Postdoc in Wording Repair: Digitally Unveiling the History of Reparative Justice in the Words of a Forgotten Diary (8 months; 0.4 FTE)

Postdoc in Wording Repair: Digitally Unveiling the History of Reparative Justice in the Words of a Forgotten Diary (8 months; 0.4 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
6 Jul 12 Sep Utrecht

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Are you fluent in German and do you want to examine the history of reparations following mass human rights abuses through the utilisation of digital tools?

Job description

Utrecht University is seeking a highly skilled and motivated individual to join the project of Dr. Lorena De Vita as a part-time Postdoctoral Researcher in the field of Digital Humanities.

This position is available for a fixed term of 8 months at 0.4 FTE (full-time equivalent), with a desired starting date of 1 October 2023. The successful candidate will be appointed by Utrecht University.

Would you like to help connect the field of digital humanities to historical research on twentieth-century German history? Then consider joining us for an interdisciplinary research venture! The position is funded by a grant awarded to dr. Lorena De Vita, and will be carried out at the Department of History and Art History at Utrecht University. You will work in a team aiming to digitise, transcribe, and analyse a large corpus of hand-written texts.

This project aims to examine the history of reparations following mass human rights abuses through the utilisation of digital tools. It will analyse the personal diaries of a German jurist who dedicated a significant portion of his professional career to seeking reparations for Holocaust survivors. These diaries, previously inaccessible to researchers, contain meticulous daily notes. By employing and advancing handwritten-character recognition (HCR) technology, the Wording Repair project will provide valuable bottom-up insights that will contribute to the development of the emerging field of historical reparations studies.

As part of our team, your responsibilities will be to:
  • conduct original research in the field of Digital Humanities, with a focus on the analysis and interpretation of historical documents written in old German handwriting (Sütterlin);
  • employ advanced digital tools and methodologies (Transkribus) to transcribe, analyse, and annotate historical texts, contributing to the development of new approaches in the field;
  • collaborate with interdisciplinary teams to advance knowledge and understanding in the field(s) of German History and Digital Humanities;
  • collect and curate relevant historical data, ensuring accuracy and quality in data management practices;
  • contribute to the dissemination of research findings through academic publications, conference presentations, and other appropriate channels;
  • contribute to the supervision and mentorship of junior researchers and students, providing guidance and support in their research activities.


Utrecht University


We are looking for a candidate who has:
  • a completed PhD in a relevant field, such as Digital Humanities, History, German Studies, or a related discipline;
  • expertise in reading and interpreting German handwriting (this is essential for this position);
  • a strong background and demonstrated expertise in the field of Digital Humanities, with a focus on the analysis and transcription of historical texts;
  • proficiency in employing advanced digital tools and techniques for the analysis and visualisation of historical data;
  • familiarity with transcription software and platforms, with experience using Transkribus considered a strong plus.
  • strong analytical and problem-solving skills, with the ability to think critically and propose innovative solutions;
  • excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to collaborate effectively within multidisciplinary teams;
  • demonstrated ability to work independently;
  • fluency in German (required) and proficiency in English (desirable).
A track record of scholarly publications and conference presentations in the field of Digital Humanities is also desirable.

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

Conditions of employment

We offer a temporary position (0.4 FTE) for a period of 8 months. The start date is 1 October 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter. The gross salary will be €3,974 (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, which 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.


  • Postdoc
  • Language and culture
  • max. 16 hours per week
  • max. €3794 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 1212499



Drift 6, 3512 BS, Utrecht

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