Postdoctoral researcher Health Humanities

Postdoctoral researcher Health Humanities

Published Deadline Location
19 Jul 1 Sep Amsterdam

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Job description

The Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH) currently has a vacant Postdoc researcher position as part of the broader field of Cultural Heritage and Identity. Within this field the focus is on material and immaterial heritage, including digital Humanities and on Cultural Heritage and societal changes. ASH is one of the five Research Schools within the Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research.

What are you going to do

This postdoc position will focus on the intersection of cultural heritage, identity, health and wellbeing. Health and wellbeing are shaped by a complex interplay of social, cultural, and biological factors: as Covid has shown, even a virus will have a different impact across a population depending on economic and environmental factors, and on the alignment or clash between public health advice with cultural values, historical legacies, and personal circumstances. Moreover, the identity categories of ill, abnormal, infertile, old, or disabled are historically and culturally specific and can carry great stigma, fueling inequality and undermining wellbeing as well as social inclusion and participation. Cultural heritage and identity are part of the intersecting influences that can foster or undermine public health, promoting, deterring, or preventing healthy behaviour. Interdisciplinary research is needed to determine how history, heritage, and culture shape values and behaviours, which in turn can help explore how these factors might be mobilized to support healthier societies and to support people to cope with major threats to health such as climate change.

At ASH, we are looking for a postdoc who will contribute to and strengthen our research on Health Humanities, a diverse field of research and practice, uniting scholars, artists, curators, patients, caregivers, and healthcare activists who collaborate to broaden and historically contexualise contemporary approaches to health and medicine. The role of culture and identity in shaping experiences of illness and impairment are increasingly recognized as core contributors to health and wellbeing alongside the social determinants of health. Understanding historical legacies, values, and traditions is crucial for the design of effective public health initiatives, and arts and culture are key tools for managing mental health and coping with the impact of injury or disease.

We are particularly interested in projects that focus on disability studies or (mental) health and medicine. We expect the postdoc to help set up networking events and collaborative research activities that connect existing research within the Medical and Health Humanities with projects in the faculties of Social Sciences, Law and Medicine. Ideally, the postdoc has experience collaborating with patient or community groups and cultural institutions to design, deliver, and evaluate the role of arts and culture in health and wellbeing.

The postdoc will take an active role within the PULSE Network for Medical and Health Humanities (UvA - Vu collaboration) and will be part of one of ASH's research groups or centres, for example the interdisciplinary research group Environment and Society or the Amsterdam Centre for Urban History.

Your tasks and responsibilities:
  • conducting research, presenting intermediate research results at relevant workshops and conferences and publishing (the equivalent of) two peer reviewed articles;
  • participating in research groups and centres within ASH;
  • setting up networking events and collaborative research activities;
  • co-organising knowledge dissemination activities and collaborations with patient or community groups and cultural institutions.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


Your experience and profile:
  • a PhD in the Humanities, with a focus on disability studies or (the history of) health and medicine;
  • excellent research skills demonstrated by a track record of publishing in high-ranking journals and/or with leading presses or a demonstrable capacity to develop such a record;
  • a strong cooperative attitude and proven ability to engage in collaborative, interdisciplinary research;
  • enthusiasm for communicating academic research to non-academic audiences;
  • excellent command of English.

Conditions of employment

The Postdoc researcher will be appointed at the History, European Studies and Religious Studies Department of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Amsterdam and will conduct their research within ASH. The employment contract will be for one year. Contingent on a positive performance evaluation the contract will be extended with one year. The employment contract is for 30,4 - 38 hours a week. Preferred starting date is 01 October 2022.

The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week and relevant experience, ranges between € 3,974 to € 5,439. This sum does not include the 8% holiday allowance and the 8,3% year-end allowance. A favourable tax agreement, the '30% ruling', may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

What else do we offer
  • excellent possibilities for further professional development and education;
  • an enthusiastic and inspiring research environment;
  • the opportunity to collaborate with leading researchers at research institutes that - partly as a result of their interdisciplinary approach - are world renowned.


Faculty of Humanities

The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands' largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 30,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates study and work in a diverse range of fields, connected by a culture of curiosity.

The Faculty of Humanities provides education and conducts research with a strong international profile in a large number of disciplines in de field of language and culture. Located in the heart of Amsterdam, the faculty maintains close ties with many cultural institutes in the capital city. Research and teaching staff focus on interdisciplinary collaboration and are active in several teaching programmes.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.


  • Postdoc
  • Behaviour and society
  • 30.4—38 hours per week
  • €3974—€5439 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 9858


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012CX, Amsterdam

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