PhD ‘The Scheurrak SO1 Shipwreck and the Maritime-Cultural Landscape of the Early Modern Netherlands, 1550-1650’ 

The Department of World Archaeology of the Faculty of Archaeology is looking for a

PhD candidate for the project ‘The Scheurrak SO1 Shipwreck and the Maritime-Cultural Landscape of the Early Modern Netherlands, 1550-1650’ 

Project description
The PhD candidate will carry out research within the framework of the research programme ‘The Scheurrak SO1 shipwreck in the maritime-cultural landscape of the early modern Netherlands, 1550-1650’. This interdisciplinary programme contains two PhD projects, and is a cooperation between the Institute for History (Faculty of Humanities) and the Faculty of Archaeology. The programme investigates what one extraordinarily well-preserved shipwreck, excavated between 1989 and 1997, can tell us about the shipping and shipbuilding industries of the early modern Netherlands, and the material culture of the Baltic trade in the period between 1550 and 1650.

The programme will contribute to a better understanding of the broader notion of the maritime-cultural landscape of the early modern Netherlands, and is financed by the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed). See for more information the website(only available in Dutch).

Key responsibilities

  • Writing a dissertation in English within four years;
  • Submitting research results for publication to international peer-reviewed academic journals;
  • Presenting papers at conferences and workshops;
  • Co-organizing conferences and workshops;
  • Contributing to two exhibition catalogues, to be concluded before 1 January 2022;
  • Participating in PhD training courses (Posthumus Research School and Archon).

Selection criteria

  • (Research) MA degree in Archaeology or History with (very) good grades;
  • Written and oral fluency in Dutch and English;
  • Independent work attitude and ability to critically evaluate commonly accepted theories and concepts in archaeology on shipbuilding traditions;
  • Willingness to work in an international academic team that aspires to the highest levels of scholarly excellence and societal engagement;
  • A problem-focused approach to archaeological-historical research and proven ability to apply theoretical and comparative frameworks;
  • Ability to work both independently and as a team member.

Our organisation
The Faculty of Archaeology is an international faculty in the multidisciplinary world of Archaeology and is home to 500 students. The Faculty is remarkable for its global diversity and the strong connection it fosters between teaching and research. It is here that researchers from all areas of the field work to determine the future of archaeological research: the future of the past begins in Leiden.

Terms and conditions
We offer a full-time position for initially one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities and compatibility the appointment will be extended by a further three years. Salary range from € 2.325,- to € 2.972,- gross per month based on a full-time position (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3%), and training and career development. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside The Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. For more information visit our website.

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science. Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.

Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.

For more information on this position and any questions on the procedure, please contact Roos van Oosten, email, telephone +31 71 527 2448.

To apply for this vacancy, please send your application by e-mail to Josephine Say,

Please ensure that you quote the vacancy number. All requested documents should be sent in one PDF with all the documents listed below excluding the (R)MA thesis, and a separate PDF with the thesis. The PDF’s should be titled ‘SO1 + family name applicant’ and ‘SO1 (R)MA thesis + family name applicant’. Requested documents:

  • Application letter – maximum two A4 sides (in English);
  • CV including a list of publications;
  • Motivation that reflects on the notion of maritime-cultural landscape and on the main challenges of the PhD project (word limit 1,500, excluding references);
  • Copy of (Res) MA thesis (PDF);
  • Names and addresses of two references (letters of reference are not required at this stage).

Applications must be received no later than Friday 13 March 2020. The interviews are scheduled for Thursday 16 April 2020.

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