Gepubliceerd op 25-08-2020

Maastricht University Postdoctoral researcher, “3D Visualisation & Interface Design” at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Department Literature & Art

Applicants are invited for a 34 months postdoctoral position within the project “PURE3D: An Infrastructure for the Publication and Preservation of 3D Scholarship”. The project is funded by The Platform Digitale Infrastructuur Social Sciences & Humanities, awarded to the principal investigator, dr. Costas Papadopoulos.

Job description

Research project
3D scholarship has reached a tipping point. This is an exciting opportunity to join a dynamic research team and collaborate with diverse stakeholders in the Netherlands and beyond to develop the first ever infrastructure for 3D scholarship.

Three-dimensional modelling and reconstructions have been used in the last thirty years across many fields in the humanities and social sciences, however, we still lack the necessary infrastructure to support this form of knowledge production. PURE3D will fill this gap through four key deliverables:

  1. the development of an access infrastructure for viewing interactive 3D models (from single objects to virtual worlds) within the context of a scholarly publication format (3D Scholarly Editions);
  2. a preservation repository to deposit raw files, which, due to their size, format, lack of standards etc., are typically inaccessible to researchers beyond the original creators;
  3. a conceptual and methodological framework for valorising and evaluating 3D scholarship;
  4. a centre of excellence for researchers embarking on 3D scholarship.


  • The infrastructure will address the challenges of long-term preservation and access by archiving models and making the associated data FAIR (in collaboration with DANS) and by developing the infrastructure based on the existing CLARIAH infrastructure. Six pilot projects will be used as test beds:
  •  Vlooienburg Jewish neighbourhood, Amsterdam (4D research Lab/UvA)
  • Rembrandt’s Birthplace, Leiden (Erfgoed Leiden en Omstreken)
  • Maastricht 1748 (Gemeente Maastricht)
  • Battle of Mount Street Bridge, Ireland (UM)
  • Collection of mining lamps (Nederlands Mijnmuseum)
  • Collection of modern art (Museum van Bommel van Dam)

Job description
You are expected to conduct research (in consultation with the PI and based on your background and expertise) that will feed into the project; write and co-author academic publications together with other members of the team; and, dedicate 20% of your time to teaching and supervision in the MA Digital Cultures and (possibly) the BA in Digital Society.

We are looking for an enthusiastic and self-motivated colleague for this two-pronged role. On the one hand, you will lead the conceptualisation and development of the 3D user interface of the infrastructure through wire framing, mock-ups, and stakeholder engagement/feedback events, while on the other, you will be responsible for the digitisation of objects and for their preparation (including virtual worlds provided by project partners) for ingestion into the infrastructure.

The project will take an iterative design/design thinking approach to the development of the infrastructure. Therefore, you are expected to collaborate with the partners (pilot projects, CLARIAH, and DANS), the lead developer, the postdoc and the research assistant at various stages of the project, and obtain feedback (through mechanisms that you will (co-)develop) that will be utilised in the process of development. You will also collaborate with DANS on issues pertinent to FAIR data and archiving and will take the lead in authoring a whitepaper on the peer-review of 3D scholarship.


You will have:

  • A completed PhD in digital humanities (history, heritage, archaeology), computer science, game design, or similar fields in which research was conducted by using computational 3D visualisation methods;
  • Demonstrable knowledge and skills of producing visualisations by means of 3D computer graphics (modelling/reconstruction) and 3D digitisation (photogrammetry/structure from motion);
  • Expertise in real-time/online 3D modelling and publication (webGL, Unity, UnrealEngine, 3DHOP, Sketchfab etc.);
  • Skills and Experience in User Interface design;
  • Excellent organizational skills, plus an open and effective working style;
  • Excellent written and spoken command of English (Cambridge English Proficiency, level C2, oral and written), as demonstrated by academic publications and presentations at national/international conferences.


  •  Experience of doing research that addresses the theoretical and methodological challenges of 3D scholarship;
  • Knowledge of standards and best practices for 3D scholarship;
  • Experience in working with a diverse and inter/multi – disciplinary teams and stakeholders from different fields;
  • Experience of conducting focus groups, surveys, and workshops (both face to face and online) to get feedback from diverse stakeholders.
  • Experience in teaching at the BA and/or MA level. Holding a University Teaching Qualification (UTQ), or equivalent, is a plus. However, if you don’t have one, you will have the opportunity to obtain one during your appointment at UM.

Conditions of employment
We offer a dynamic and challenging job in an internationally-oriented organisation where young people receive an advanced education and scholars conduct exciting research. The postdoctoral researcher will have the unique opportunity to carry out research within one or more of the four themes within the Arts, Media & Culture research programme. They will be part of an international network of top universities and renowned scholars within the field.

We offer a 1.0fte appointment as postdoctoral researcher for 34 months. The first year will be a probation period, after a positive assessment the position will be extended for the remaining 22 months. Your position of Postdoctoral Researcher (Onderzoeker 3) will consist of 80% research and 20% teaching.

Remuneration will be according to standard salary levels, depending on education and relevant work experience. This implies a gross monthly salary of about € 3.746,00 per month, scale level 11 (based on a full-time appointment).

Each year the standard salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%.

You have to be willing to move to (the vicinity of) Maastricht. If you do not already live in Maastricht (or its direct surroundings) you will be eligible for an allowance for moving costs. If you do not already live in Maastricht (or its direct surroundings) you might be eligible for an allowance for alternative housing.

Other secondary conditions include e.g. a pension scheme and partially paid parental leave.

You will be provided with shared office space and a PC.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website http://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl > Support > UM employees.

Starting date: Not later than 4th of January


Maastricht University
Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 18,000 students and 4,400 employees. Reflecting the university’s strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.


Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS) has about 250 staff members, and about 1,600 students. More than 76% of the students are non-Dutch (64 different nationalities). All programmes are offered in English and some are also offered in Dutch. FASoS offers three 3-year bachelor’s programmes: Arts and Culture, European Studies and Digital Society. It also offers eight different 1-year master’s programmes and two 2-year research master’s programmes.

Research is organised around four programmes: Politics and Culture in Europe; Science, Technology and Society Studies; Arts, Media and Culture; and Globalisation, Transnationalism and Development. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is housed in the historic city centre of Maastricht.


The Common Lab Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (CLARIAH) is a distributed research infrastructure for the humanities and social sciences. The CLARIAH infrastructure aims to provide researchers with access to large collections of digital data and to innovative and user-friendly applications for the processing of these data. The data and applications are managed and developed in a sustainable manner so that they can also be useful in the future for researchers: from literary researchers, historians and archaeologists to linguists, speech technologists and media scientists.


DANS (Data Archiving and Networked Services) is the Netherlands Institute for permanent access to digital research resources. DANS encourages researchers to make their digital research data and related outputs Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. It provides expert advice and certified services. Its core services are: DataverseNL for short-term data management, EASY for long-term archiving, and NARCIS, the national portal for research information. By participating in (inter)national projects, networks and research, DANS contributes to continued innovation of the global scientific data infrastructure. Open if possible, protected where necessary. DANS is an institute of the Dutch Academy KNAW and funding organisation NWO.

Additional information
Further information on the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is available on our website: http://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/fasos.

Any inquiries about the position or the project may be addressed to the PI, dr. Costas Papadopoulos: k.papadopoulos@maastrichtuniversity.nl


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.