PhD Position in the Humanities
VU University of Amsterdam Faculty of Humanities


FTE: 0,8-1

Job description

We are seeking a candidate for a PhD position in the NWO-funded NWA project
Constructing the limes: Employing citizen science to understand borders and border systems from the Roman period until today. C-Limes is a large multidisciplinary project studying the border of the Roman Empire, and more specifically the so-called Lower German limes. The project not only investigates how the border functioned in antiquity, but also examines how the limes has become cultural heritage, influenced our contemporary views on borders, and was mobilized to support collective identities since the early modern period. The project is unique in its kind due to its strong attention for citizen science and close collaboration with societal partners. For more information, see

The work package Limes Archaeology analyses how archaeological material culture can be reconceptualized to understand the functioning of the Roman border as a divider, or connector, and to what extent the limes affected border communities and settlement patterns.

Your duties

The PhD researcher that we will engage for this work package will

  • conduct research on the impact of the limes on communities and regions across the borderscape, based on analysing find distribution patterns and changes in settlement structure among other sources, resulting in a PhD-thesis and other publications
  • actively engage with societal partners, contribute to non-academic deliverables (exhibition and TV documentary), and regularly  present findings of the project to the public
  • organise, share and manage GIS-data with project partner


The candidate should have / be

  • a Master’s or Research Master’s degree in Archaeology
  • demonstrable affinity with mobile material culture of the Roman northwest provinces
  • excellent language skills in spoken and written English as well as fluent Dutch speaking, since the candidate will engage with members of the public often
  • a team player: close cooperation with partners is essential in the work package
  • GIS-skills are considered a big advantage

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €2,395 (PhD)
and a maximum €3,061 (PhD). The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0,8 FTE.

The initial employment contract will affect a period of 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for another 3 years (or 4 years in case of a 0,8 fte contract).

Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,000 students. We employ over 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.


We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

Faculty of Humanities

The Faculty of Humanities links a number of fields of study: Language, Literature and Communication, Art & Culture, History, Antiquities and Philosophy. Our teaching and research focus on current societal and scientific themes: from artificial intelligence to visual culture, from urbanization to the history of slavery, from ‘fake news’ in journalism to communication in organizations. We strive to ensure small group sizes. Innovative education and interdisciplinary research are our hallmarks.

Working at the Faculty of Humanities means making a real contribution to the quality of leading education and research in an inspiring and personal work and study climate. We employ more than 250 staff members, and we are home to around 1,300 students.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload: your curriculum vitae, a cover letter including two references (names and emails) and your motivation, plus a research plan consisting of two pages; the plan contains a description of the sources or resources you would use and what information they may yield, as well as a provisional table of contents of your PhD-thesis. Complete the application before May 6, 2021.

The job interviews are planned for May 25-28.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions

If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Dr. S. (Stijn) Heeren
Position: Assistant Professor

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