Three-year PhD position at the Université de Strasbourg with the international project: How did the Antibiotic Pipeline Run Dry? People, Infrastructures and Politics of Antibiotic Drug Development 1970-2010 [DryAP].
We are looking for a PhD candidate to study the history of antibiotic regulation at the international level between circa 1980 and 2010. Located in Strasbourg, the PhD project aims to study how the post-1945 antibiotic success story has been transformed into a narrative of innovation scarcity, orchestrated at an international stage. The PhD project will aim to understand how the narrative of a decline in innovation, research and development of new antibiotics, along with a growing concern about antimicrobial resistance, has arisen internationally. How has this narrative been played out by the many actors involved in the international regulation of medicines? How did it contribute to the adoption of industry-friendly policies from the 2000s onwards, through various incentive mechanisms facilitating the discovery of new molecules and their marketing?
The doctoral research will aim to analyze how the actors involved in the field of international drug development and regulation, produced a process of 'cognitive alignment', between the 1980s and the late 2000s, where experts ended up adopting the Dry Pipeline narrative and agreeing on solutions to resolve it. By regulation we mean - broadly speaking —broadly speaking—the setting of international requirements for production, registration, quality control, etc., and the multiple international expert bodies working to facilitate the production, marketing and circulation of antibiotics on a global scale. The urgency to establish antibiotic regulation on an international scale is itself inseparable from the construction of the public problem of antibiotic resistance in the same period. The research will analyze, therefore, this coconstruction of problems and regulations on an international scale, without neglecting the interplay of actors with national authorities.
The PhD student will study how pharmaceutical companies have invested in the international arena of antibiotic regulation, by participating in knowledge production activities on an international scale about antibiotic resistance, by defending certain uses (in human and veterinary medicine in particular), or by providing expertise for production requirements. In considering various organizations and committees, the PhD student may focus, for example, on international antimicrobial resistance surveillance networks; policies to combat fake antibiotics; the production of codes and guidelines for prudent use, or the standardization of marketing procedures, etc. Projects addressing the consequences of the Dry Pipeline narrative for international policies and 'north-south' inequalities in access to antibiotics are encouraged. The proposed PhD project lies at the intersection of the history of science and technology, the history of international drug regulation, and the history of the pharmaceutical industry. The successful candidate will be expected to study the multiple investments of pharmaceutical companies in the development of the regulation of international organizations. The PhD thesis aims to make a major contribution to our understanding of the relationships between scientific knowledge, economic interests, expertise, and public policy at a global level.
Requirements and research skills:
The candidate must be a holder of a master’s degree from an excellent university, competent in the history of medicine, history and sociology of science and technology, political science or related discipline.
The candidate must demonstrate a mastery of research techniques in social sciences: archival work, sociological interviews, the construction and analysis of quantitative data, and sound analysis of textual sources.
The candidate must be able to work and write in English and have basic knowledge of French. According to the Strasbourg University’s rules, the thesis may be written in English, French or German.
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