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Vacancy IISH: Postdoc for the project: Resilient Diversity: The Governance of Racial and Religious Plurality in the Dutch Empire, 1600-1800

The International Institute of Social History (IISH) conducts advanced research on global and economic history of work, workers, and labour relations and to this end gathers data, which are made available to other researchers as well.

The KNAW Humanities Cluster includes the International Institute of Social History, the Huygens Institute of Netherlands History and the Meertens Institute. They share one operational office, which organizes and supports the operational management of the Humanities Cluster as a whole and of the three institutes separately.

The Research Department of the IISH is looking  for candidates for a

Postdoctoral Position
(19 hours per week, 0,5 fte)

The General Project
The Early Modern Dutch Empire was characterized by diversity. The project Resilient Diversity: The Governance of Racial and Religious Plurality in the Dutch Empire, 1600-1800  https://socialhistory.org/en/projects/resilient-diversity-governance-racial-and-religious-plurality-dutch-empire-1600-1800 looks into how diversity was governed in the Dutch Empire in the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans. At the same time, it looks for the reasons for the resilience of institutions of diversity governance and its impact in Early Modern and contemporary society.

The Postdoctoral Project
The candidate will be responsible for the development of the subproject.
This subproject will study how and why patterns of employment in relation to diversity changed over time among key occupational groups within the Dutch empire, namely soldiers, sailors and artisans. https://socialhistory.org/en/projects/managing-diversity-supervising-functions-managing-colonial-workplaces The candidate will be directly supervised by Prof Ulbe Bosma and co-supervised by Dr Matthias van Rossum.

The Team
This project is a joint endeavor between the International Institute of Social History (IISH-Amsterdam) and the Institute for History, Leiden University. The candidate will work within a team of four senior researchers (at the IISH: Prof Ulbe Bosma and Dr Matthias van Rossum, at Leiden: Prof Cátia Antunes, Dr Karwan Fatah Black;), two postdoctoral fellows and two PhD candidates.

Key responsibilities

  • Submitting research results for publication to international peer-reviewed academic journals in single and co-authorship with other team members
  • Attending and actively participating in all the team meetings
  • Jointly contribute to the team’s database (as a research tool for the whole project)
  • Presenting papers at conferences and workshops
  • Co-organizing conferences and workshops
  • There is the possibility of contract extension for teaching tasks inscribed within the budget of the project
  • Participating in research activities at the N. W. Posthumus Institute

Selection criteria:

  • PhD in History (or relevant discipline closely connected with the theme of this subproject).
  • Written and oral fluency in Dutch and English
  • Demonstrable interest for research premises of the project.
  • Willingness to work within a team and an international academic community that aspires to scholarly excellence
  • A problem-focused approach to research and demonstrable ability to apply theoretical and comparative frameworks
  • Ability to work both independently and as a member of a team

Terms and conditions:

The appointment with the IISH is for the duration of 34 months from September 1, 2017 for 0,5fte. Initially the employee will receive a one year contract. An extension of 22 months is possible having received positive evaluations of capabilities and achievements. The remuneration amounts to a minimum of €3475 and a maximum of €4757 gross per month (salary scale 11 Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) in a full-time appointment. The IISH offers appealing secondary employment conditions, including but not limited to 8.3% year-end bonus, 8% holiday allowance, a good pension plan and 6 weeks worth of vacation days every year.


Please send your application by email to postdoc052017@bb.huc.knaw.nl attn. Ben Stroomberg (HR Adviser), no later than June 2, 2017 (12 hours). In the subject line, please state the following: Postdoc052017.
All requested documents should be sent in PDF format, one PDF with all the documents listed above excluding the PhD thesis, and a separate PDF with the thesis. The PDF’s should be titled ‘IH PHD + family name applicant’ and ‘IH PHD thesis + family name applicant’. Letters of application should be submitted in English and include a:

  • Cover letter
  • Research statement having in mind the research question and content of the current project (maximum number of words 1500)
  • Curriculum vitae and a list of publications (if applicable)
  • Copy PhD dissertation (if already published can be one of the two relevant publications)
  • Copy of two relevant publications
  • List of (maximum) two referees to your application (with full postal addresses, telephone numbers and emails). Referees will be contacted directly by the search committee.

For additional information concerning this vacancy, please contact prof. dr. Ulbe Bosma, email ubo@iisg.nl or dr. Matthias van Rossum, email mvr@iisg.nl. More information about the IISH can be found at socialhistory.org.

Interview with short listed candidates are envisaged for June 19, 2017, at the IISH. (short listed candidates will receive an invitation on  June 14, 2017).

2 juni 2017