Postdoctoral Researcher in Sociology
University of Amsterdam Department of Sociology

Postdoctoral researcher in Sociology

Publication date 29 October 2019

Closing date 15 December 2019

Level of education PhD

Hours 30,4 hours per week

Salary indication €3,637 to €4,978 gross per month, based on 38 hours per week

Vacancy number 19-716

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 a Postdoctoral researcher 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 Postdoc will be part of programme group Cultural Sociology at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR). 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: 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 academic articles and a monography;
  • cooperating with other team members in developing & executing the research;
  • participating in conferences and seminars;
  • assisting in supervision of PhD candidates in the project.

What do we require of you?

You have:

  • a completed Doctoral degree in Sociology or another relevant sub-discipline of Social Sciences or Humanities;
  • affinity with the cultural field;
  • publications in peer-reviewed journals or with established academic publishers;
  • extensive experience with empirical research;
  • excellent command of English.

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 30,4 hours per week (0,8 fte) for a maximum term of three years, preferably starting on 1 February 2020. Salary depends on past education and relevant work experience, with a minimum salary of €3,637 and a maximum salary of €4,978 gross per month based on a full-time appointment for a 38-hour working week (in keeping with scale 11). The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities applies. 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;
  • a transcript of your PhD degree;
  • the contact information for two academic references (no letters of recommendation).

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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