Gepubliceerd op 30-01-2023

Assistant Professor in Economic and Social History (1.0 FTE)

The section Economic and Social History seeks to appoint an assistant professor focusing on historical inequality and technological change.


The vacancy is part of a broad recruitment campaign in which the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Utrecht is looking for more than 40 talented and passionate assistant professors, who, based on their subject matter expertise, want to contribute to strengthening our interdisciplinary education and its connection with urgent social issues.

The Faculty of Humanities at Utrecht University is looking for assistant professors who find it interesting and challenging to teach and conduct research within more than one disciplinary and institutional context. In our opinion, such a cross-boundary perspective is most successful and satisfying when working from a specialisation. We are therefore looking for colleagues who unite a subject specialisation with a discipline-transcending perspective and who can give shape to multi-, inter- or transdisciplinary team teaching and team science from a specific subject expertise within and between the broad domains of Philosophy and Religious Studies/History and Art History/Media and Cultural Studies/Languages, Literature and Communication (or who want to develop further in this)

The section Economic and Social History seeks to appoint an assistant professor focusing on historical inequality and technological change. Technological change in the broadest sense – from simple mechanization to advanced digital technologies – holds promises of increased productivity and consumption, but also influences social and economic inequalities and the sustainable development of labor markets and the environment. Understanding these long-term processes and their interplay, within and between different parts of the world, requires new digital data and methods. The section therefore wants to extend its research and teaching expertise in big historical data and digital methods. The assistant professor will likely connect to UU networks such as the strategic theme “Institutions for Open Societies” and UGlobe flagship “Navigating Deep Transitions” and teach in the programs outlined below.

The Faculty of Humanities of Utrecht University deploys the extra resources from the Administrative Agreement (Bestuursakkoord) in such a way that they are beneficial for team collaboration and the sustainability of humanities research.


We are looking for colleagues who;

  • have teaching and research expertise in the domain of economic and social history and preferably also with digital, spatial (such as geographic information systems, GIS), and quantitative methods. Experience with compiling large datasets through citizen science is not a requirement, but would be a plus;
  • hold a completed PhD in economic and social history or a related discipline in the social sciences;
  • have a vision on, and perhaps experience with, ways to link that domain in teaching and/or research with other knowledge domains, based on an articulated teaching and research philosophy (multi-, inter- or transdisciplinarity);
  • have an open attitude and are able to switch easily within multidisciplinary and interprofessional teams;
  • are interested in team teaching and team science to address social issues.
  • Experience or interest in computational and/or data-driven perspectives in History and Art History will be considered an advantage.

Candidates are expected to be able to teach in Dutch and English. International candidates will be helped to acquire Dutch language skills in the first two years of their appointment.

All our assistant professors have obtained the Dutch University Teaching Qualification (UTQ, in Dutch: Basiskwalificatie Onderwijs, BKO). The BKO is a formal certification indicating that the holder has the didactic ability to teach at the university level; the BKO is recognized by all 14 Dutch universities. Candidates who do not yet have a BKO or an international equivalent will receive support to obtain this qualification in the first two years of their appointment.


(Personal) leadership and responsibility are part of your job. That is why you recognise yourself in the following core values that are central to the Faculty of Humanities: professionalism, transparency, responsibility, connection and safety. These core values apply to everyone and we uphold these values in our work and in our communication with each other and to others. Read more about our core values and how they translate into concrete behaviour here.

Candidates with affinity, experience and/or appealing research and educational plans in the field of the following social issues are particularly invited to respond:

  • Human artificial intelligence – Responsible design and use of AI applications, digitisation and technology;
  • Cultural heritage and identity – Material and intangible heritage;
  • Languages and cultures – Language variation, literacy and inclusion in the digital society – Multilingualism, transculturality and second language acquisition in education and organisations; and
  • (in collaboration with the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance) Prosperity, participation and citizenship in a digital world – Communication, information and social inequality.


We offer a full-time position as assistant professor of 1 fte, of which the allocation is permanently set to 40% research and 60% teaching. Within the 60 percent for teaching, there is a deduction of 10 percent (the so called “Strooitijd”) which will not be scheduled. This is meant to be used for section meetings, etc.. The start date is 1 August 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter.

In accordance with current practice at Utrecht University, this is a temporary employment contract for the duration of one year, which will be converted into a permanent contract after a positive evaluation.

The salary – depending on education and experience – amounts to a minimum of € 3974 and a maximum of € 6181 (scale 11 – 12 of the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities) gross per month for full-time employment. You can also count on attractive fringe benefits, such as 8% holiday allowance, a year-end bonus of 8.3% and a considerable number of holidays.

Utrecht University works with the TRIPLE model; this makes it possible to recognise and value multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary teaching and research. The model also embraces job diversification and dynamic career paths: there is room to develop your own strengths and look at how you complement and strengthen the team as a whole.

Utrecht University has an attractive package of employment conditions, including choices for a good work-life balance (including good leave arrangements for study, care leave or parental leave), development opportunities, collective insurances and an excellent pension scheme. Sports and childcare facilities are available on our main campus, which is only 15 minutes from Utrecht’s historic city centre.

Within the UU, we find it important that employees continue to develop within their own position or towards the next. We offer coaching and a variety of training opportunities.


A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major strategic themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

Around 7,000 students and 1,100 staff are affiliated to the Faculty of Humanities (external link). The faculty comprises four areas of expertise: Philosophy and Religious Studies, History and Art History, Media and Cultural Studies, and Languages, Literature and Communication. Through education and research in these areas, the faculty aims to contribute to a better understanding of the Netherlands and Europe in a rapidly changing social and cultural context. The enthusiastic and committed colleagues and excellent facilities in Utrecht’s historic city centre, where the faculty is housed, ensure an inspiring working climate.

You will work within the section Economic and Social History. The section’s c.15 staff members closely collaborate with colleagues from other sections within the department of History and Art History’s BA programs History, MA program “History of Politics and Society”, and Research MA History. The section also contributes to interdisciplinary programs such as the BA Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and the Humanities Honours Program. Together with colleagues in the Netherlands and Belgium the section contributes as well to the training of PhD candidates and teaching of Research MA students organized within the N.W. Posthumus Institute, the Research School for Economic and Social History in the Netherlands and Flanders. Within our research the section collaborates with UU colleagues through UU’s strategic themes “Institutions for Open Societies” and “Pathways to Sustainability” and with non-UU colleagues within and outside the Netherlands. The section’s research focuses on long-term economic and social developments in the world, including fundamental transitions and crises, from the Middle Ages to the present. We use comparative and interdisciplinary approaches and broad geographical perspectives (including Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America) to address our central research questions: How do social and economic inequalities arise between and within countries? How do social and economic developments influence sustainability? In answering these questions we draw lessons from the people, businesses, and policy makers that shape the institutions of economy and society. For more detail, please see https://www.uu.nl/en/research/economic-and-social-history.


Would you like to know more about this position? Then contact: Sarah Carmichael, at s.g.carmichael@uu.nl.
Are you an international applicant? Our International Service Desk can answer your questions about living in the Netherlands as international staff and guests.

Het KNHG is de grootste organisatie van professionele historici in Nederland. Het biedt een platform aan de ruim 1100 leden en aan de historische gemeenschap als geheel. Word lid van het KNHG.
Het Huygens Instituut beoogt de Nederlandse geschiedenis en cultuur inclusiever maken. Het ontsluit historische bronnen en literaire teksten en ontwikkelt innovatieve methoden, tools en duurzame digitale infrastructuur.