Postdoc position “Coordinating for life” (University of Utrecht)

RHN 61/2017 | Opportunity

Department History and Art History, Section Economic and Social History, Faculty of Humanities, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands

Closing date for applications: 23 April 2017

Postdoc position
ERC Project
Coordinating for life. Success and failure of Western European societies in coping with rural hazards and disasters, 1300–1800

Job description
As a postdoc you will work within the ERC-funded project “Coordinating for life. Success and failure of Western European societies in coping with rural hazards and disasters, 1300–1800”, which aims to explain why some societies are successful in preventing the effects of major hazards and buffering threats, or in recovering quickly, while others prove highly vulnerable. A main element in the project is a comparative analysis, using selected Northwestern European regions as test areas. The project is funded by the European Research Council, by way of an Advanced Grant awarded to project-coordinator Prof. Bas van Bavel.

Within the project, 1 postdoc position will be available: The postdoc (starting 1 June 2017, or earlier) will work on the issue how (rural) societies in pre-industrial Northwestern Europe coped with threats. The specific threat under consideration is open, and it does not need to be one of the threats mentioned in the project description. The outlay of the research, however, needs to link up to that of the project as a whole. See for the project description: Coordinating for life.
You will be based at Utrecht University, and be part of the research team led by Prof. Bas van Bavel and will as such also be part of the Department History and Art History, Section Economic and Social History.

A successful candidate should preferably have:

  • a PhD in social and/or economic history or a manuscript submitted to the PhD committee;
  • experience with both qualitative and quantitative research and methods for comparative research;
  • strong interest for relevant theory;
  • capacity to work both as a creative and independent researcher and as part of a team;
  • capacity or at least willingness to collaborate across the academic disciplines;
  • experience in publishing at high academic standards;
  • ability to work in an international, interdisciplinary team.

Conditions of employment
We offer a postdoc-position of 0.8 FTE beginning 1 June 2017 (or earlier). The position may be augmented with a 0.2 FTE teaching assignment at BA and/or MA-level, when available. Initially, there is a one year contract. After a positive evaluation this contract can be extended with one more year (up to 1 March 2019, as the project is finalized at that date). Extension of the contract is conditional to an evaluation based on pre-set criteria and with the restriction that the Collective Labour Agreement in force at the time of the appointment allows for a fixed-term extension. Salary ranges, depending on experience and qualifications, between €3,193 and €3,899 (scale 10/11 according to the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities) gross per month on a full-time basis. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8 % and a year-end bonus of 8.3 % per year. We offer a pension scheme, collective insurance schemes and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information: working at Utrecht University.

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively on major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

The Faculty of Humanities has around 6,000 students and 900 staff members. It comprises four knowledge domains: Philosophy and Religious Studies, History and Art History, Media and Culture Studies, and Languages, Literature and Communication. With its research and teaching in these fields, the Faculty aims to contribute to a better understanding of the Netherlands and Europe in a rapidly changing social and cultural context. Enthusiastic and committed faculty members and excellent amenities in the historical city center of Utrecht, where the Faculty is housed, contribute to an inspiring working environment.

Additional information
Are you interested? For more information about the project please contact the project leader Prof. Dr. Bas van Bavel, email: For practical information and questions please contact Linda Westerink, email: