Both researchers will share their time between the Antwerp and Brussels campuses of KU Leuven.


The overall goal of the project is to better understand how science news comes into being and circulates in today’s global mediascape, with an emphasis on science news about COVID-19 vaccines. Your main focus will be on interlingual, intralingual as well as intersemiotic translation practices and science news-making in Flemish newsrooms: what are the main circuits, roles, institutions and dynamics involved in the translation of science news in Flanders, both in(to) and out of Dutch? In addressing this question, you will examine the contextual constraints that shape science news transfer from one linguistic and cultural sphere to another, and from one human and/or institutional link in the communication chain to another, paying special attention to the dominance of English, the person of the journalist/translator and the human and semiotic networks involved.

Your colleague based at IMS will tackle remediation practices (i.e. the various ways science news items are adapted during transfer from one media platform to another). Working together, you will forge new conceptual, empirical and practical common ground at the intersection of translation studies, journalism studies and science communication.


As the successful PhD candidate, you will carry out the following tasks:

  • Conduct research in the domain of translation studies with a focus on science news translation, drawing on relevant insights from other related disciplines (esp. journalism studies)
  • Conduct quantitative analyses of science news translation flows to and from Flanders (with an emphasis on the role of English as a dominant source and target language) and qualitative analyses of science news-making practices in various Flemish newsrooms and press offices
  • Disseminate research findings, e.g. by presenting at conferences, organising workshops and publishing journal articles and book chapters
  • Take on a (limited) teaching assignment
  • Prepare a doctoral dissertation

You have:

  • A keen interest in translation, science journalism and science communication. Practical experience as a translator, journalist, science writer, public information officer, etc. is a plus.
  • A research-oriented attitude and a keen interest in working in the academic world.
  • A master’s degree in translation, journalism or a related discipline with excellent results.
  • An excellent (native or near-native) command of Dutch and English and a knack for academic writing in these languages.
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills, a rigorous and methodical work ethic, a collegial and inquisitive demeanour, and the desire and ability to work both individually and as part of a research team.

We offer:

  • A full-time PhD position for a period of 2 years, extendable to 4 years provided certain requirements are met regarding applying for external funding in the second year.
  • The opportunity to conduct academic research leading to a doctoral degree.
  • A key role in an interdisciplinary, internationally oriented research team embedded in a dynamic, supportive research environment (incl. membership in CETRA – Centre for Translation Studies and CERES – Centre for Reception Studies)
  • The opportunity to actively participate in international conferences and the international community of translation studies.

For more information please contact Prof. dr. Jack Mc Martin, tel. +32 488 24 87 66, e-mail: or Prof. dr. Luc van Doorslaer, tel.: +32 3 502 15 80, e-mail:
Your application must include a motivation letter in Dutch or English, a CV (including contact details of at least two references), and an academic writing sample in English (max. 2 pages; e.g. a summary of your master’s thesis).

You can apply for this job no later than February 15, 2021 via the online application toolKU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

For more information, visit the official website of KU Leuven.

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