Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the project The Great Game of Pandemics for 3.5 years (0.75 FTE) – Utrecht University

We are looking for a Postdoctoral Researcher in the field of international history to join the project of Dr. Ozan Ozavci ‘The Great Game of Pandemics’.

Job Description

Utrecht University is looking for a highly skilled and motivated Postdoctoral Researcher in the field of international history to join the project of Dr. Ozan Ozavci.

This position is available for a fixed term of initially 12 months, and after the successful evaluation of the first year, it will be extended by 30 months, both for 0.75 FTE. The desired starting date is 1 November 2023. The successful candidate will be appointed by Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

The project
Led by Dr. Ozan Ozavci (Principal Investigator), the Great Game of Pandemics project aims to write a new history of international health cooperation with a focus on sanitary internationalism in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in the long nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It will investigate cooperative practices between global northern (European, American) and MENA actors (diplomats, doctors, merchants, missionaries, etc.) in the age of empires and high imperialism. The project investigates the relationship between global imperial interests of the so-called nineteenth-century Great Powers and perceived threats and interest calculations of local societies in MENA. It will look into the question of what enabled their cooperation in the fight against epidemics and pandemics and how the hierarchical nature of their relationship affected this cooperation. To address these questions, the project team will conduct research in several American, European, Middle Eastern and North African archives and libraries.

The postdoctoral fellow will be responsible for archival research in European, American, Middle Eastern and North African archives and libraries, collecting data, taking notes, and where necessary, translating materials into English. The position will require travelling in regular intervals. The fellow is expected to (co-)author scholarly work, resulting from research findings, and help the PI with the co-management of the Lausanne Project and the Security History Network.


We are looking for a candidate who has:

  • a completed Ph.D. in a relevant field (transimperial history, international history, global history, history of medicine, Middle Eastern/North African history, etc.);
  • very good command of spoken and written English;
  • very good reading ability of one or more European (especially Spanish, Italian, French and Dutch) and Middle East/North African (Arabic, Ottoman, Persian) languages, or willingness to improve existing linguistic skills;
  • archival experience in North American, European and/or MENA archives;
  • excellent time management skills;
  • adaptability and ability to trave;
  • excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to collaborate effectively within multidisciplinary teams.

Candidates must fulfill the conditions set by the IND to work in the Netherlands.

The department is committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Conditions of Employment

We offer a temporary position (0.75 FTE) for initially 12 months in an international working environment. After positive evaluation, the contract will be extended for the remaining 30 months (42 months total). Employment will become effective on 1 November 2023 or, by mutual agreement, shortly thereafter. The gross salary – depending on previous qualifications and experience – ranges between €3,974 and €5,439 (scale 11 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year.

In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, professional development, (partly paid) parental leave, sports and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University.

Utrecht University works with the TRIPLE model; this makes it possible to recognise and value multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary teaching and research. The model also embraces job diversification and dynamic career paths: there is room to develop your own strengths and look at how you complement and strengthen the team as a whole.

Within Utrecht University, we find it important that employees continue to develop within their own position or towards the next. We offer coaching and a variety of training opportunities.


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

The Faculty of Humanities has around 7,000 students and 1,100 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 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 committed colleagues and the excellent amenities in the historical city centre of Utrecht, where the faculty is located, contribute to an inspiring working environment.

The faculty strives for diversity among its employees and students and is committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment for everyone, as can be read in Utrecht University’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy.

The core values of the Faculty for Humanities are professionalism, transparency, responsibility, connectedness and safety. These values apply to everyone and we uphold these values in our work and in our communication with each other and with others.

In the section of History of International Relations, we study the history of international relations and global configurations of power and politics from an empirically grounded perspective, and with a keen interest in theoretical innovation. The section is organized along three thematic hubs: ‘Conflict and Security’, ‘Global and Imperial Relations’ and ‘Europe in the World.’  Each has its own vibrant intellectual community. We increasingly work and teach at the cross-sections of these fields on issues such as peace and diplomacy, environmental governance, decolonization, war, violence, terrorism and technology. We value team science, research-informed teaching, and we jointly run a series of ambitious educational programmes and community engagement learning labs. We aim to be both outspoken and nuanced in our public engagement activities.

Click here for more information about the organisation.

Additional Information

For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Ozan Ozavci at

Apply here

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