4 PhD Candidates for Research Project 'Political Animals'

4 PhD Candidates for Research Project 'Political Animals'

Published Deadline Location
24 Nov 6 Jan Amsterdam

You cannot apply for this job anymore (deadline was 6 Jan 2023).

Browse the current job offers or choose an item in the top navigation above.

Job description

The University of Amsterdam's Department of Human Geography, Planning and International Development Studies (GPIO) welcomes applicants for four PhD positions within the research project ANIMAPOLIS ("Political Animals: A More-than-human Approach to Urban Inequalities"), funded by a European Research Council Advanced Grant. All four positions start April 1, 2023 and will be embedded in the department's Urban Geographies programme group.

The ANIMAPOLIS project explores how animals' interactions with humans and infrastructures co-produce the unequal distribution of risks and resources across urban spaces and populations. It focuses on two critical urban domains, security and public health, that are often characterized by stark inequalities, and takes the role of key animals within these domains - dogs and rats, respectively - as an analytical entry-point. Through what mechanisms might security dogs co-produce practices of racial profiling, or distributions of rats affect public health outcomes? The project is led by Rivke Jaffe, who will also act as the PhDs' primary supervisor.

What are you going to do

As a PhD candidate, you will conduct long-term multispecies ethnographic research on either dogs and security, or rats and public health, and contribute to a comparative analysis of how animals, humans and infrastructures co-produce urban inequalities. Your fieldwork will be conducted in either Amsterdam or in Rio de Janeiro. Throughout your research, you will work closely with the other members of the research team in collaborative fieldwork and comparative analysis. If your focus is on dogs, you will research the outcomes of interactions and relations between security dogs, urban residents and security/policing professionals, and security infrastructures, in terms of the distribution of resources and risks including income, crime risks, police brutality and social stigma. If your focus is on rats, you will research the outcomes of interactions and relations between rats, urban residents and public health/sanitation professionals, and public health/sanitation infrastructures, in terms of the distribution of resources and risks including pathogens, rodenticides, social stigma and real-estate values.

Your work will include:
  • conducting independent and collaborative field research in either Amsterdam or Rio de Janeiro;
  • helping to co-design, test and finetune a multispecies methodological toolkit that includes multispecies ethnography, spatial methods and cultural analysis;
  • writing and completing a PhD dissertation within four years;
  • participating in the AISSR PhD program;
  • 10% teaching;
  • collaborating with supervisors and peers in research and publications;
  • participating in conferences, workshops, seminars and other scholarly activities.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


Your experience and profile:
  • (Research) master's degree in human geography, anthropology, urban studies or other relevant social science;
  • Demonstrated passion and aptitude for research;
  • Relevant fieldwork experience: ideally, ethnographic research on animals, infrastructure and/or urban inequalities;
  • Excellent written and spoken English;
  • Linguistic skills relevant to the research location (Dutch for Amsterdam and Portuguese for Rio de Janeiro);
  • Independent work attitude and ability and interest to work in a team.

If this vacancy speaks to you, but you are uncertain whether you might be THE person we are looking for, please do apply. We strongly encourage applications from all qualified candidates, and specifically from people of color, with a migration background, and/or with other backgrounds underrepresented in academia. In light of the department's and the PI's commitment to diversity, and since diversity and inequality are key themes in the project, we aim to create a team of researchers who each contribute to the project in their own way - our objective is complementarity rather than homogeneity.

Conditions of employment

A four-year, full-time appointment: the initial employment is for one year, and following a positive assessment, this term will be extended by an additional three years, which should result in the conferral of a doctorate. Your salary will be €2541 gross per month in the first year and will increase to €3247 in the final year, based on full-time employment (38 hours per week) and in keeping with the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities. We additionally offer an extensive package of secondary benefits, including 8% holiday allowance and a year-end bonus of 8.3%.

As a PhD candidate within the Amsterdam Institute of Social Science Research (AISSR), you will be able to follow a range of courses focused on improving your academic writing, methodological and analytical skills. You will also be invited to join a diverse set of reading groups, writing groups, and various convivial activities within the programme group, the department and the AISSR. You will also be invited to do some teaching and develop your teaching skills.

What else do we offer
  • a position in which initiative and input are highly valued;
  • an enthusiastic and warm team that is open to new colleagues;
  • an inspiring academic and international working environment in the heart of Amsterdam.


Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

The University of Amsterdam is the largest university in the Netherlands, with the broadest spectrum of degree programmes. It is an intellectual hub with 39,000 students, 6,000 employees and 3,000 doctoral students who are all committed to a culture of inquiring minds.

About the faculty

A challenging work environment with a variety of duties and ample scope for individual initiative and development within an inspiring organization. The social and behavioral sciences play a leading role in addressing the major societal challenges faced by the world, the Netherlands and Amsterdam, now and in the future.

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


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • 10899


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

Learn more about this employer


Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, 1018WV, Amsterdam

View on Google Maps

Interesting for you