Gepubliceerd op 21-09-2021

Postdoc ClariahPlus WP4 Project, Social and Economic History at Utrecht University

Job Description

CLARIAH is developing a large-scale research infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities. Work Package 4, ‘DataLegend’ offers tools to expand research using structured data (Excel, csv, etc.), in particular in the fields of social, economic and demographic history. Using Linked Data and SPARQL, Researchers can publish datasets, connect them to other datasets, and share results and visualisations. DataLegend is also working on an interconnected dataset of the complete Dutch Civil Registry (BurgerLinker), allowing the reconstruction of family relations, and analysis of demographic and socioeconomic variables.

This dataset will serve as the backbone for innovative future research into multi-dimensional inequality, and its drivers, between 1812 and c. 1960.

To coordinate the work on this and other datasets in the domain we are looking for a Postdoc Researcher. Under the supervision of the project PI, you will be responsible for the ‘historical’ side of the project and the related construction and modelling of historical datasets as Linked Data. Together with Researchers from the Computer Science Department of the VU Amsterdam, you will be responsible for scientific releases (and accompanying documentation) of the linked Dutch civil registry dataset. In addition, you will oversee the process of collecting archival sources, especially on income taxes, and use them to construct novel datasets on micro-level income that can be linked to the civil registry using CLARIAH tools. Apart from these two key responsibilities you will partake in project outreach (publications, conferences, data stories), making data visualisations, datasets and variable harmonisation, and evaluating the WP4 infrastructure and tooling.


We are looking for a ‘data savvy’ historian who does not shy away from new techniques. The ideal candidate should have:

  • a PhD in economic, social, or demographic history (or close to completion), or a related field;
  • experience in working with large datasets;
  • knowledge of R and/or Python;
  • preferably knowledge of Linked Data and SPARQL, or the willingness to learn this;
  • experience with archival research;
  • ability to work in a team and communicate with external parties.

The project will provide ample opportunity to work on your skills.

Conditions of employment

We offer a temporary position (0.8 FTE) for a period of one year. In case of a good performance, the employment may be extended until the end op the project (December 2023). The gross salary – depending on previous qualifications and experience  – ranges between €2,836 and €4,474 (scale 10 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) 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. In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information about working at Utrecht University can be found here.

About the employer

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.

Work on the CLARIAH PLUS WP4 Project is executed by a group of dedicated Researchers from various participating institutes (Utrecht University, International Institute of Social History (IISH), VU Amsterdam, Huygens ING). The scientific supervision lies with Professor Jan Luiten van Zanden (Utrecht University), the executive Coordinator is Dr. Richard Zijdeman (IISH; this institute is also the chair institution of the project).

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Auke Rijpma(UU) (Assistant Professor), via a.rijpma@uu.n.


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. To apply, please send your curriculum vitae, including a letter of motivation via the ‘apply’ button below.



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.