Gepubliceerd op 01-03-2021

Postdoctoral position in Dutch and Inter-Island Caribbean history, c. 1650 – 1850

The Saxo Institute at the University of Copenhagen is pleased to announce a call for applications for a 3-year postdoctoral position in Caribbean history. The position is available from August 1, 2021 and is funded by the research project IN THE SAME SEA financed by the European Research Council from 2020-2025.

IN THE SAME SEA investigates the shared history of the Lesser Antilles from the 1650s to the 1850s. The research team explores how the islands of the Lesser Antilles were shaped by inter-island connections that transformed separate islands into a common world of slavery and freedom.

The successful postdoctoral candidate will focus on trade between the islands of the Lesser Antilles while also contributing to the overall research aims of IN THE SAME SEA (see IN THE SAME SEA). The history of trade in the Lesser Antilles has predominantly focused on long-distance commerce, its diverse imperial frameworks, and the contraband trade which existed irrespective of these structures. In contrast, the postdoctoral candidate will focus on trade between the islands and on islanders’ consumption of island goods. Relevant themes include, but are not limited to, questions about when, how, why, and by whom fresh goods (sweet water, fresh fruits and vegetables, meat and fish), handicrafts and manufactures (kitchen utensils, hammocks, clothing, and lime wash, to mention but a few), and embodied knowledge (such as ritual expertise, craftmanship, and medical caretaking) were exchanged and how they were put to use.

The research team of IN THE SAME SEA closely collaborates in all stages of the research process and the selected candidate is expected to contribute substantially to this research method. Collaborative research elements include:

  • Collecting and sharing of historical evidence concerning the various research topics of IN THE SAME SEA (see IN THE SAME SEA).
  • Teaming up during research trips to archives, libraries, workshops, and conferences.
  • Participating in bi-monthly research seminars.
  • Contributing to the construction of databases and historical maps.
  • Publishing within the framework of IN THE SAME SEA.

The successful candidate will be part of an international research group consisting of the Principal Investigator (PI), two postdoctoral fellows and two PhD-students based at the Saxo Institute, University of Copenhagen, under supervision of the PI.

To be eligible for the position, the candidate should demonstrate a thorough working knowledge of Dutch Atlantic or Dutch colonial history, including working experiences with Dutch archival holdings. Candidates with interests in database construction and digital maps are also welcomed. In addition, the applicants must have research qualifications at least corresponding to those achieved through a successfully completed PhD. For further information about the position, please contact PI of the research project, Associate professor Gunvor Simonsen.

Further information on qualification requirements as postdoc can be found in the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities 2019 here: Bekendtgørelse om stillingsstruktur (in Danish) or Ministerial Order on Job Structure (in English).

Conditions of employment
Fixed-term contract: 3 years.
Terms of appointment and salary will be in accordance with an agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). The salary range starts at DKK 33,600 (EUR 4,507) per month + a 17,1 % contribution to the pension scheme. It is possible to negotiate salary supplements on an annual basis.

The Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC) have further agreed on a protocol that makes it possible for international researchers employed by the University to achieve a pension exemption, whereby the pension contribution will be paid out as salary. For more information about the different pension schemes, please see https://ism.ku.dk/onarrival/pension/.

A special tax scheme is offered to researchers recruited abroad, https://ism.ku.dk/onarrival. If you consider applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at UCPH here: http://ism.ku.dk, http://www.nyidanmark.dk/en-us/frontpage.htm and https://www.workindenmark.dk.


University of Copenhagen
Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.

Additional information
Submit the application online in Adobe PDF or Word format.

Please click on the “Apply now” icon at the bottom of the page and fill in the application form. The application must be in English and include the following enclosures:

  • Cover letter (maximum 1 page) specifying how the applicant’s qualifications and experiences match overall research aims of IN THE SAME SEA.
  • Research proposal (maximum 3 pages) describing how the applicant would design a study of trade and exchange between the islands of the Lesser Antilles and islanders’ consumption of island goods.
  • Curriculum vitae (with the applicant’s email and phone number).
  • Documentation of qualifications (examination certificates, PhD diploma, etc.).
  • Complete list of publications. The enclosed publications must be marked with *.
  • 1-3 enclosed publications*.

*Applicants may choose a maximum of three publications for assessment. Publication dates must be clearly marked on the publication list. The publications selected must be uploaded as attachments and listed from no. 1 to 3.
Should any of the submitted publications consist of work with named co-authors, or work that is otherwise the result of collective academic endeavours, the extent of the applicant’s contribution to the work must be clearly indicated. The Faculty may ask for a signed statement from the co-authors stipulating the extent and nature of each individual’s contribution. Only material in Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, and English can be expected to be assessed.

Appointment procedure
After the application deadline, the Head of the Saxo Institute at the University of Copenhagen selects applicants for assessment on the advice of an appointment committee.  All applicants are notified whether their application has been accepted for assessment. The dean subsequently appoints an expert assessment committee tasked with carrying out an assessment of the selected applicants for the specific post. Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the committee. Applicants are ultimately offered the opportunity of commenting on the part of the assessment relating to themselves before the appointment is finalized.
Applicants will be continuously informed about the progress of the procedure by e-mail.
Further information about the application procedure is available from Pernille Lykke Paulsen (HR) hrsc@hrsc.ku.dk, please refer to ID number 211-0697/21-2I #1.
UCPH wishes to encourage everyone interested in this post to apply, regardless of personal background.


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.