Netherlands: 3 Postdocs positions in Economic and Social History at Utrecht University

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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”. This project 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, 3 postdoc positions will be available:

  • Postdoc 1 (starting preferably 1 March 2014) will first work on fine tuning the case selection for the comparative tests, start analysing the cases and make the first step in building the project’s databases (Work Package 1: “Strengthening the foundations”, duration 6 months) and subsequently on either the role of systems of allocation and redistribution in the mitigation of crop failure and famine, in the period 1500-1800 (Work Package 3: “Getting access to food”), or on the long-term responses of rural economy and society to plagues, in the period 1348-1600 (Work Package 5: “Window of opportunity or death-blow?”).
  • Postdoc 2 (starting preferably 1 September 2014) will first work on either the role of systems of allocation and redistribution in the mitigation of crop failure and famine, in the period 1500-1800 (Work Package 3: “Getting access to food”), or on the long-term responses of rural economy and society to plagues, in the period 1348-1600 (Work Package 5: “Window of opportunity or death-blow?”).
  • Postdoc 3 (starting preferably 1 September 2014) focuses on how technology and investments allowed societies to buffer storm surges and floods on the North Sea coasts in the period 1300-1700 (Work Package 2: “Harnessing the water”). Did coordination systems stimulate investments and the application of technology in order to prevent or remedy disasters, or not? If technology was available, why was it used or not used?

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, led by prof. Bas van Bavel and prof. Jan Luiten van Zanden.

Requirements

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 3 postdoc-positions (0.8 fte) beginning 1 March 2014 (position Postdoc 1) or 1 September 2014 (positions Postdoc 2 and Postdoc 3). These positions 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 two to four more years (a total of three to five years maximum). Salary ranges between € 3,037,- and € 3,831,- gross per month on a fulltime basis depending on experience and qualifications.

Utrecht University offers a pension scheme, a holiday allowance of 8% per year, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% and flexible employment conditions. Conditions are based on the Collective Employment Agreement of the Dutch Universities. More information: terms of employment. 

Organisation

 

Utrecht University has great ambitions for its teaching quality and study success rates. This also applies to its clear research profiles which are centred around four themes: Sustainability, Life Sciences, Youth & Identity, and Institutions. Utrecht University plays a prominent role in our society and contributes to finding the answers to topical and future societal issues.

The Faculty of Humanities has around 7,000 students and 900 staff members. With its research and education 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. The enthusiastic and motivated colleagues and the excellent facilities in the historic town centre of Utrecht, where the Faculty is located, provide a stimulating professional atmosphere.

Additional information

Utrecht University is one of Europe’s leading research universities, recognised internationally for its high quality and innovative approach to both research and teaching. Founded in 1636, the University has always focused strongly on research. Owing to its solid grounding in discipline-based scholarship, Utrecht University is at the forefront of developments in interdisciplinary knowledge. The University participates in various thematic multidisciplinary collaborations that conduct excellent research. With its prominence in teaching and research, Utrecht University works towards finding solutions of the highest possible impact and significance to the major challenges facing the 21st century.

The Faculty of Humanities has around 7,000 students and 900 staff members. With its research and education 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. The enthusiastic and motivated colleagues and the excellent facilities in the historic town centre of Utrecht, where the Faculty is located, provide a stimulating professional atmosphere.

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