Gepubliceerd op 17-04-2018

PhD candidate Forensic culture in the Netherlands, 1930-2000 (1.0 FTE)


The Department of History and Art History seeks to appoint a PhD student for the project ‘Forensic Culture. A Comparative Analysis of Forensic Practices in Europe, 1930-2000’ (FORCe), funded by means of an ERC Consolidator grant awarded to dr. Willemijn Ruberg.

The PhD candidate will be working on the following sub project: ‘PhD project 1: Forensic culture in the Netherlands, 1930-2000′.

This PhD project will analyse the impact of scientists, doctors and psychiatrists as expert witnesses in Dutch court cases in the period 1930-2000, in particular in criminal cases of rape, murder and infanticide. It focuses on the techniques used to produce knowledge, on the relationship between science and the judiciary, the representation of forensic science in the media and the role gender plays in all of these aspects. The project will largely be based on primary source research (e.g. legal records, scientific journals, newspapers). It forms part of the project ‘Forensic Culture. A Comparative Analysis of Forensic Practices in Europe, 1930-2000’ (FORCe), which compares the forensic cultures of four countries (the Netherlands, England, Spain and Russia) in regard to legal system, political regime, the availability of knowledge and technology, media representation of forensic experts and norms on gender and sexuality. Overall, the project will gauge the influence of culture on forensic practices.


A successful PhD candidate should preferably have:

  • a (research) master degree in History, Gender Studies, Science and Technology Studies or another relevant discipline, and a demonstrable affinity with the project;
  • an outstanding record of undergraduate and master’s degree work;
  • excellent command of Dutch and English, both written and orally;
  • experience with archival research;
  • strong writing and analytical skills;
  • ability to meet deadlines and complete a PhD thesis within four years;
  • capacity to work both as an independent researcher and as part of a team.


The position will be offered for 1.0 FTE, start date from 1 September 2018 onwards. The appointment is for an initial period of 18 months, which after a satisfactory evaluation will be extended by another 30 months (4 years in total). The gross monthly salary on a full-time basis starts at €2,222 in the first year, ending at €2,840 in the fourth year (scale P Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) gross per month for a full-time employment.

Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8 % and a year-end bonus of 8.3 % per year. We offer a pension scheme, (partly paid) parental leave, collective insurance schemes and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information is available at: working at Utrecht University.


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 societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

The Faculty of Humanities has around 6,000 students and 900 staff members. It comprises four knowledge domains: Philosophy and Religious Studies, History and Art History, Media and Culture Studies, and Languages, Literature and Communication. With its research and education in these fields, 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 the excellent amenities in the historical city center of Utrecht, where the Faculty is housed, contribute to an inspiring working environment.


Enquiries can be made to Dr. Willemijn Ruberg, W.G.Ruberg@uu.nl. An extended research description is available upon request.

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.