Junior Researcher ' Trafficking Transformations: Objects as Agents in Transnational Criminal Networks' project (1,0 ft) - Faculty of Law

Junior Researcher ' Trafficking Transformations: Objects as Agents in Transnational Criminal Networks' project (1,0 ft) - Faculty of Law

Published Deadline Location
18 Feb 22 Mar Maastricht

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Job description

We are offering an exciting opportunity for a talented and aspiring early career researcher to enhance their research skills in a multi-national and interdisciplinary research team. In addition, you will gain exposure to a variety of tasks involved in the management of a complex research project and in the translation of research results into societally relevant outputs. You will be part of a close-knit, though international research team willing to innovate and provide support for the development of new competencies and skills.

About the Project

The TRANSFORM project (Trafficking Transformations: Objects as Agents in Transnational Criminal Networks), headed by Dr Donna Yates, is a multidisciplinary project that combines methods and theory from criminology, archaeology, law, sociology, heritage studies, palaeontology, and conservation studies, to explore the role that objects play in illicit trafficking networks. Looking specifically at three types of collectable, desirable, and valuable objects that seem to attract crime (antiquities/cultural objects, fossils, collectable wildlife), project field research will start in the American Southwest, Southern Africa, and the South Pacific, and researchers will "follow the objects" as they move around the globe. Through data collection at multiple sites along trafficking pathways, the transformations of these objects, the networks that they create, and the people they influence will form a narrative, a biography of trafficking. This will reveal the hidden lives of illicit commodities prior to their appearance as objects of conspicuous consumption in public markets, and holds the prospect of destabilising existing assumptions about the formulation, maintenance, and disruption of transnational criminal networks, transforming our understanding of organised crime.

An important aspect of this project is data-sharing with stakeholders and generating meaningful outputs for stakeholders and policy-makers beyond academia. This will include the development of toolkits, training scenarios, and other digital resources for understanding the illicit movements of antiquities, wildlife, and fossils; the junior researcher will take the lead in development of these project outputs and resources.

Tasks and Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate the development of digital research outputs, including: online training scenarios, stakeholder toolkits, and digital object biographies;
  • Assist in the development of, and provide ongoing updates to the project website;
  • Compile quarterly and annual online project reports with input from project team members;
  • Maintain project social and traditional media presence;
  • Provide research support to project team as required (drafting annotated bibliographies, transcription, editing, organising).

All of the abovementioned tasks will be carried out under the supervision of senior researchers. The project language is English.


Maastricht University (UM)


Profile and competencies: 

  • Master's degree in criminology, sociology, law, or field related to this project; PhD desirable, criminological background desirable;
  • Experience with/solid background in empirical research on crime related to antiquities/cultural objects, wildlife, fossils, or other illicit commodities;
  • Advanced skills and displayable competency in content management systems and various forms of digital communication;
  • Experience with online learning platforms;
  • Excellent command of English, including written English;
  • Excellent research and analytical skills;
  • Strong organisational skills;
  • Good interpersonal skills enabling to maintain effective relationships with team members located internationally;
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team;
  • Experience with or knowledge of web design and/or web development is a plus.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 3 years.

The appointment as researcher will be for a period up to three years. The salary will be set in salary scale 10 of the collective labour agreement of the Dutch Universities, minimum gross month salary € 2.709,00 and maximum € 3.255,00; on top of this there will be an 8% holiday and an 8,3% year-end allowance.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website http://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl > Support > UM employees.


Maastricht University

Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 18,000 students and 4,300 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.


Faculty of Law

The Faculty of Law has a strong and distinct international profile both in education and research. Our faculty is an inspiring and lively place where enthusiastic and inquisitive researchers attempt to find answers to the important legal issues of today. Researchers are able to flourish in the faculty’s vibrant academic community. They develop their own research projects, within the contours set by the faculty’s research programme. Research is focused on the study of the role of law in an increasingly globalised society. Research involves studying both institutional and substantive developments in the process of Europeanisation and globalisation and the role of the national legal order therein. This takes place by means of comparative research and research in the field of European law, international economic law and human rights in a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary context. To this end, various research methods are applied whereby more traditional methods are combined with empirical research methods.


  • Research, development, innovation
  • Law
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2709—€3255 per month
  • University graduate
  • AT2020.59


Maastricht University (UM)

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