Gepubliceerd op 12-10-2021

Front-end Developer – Humanities Cluster KNAW – Amsterdam

If you are a front-end developer with the necessary experience, you love history and you like to work in a research environment, we invite you to respond to this vacancy.

The Digital Infrastructure department at the KNAW Humanities Cluster in Amsterdam is looking for a Front-end Developer.

Job description:
We are looking for new people to strengthen our development teams. We design and build open source software that allows our scholarly colleagues to address new research questions using innovative new methods. This research is typically driven by large, rich and heterogeneous data collections and exploits evolving (European) research infrastructures. We welcome front-end engineers to help expose and explore this rich data (via search, visualization, annotation), to design and build frontends for our data-driven services and to contribute to the research infrastructures in which we participate.

Examples of the kinds of problems we expect you to tackle:

  • One of the institutes we work with at the KNAW Humanities Cluster (Huygens Institute – see below for more information about the Humanities Cluster) has a tradition of publishing scholarly text editions. The challenge is to develop a generic presentation platform for text editions that still leaves space to  meet custom user requirements.
  • Related to that, design and build interactive software that supports the creation of scholarly text editions.
  • Quickly develop small experimental web applications that solve a specific user problem, using the web API’s of our backend systems.
  • Visualise how aspects of our historic collection data change over time and space.
  • Combine existing software components with your own custom code so that it meets the standards and requirements set by international research infrastructures.
  • Develop scholarly use cases with our researchers and formulate and communicate the requirements for our backend systems that follow from that.

These problems are often made a bit more difficult by the historical aspect, the diversity, and by questions of scale. But we love a challenge!


We’re using:

  • HTML, JavaScript, CSS
  • TypeScript
  • React
  • Node.js
  • Version control (git/GitLab/GitHub)
  • Containerization (Docker, Portainer, Kubernetes)
  • Java, Python
  • ElasticSearch/Kibana
  • (No)SQL
  • RDF

It’s not necessary to have used these exact technologies before, but we do very much care that you have both built up front-ends from scratch and worked on applications that have been in development for some years, and that you are familiar with Docker.

Other factors that will influence your success are:

  • a Bachelor or Master degree (preferably in Computer Science or related);
  • debugging skills;
  • experience with interviewing users and user testing
  • a preference for collaborative work;
  • communication skills, fluency in English (Dutch is appreciated). 


In return, we provide:
The appointment at the HuC Digital Infrastructure department is for 38 hours a week for a period of 12 months. Formally you will be part of the ’text team’, but you may also be involved in work for the other development teams. Depending on your education and experience, the salary amounts to at least € 2.836,00 gross per month and a maximum of € 4.474,00 gross per month (scale 10 CAO-NU) for full-time employment, excluding 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% year-end bonus. On top of that, you’ll be part of a fun and generally awesome international team of smart people.


Humanities Cluster

Why work at the KNAW Humanities Cluster? 
The Digital Infrastructure department is the latest addition to the Humanities Cluster (HuC) of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). The HuC was formed in 2016 by three internationally leading top-level research institutes in the arts and humanities: The Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands, the Meertens Institute, and the International Institute for Social History (IISH).
We provide an environment where people enjoy freedom of work (while participating in peer-communities), where our clients understand the uncertainty of experimentation (they’re researchers after all) and where all code is published under an open-source license.


For more information about the job please contact Hennie Brugman (hennie.brugman@di.huc.knaw.nl).

You can find more information about the KNAW Humanities Cluster on https://huc.knaw.nl.

Diversity & Inclusion
The KNAW considers a working environment in which everyone feels welcome and appreciated of great importance. A working environment in which attention is paid to individual quality and where development opportunities are paramount. Together we strive for an inclusive culture in which we embrace differences. We would therefore like to invite candidates who want to contribute to this through their background and experience. In the event of equal suitability, preference will be given to the candidate who thus enhances diversity within the Academy.


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.