Humanities Cluster-KNAW| PhD Student

As part of Dr Helmer Helmers’ NWO-funded VIDI project ‘Inventing Public Diplomacy in Early Modern Europe’ the Humanities Cluster is currently recruiting a PhD student.

The PhD student will work on the research project Ambassadors in Print: Public Diplomacy in Franco-Dutch Relations, 1609-1713, in close cooperation with the other project members. The PhD project is part of three closely related projects which analyse the rise and development of public diplomacy in early modern Europe within the programme financed by Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). Dr Helmer Helmers and prof Geert Janssen (University of Amsterdam) will supervise the project.

The researcher will study diplomatic archives in France and The Netherlands to establish how, when and why early modern diplomats engaged with foreign publics and how they used print to do so. A detailed research outline, including potential source material, may be obtained from Dr Helmers.

The tasks of the PhD student will include:

  • Archival research
  • Transcribing selected correspondence with the help of digital tools
  • Finishing and defending a PhD-dissertation within four years
  • Active participation in the meetings of the project research group and affiliated projects
  • Presenting intermediate research results at workshops and conferences
  • Contributing to the project database and project publications
  • Co-organizing outreach activities and the project conference
  • Following courses in cultural history in the national graduate school

Part of the research will be conducted in archives outside The Netherlands.

We are looking for candidates with a great passion for early modern media history and political culture. The successful applicant must have:

  • a MA-thesis in early modern history or a closely related field;
  • strong analytical abilities, demonstrated by an outstanding MA-thesis and/or publication;
  • an open, cooperative attitude and willingness to engage in collaborative research and publication;
  • enthusiasm for communicating academic research to non-academic audiences;
  • proficiency in English, reading knowledge of French;
  • strong palaeographical skills
  • Experience with digital methods and HTR tools such as Transkribus will be considered an advantage.

Conditions of employment
The appointment at the KNAW for the Humanities Cluster concerns an employment contract of 1,0 FTEs for a period of one year with a view to an extension of up to 4 years.

Terms of employment
The gross monthly salary is € 2.325,– per month in the first year, rising to € 2.972,– in the fourth year, based on a fulltime appointment. The salary is supplemented with an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities is applicable.

The Royal Academy of Science offers an attractive pension scheme, 6 weeks of holiday per year, the possibility to buy or sell holiday leave, as well as career development opportunities. Flexible hours and working from home are negotiable.


Humanities Cluster-KNAW
The Humanities Cluster of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) is a collaboration between three research institutes: the Huygens Institute for Dutch History, the International Institute for Social History (IISH) and the Meertens Institute for Dutch Language and Culture. The institutes are committed to groundbreaking research in the humanities, in which innovative (digital) methods play an important role.

Additional information
For more information please contact Dr Helmer Helmers


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