PhD Candidates in Sociology
University of Amsterdam Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Two PhD candidates in Sociology

Publication date 29 October 2019

Closing date 15 December 2019

Level of education Master's degree

Hours 38 hours per week

Salary indication €2,325 to €2,972 gross per month

Vacancy number 19-717


Are you interested in cultural sociology, and specifically in the rise of global economic elites and their impact on cultural fields? Is it your ambition to become a top-tier researcher?

The Department of Sociology is one of the departments in the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. We are seeking two PhD candidates for the project 'The Return of the Medici? The Global Rise of Private Museums for Contemporary Art', which is funded by the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO) and led by Professor Olav Velthuis. The PhD track is part of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR), in particular the programme group Cultural Sociology. The project studies the global rise of private art museums. This rise is highly controversial: according to some they are neo-aristocratic institutions which translate economic into cultural inequality, while others argue that they democratize and support art, especially when government support is absent or declining. The project addresses three interrelated questions: (1) What motivates art collectors to found a private museum and how are these motivations activated, refracted or muted by pre-existing local and global field structures? (2) How do private museums position themselves in local and global cultural fields through their acquisitions and exhibition programs? (3) What is the impact of private museums on visitors, art markets and public museums; are these museums the contemporary art world’s new taste makers, or are they predominantly following other institutions? Using both qualitative and quantitative data, the project focuses on the rise of private museums in The Netherlands, United States, Brazil, Russia, India and China. 

What will you be doing?

  • Conducting empirical research, writing a dissertation and other publications;
  • teaching in the field of social sciences for at least 10% of the time;
  • participating in the PhD programme of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR), including following courses;
  • participating in conferences and seminars.

What do we require of you?

You have:

  • a Master’s degree or equivalent with a relevant specialization within the social sciences or humanities. The degree must have been obtained by the time of application;
  • excellent command of English;
  • affinity with empirical research using relevant qualitative and/or quantitative methods.

Relevant language skills pertaining to the project countries will be considered as an advantage.

What can we offer you?

A challenging work environment with a variety of duties and ample scope for individual initiative and development within an inspiring organisation. The social and behavioural sciences play a leading role in addressing the major societal challenges faced by the world, the Netherlands and Amsterdam, now and in the future.

To work at the University of Amsterdam is to work in a discerning, independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterised by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society.


The position concerns a temporary appointment of 38 hours per week for a maximum term of four years. The initial appointment is for one year, preferably starting on 1 February 2020. Following a positive assessment and barring altered circumstances, this term will be extended by a maximum of 36 months, which should result in the conferral of a doctorate. We will put together a curriculum which will also include the opportunity to attend training courses and both national and international events.

Your salary will be €2,325 gross per month in the first year and will increase to €2,972 in the final year, based on full-time employment (38 hours per week) and in keeping with the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities. We additionally offer an extensive package of secondary benefits, including 8% holiday allowance and a year-end bonus of 8.3%.

Further information

Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:

  • Professor Olav Velthuis
    T: +31 (0)20 525 3579 

Would you like to learn more about working at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)? Visit our website.

Job application

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

Does this profile sound like you? If so, we are eager to receive:

  • an application letter describing your qualifications, motivation for the position and interest in the topic (maximum 2 pages);
  • your Curriculum Vitae;
  • the contact information for two academic references (no letters of recommendation);
  • a transcript of your Bachelor’s and Master's degrees.

Applicants with education from a foreign university must attach an explanation of their university's grading system. All documents must be in English and uploaded in a single pdf (not zipped). Applications may be submitted no later than 15 December 2019. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview. Interviews will take place in the second week of January.

You may apply online by clicking on the link below. #LI-DNP     

No agencies please

Apply now

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