Gepubliceerd op 02-12-2016

Vacature: PhD Candidate in Heritage and Memory Studies

The Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM), one of six research schools of the Faculty of Humanities, has a vacant PhD position as part of the European Training Network Critical Heritage Studies and the Future of Europe-Towards an integrated, interdisciplinary and transnational training model in cultural heritage research and management (CHEurope), Theme 2 ‘Curating the City’.

Job description
The ‘CHEurope’ project is a PhD training program in critical heritage studies supported by the EU under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) – Innovative Training Networks (ITN). It is the result of a collaboration between universities, heritage institutions and museums in Sweden, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Italy.

CHEurope will train 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESR) under five themes: Heritage Futures, Curating the City, Digital Heritage, Heritage and Wellbeing, and Management and Citizen Participation. Starting in April 2017, the recruited ESRs shall be appointed with an employment contract of 36 months duration, plus mobility and family allowance (if applicable). The recruited ESRs will benefit from secondments in museums and heritage institutions, and from taking active part in a structured, international program of training workshops, summer schools, and conferences.

As part of CHEurope’s theme ‘Curating the City’, the Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM) invites applications for one PhD position (ESR6) on ‘Museums Curating the City’. This research project will explore the ways in which museums curate a city facing a host of traumatic memories and approach questions of redress and repair in relation to ‘wounded’ communities. The ESR will be seconded in Amsterdam’s National Museum of World Culture (or Tropenmuseum) and the Jewish Historical Museum. While the PhD does not have to focus on Amsterdam, it is recommended that applicants propose projects which include these collaborations as structural component and make the best of them. Given these institutional collaborations, proposed projects may well focus on post-colonialism and Holocaust memory, or the voids in museum representations (refugees and migration) in Amsterdam, but other topics will be considered as well. Crucially, proposed projects must engage the following questions: How do museums curate the wounds of a city’s past? How do they respond to its silences and marginalisations? How do they act as renewed public sphere, and how publics (and counter publics) are included, or excluded, in their representations and ‘inscriptions’ of the city? Also, instead of focusing on a single museum, this research trajectory will consider a broader museum landscape and the diverse narrations and inscriptions of the city that these museums produce.

Tasks of the PhD candidate will include:

  • completion and defence of a PhD thesis within the period of appointment;
  • regular presentations of intermediate research results at workshops and conferences;
  • participation in the training program of the CHEurope project and the UvA Graduate School of Humanities;
  • participation in meetings of the host institutes;
  • co-organisation of expert meetings and an international conference;
  • publication of at least one peer-reviewed article.


  • ​A relevant Masters degree, e.g. in conservation, anthropology, art history, museum studies or an equivalent academic degree in the humanities or social sciences;
  • the ability to speak, read, and write in competent, academic English;
  • knowledge of Dutch is not a requirement but will be considered a positive factor for the selection;
  • willingness to be seconded in the partner organisations (National Museum of World Cultures, Jewish Historical Museum);
  • high research abilities, as testified by your previous academic record, particularly by the quality of your masters-level thesis;
  • motivation;
  • creativity and high level of independency;
  • affinity with work in an interdisciplinary and highly international environment;
  • willingness and proven ability to work in a team;
  • willingness to relocate to (the vicinity of) Amsterdam;
  • in light of the mobility requirements set by the European Commission for this project: at the time of their recruitment, candidates must not have legally resided or carried out their main activity in the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the 3 years prior to taking up the position (short stays such as holidays are not counted);
  • candidates must fulfil the definition of an Early-Stage Researcher (ESR) set by the European Commission. At the time of recruitment, ESRs shall be in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research career and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. Research experience is calculated from the date a researcher has obtained the qualification (Masters or equivalent) allowing her/him to embark on a doctorate. Part-time research experience will be counted pro-rata.

The project is committed to increasing diversity in the field of heritage research. It welcomes applications from women, LGBT researchers, members of minority groups, and individuals with disabilities.

Further Information
For further information, please contact:

For more information on the project and its themes, please check:

The PhD candidate will be appointed at the University of Amsterdam’s Faculty of Humanities, Department of Arts & Culture. The appointment will be for 36 months, full-time, under the terms of employment currently valid for the Faculty. The PhD candidate will be a member of the AHM research school. The first contract will be for 12 months, an extension for the following 24 months pending a positive performance evaluation. The intended starting date of the contract is 1 April 2017. The gross monthly salary will be €2,191 during the first year to reach €2,672 during the third, based on 38 hours per week. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities is applicable.

Job application
Please note that applying for more than one PhD position or ESRs within CHEurope is not allowed.
Applications for this PhD position should include in a single PDF file:

  • a letter of motivation, stating why you want to carry out this particular research and why you are the right candidate for this position (no more than 1 page);
  • your CV (max. 2 pages);
  • a description of your proposed research project (max 2500 words, excluding references): this should include an abstract of max 200 words and a project proposal specifying research question(s), positioning in the relevant academic debate(s), the proposed methodology, and a work plan;
  • a list of grades obtained in your Bachelor and Master (or equivalent) programs;
  • the names and contact details of two academic referees;
  • a writing sample, e.g. a published paper or a chapter from your MA-thesis.

Applications may be submitted no later than 16 January 2017 by sending your application to solliciteren2017-fgw@uva.nl and stating reference number 16-562 in the subject line. 

For more information see uva.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.