Gepubliceerd op 03-04-2023

Junior researcher and lecturer ‘Healing Interventions addressing the Afterlives of Colonialism’ – Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Are you interested in producing better knowledge about the many ‘othered’ populations that have shaped Europe? Are you interested in exploring how Europe can overcome its colonial past to become a truly diverse and inclusive continent? Then apply for t…

Job description

We offer the position of junior researcher and lecturer (combining research and teaching 40% : 60% for 1 fte or 50%-50% for 0,8 fte) on exploring healing intervention, addressing the afterlives of colonialism at the Athena Institute. Athena is involved in Work Package 5 of the Dutch Research Agenda ‘Re/Presenting Europe: Popular Representations of Diversity and Belonging.’ This NWA project is a collaboration between several universities and societal and grassroot organizations in the Netherlands, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. The full project consists of five linked working groups that will address dominant spaces of representation of belonging, both in the formal institutional space of education and healing, as well as informal spaces of sports, popular culture, and urban arts. The goal of the project is to come to a more inclusive understanding of Europe.

Your duties
The Athena Institute’s main task in WP5 on ‘healing: embodied and located knowledges’ is to gather and critically analyze processes of knowledge integration between academic and non-academic knowledge-holders, so as to achieve a more resilient society. How can the built environment and the colonial relationship allow for places of coming together to find out how we can heal from ‘being implicated’ in colonial pasts, across drastically different positionalities? We aim to identify post/de/colonial grass roots organizations and communities that have been affected by colonial history, study how their positions are negotiated through embodied knowledge, and explore various healing interventions addressing the afterlives of the affected communities. We seek to understand how healing can take place even across affects that are understood as negative, such as anger, shame or guilt. The Athena Institute is exploring this in various case studies: ’traditional healing in the Dutch Caribbean’, ‘Indisch Zwijgen among diverse Indonesian communities in NL, ‘healing among victims of the toeslagenaffaire in NL. Using reflexive monitoring and action we aim to contribute to the transformation of a more inclusive Europe. How can we measure social impact of healing interventions better? As a junior researcher you will contribute to these tasks. The teaching activities are part of courses and programs coordinated by the Athena Institute on a variety of subjects amongst which participatory research, science and technology studies, science communication and research/ technology ethics. The languages of instruction are English (masters) and Dutch (bachelors).


  • have a MSc degree, preferably related to Health and Life Sciences, (Medical) Anthropology, Global Health,
  • have preferably expertise in both qualitative and participatory research methods and you are open to transdisciplinary research work;
  • have an open and flexible mindset and affinity with the art of co-creation and dialogue
  • write and speak Dutch and English fluently;
  • are a team player;
  • have some form of teaching experience;
  • affinity with one or more of the diverse communities explored in the Athena case studies is considered a pré

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1 year.

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €2,960 (scale 10)
and a maximum €4,670 (scale 10), depending on your education and experience. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

The initial employment contract will affect a period of 1 year with a view to extending the contract providing your performance is satisfactory. The maximal period of employment is 4 years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment,
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus,
  • solid pension scheme (ABP),
  • possibility to save holiday hours, for sabbatical leave
  • childcare facilities available on campus


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

Athena Institute, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences
The position is offered within the Athena Institute, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences. The institute’s mission is to study and design interfaces between science and society to contribute both to a deeper understanding of innovation processes as well as a responsible implementation of research and innovation in society. Athena’s research program amongst other focuses on analysing complex global health challenges, designing interventions and conducting participatory monitoring and evaluation research. The section presently has a position vacant for a Postdoc/Lecturer.
For more information about the Athena Institute visit our website.

Additional information

Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until 13/04/2023.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Durwin Lynch
Position: Master coördinator MPA
E-mail: d.lynch@vu.nl

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