Postdoctoral researcher GIS – urban archaeology of the Low Countries, 1200-1500

The Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH) has a vacant postdoctoral position as part of the ERC-project Healthscaping Urban Europe, led by prof. G. Geltner.

Project description
The postdoctoral researchers main project entails the collection of diverse data on preventative and curative health programs and indicators for their material impact in several Netherlandish cities, culminating in the construction of a health map concerning one of these cities. A health map is an innovative methodology developed by the existing team that seeks to bring together in a digital environment different disciplines and types of historic evidence on pre-industrial urban wellbeing. It is intended to facilitate research and exchange among scholars working on modern, pre-modern, and global contexts. Currently, much work has been done for Italy (and Bologna in particular), which will serve as a main point of reference and comparison between these two highly urbanized regions.

With regard to the Low Countries, data available for the health map of Ghent are in most advanced stage and can be further developed in close cooperation with several team members, social-urban and medical-cultural by training. Sources attesting a wide range of facilities, policies, practices and material adjustments that impacted the health and wellbeing of the urban community can be mapped and then compared/juxtaposed with other information, such as demographic and socio-economic geographic data, including but not limited to the water systems, artisanal production sites, schools, churches and the presence of animals.


Eligible applicants must have:

  • a completed PhD in medieval or urban archaeology by the time of the appointment;
  • proven significant experience working in a GIS environment;
  • research experience in Netherlandish archaeological sites and familiarity with working in local archives;
  • a research and publication record commensurate with their career stage;
  • a thorough command of (Middle) Dutch, excellent English and a working knowledge of Latin and languages pertinent to the field’s professional literature;
  • a theoretical background in urban studies and material culture;
  • a strong creative and cooperative attitude and willingness to work in a multidisciplinary team;
  • strong organizational skills;

Specialist knowledge of premodern medical history (theory, policy and practice) is an advantage.

Conditions of employment
The postdoctoral researcher will be appointed for 22,8 hours per week (0,6 fte) for a maximum period of 21 months at the Department of History, European Studies & Religious Studies of the Faculty of Humanities. The research will be carried out under the aegis of ASH. The appointment is initially for a period of 6 months; contingent on satisfactory performance it will be extended by a maximum of 15 months.

The intended starting date of the contract is 1 January 2020. The gross monthly salary (on full-time basis) will range from €3,389 to €4,018 depending on experience and qualifications, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities.


University of Amsterdam
With over 5,000 employees, 30,000 students and a budget of more than 600 million euros, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is an intellectual hub within the Netherlands. Teaching and research at the UvA are conducted within seven faculties: Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Law, Science, Medicine and Dentistry. Housed on four city campuses in or near the heart of Amsterdam, where disciplines come together and interact, the faculties have close links with thousands of researchers and hundreds of institutions at home and abroad.

The UvA’s students and employees are independent thinkers, competent rebels who dare to question dogmas and aren’t satisfied with easy answers and standard solutions. To work at the UvA is to work in an independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterised by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society.


Faculty of Humanities
The Faculty of Humanities provides education and conducts research with a strong international profile in a large number of disciplines. Located in the heart of Amsterdam, the Faculty maintains close ties with many cultural institutes in the capital city. Employees focus on interdisciplinary collaboration, are verifiably broadly deployable and are prepared to be deployed in several teaching programmes.

The Faculty of Humanities comprises eight departments, and each department is composed of sections comprising one or more professors and a number of other academics working in the relevant field. The Philosophy Department comprises four sections: The Philosophical Tradition in Context; Logic and Language: Mind, Body, and Behavior; Philosophy and Public Affairs; and Critical Cultural Theory: Art, Culture and Media.

ASH is one of the six research schools under the aegis of the Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research.

Additional information
For further information, please contact:

An overview of the Healthscaping project is available at:

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