PhD in ERC-funded Project 'Digitizing Other Economies' (DOE) - subproject Kyrgyz Republic

PhD in ERC-funded Project 'Digitizing Other Economies' (DOE) - subproject Kyrgyz Republic

Published Deadline Location
7 Feb 27 Feb Wageningen

You cannot apply for this job anymore (deadline was 27 Feb 2024).

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

Job description

The Knowledge, Technology and Innovation (KTI) Group of Wageningen University and Research, welcomes applications for a fully salaried position in the ERC-funded project ‘Digitizing Other Economies: A Comparative Approach’ (DOE). DOE is a comparative ethnographic and ethnological research project led by Dr Geoffrey Hobbis, Assistant Professor at KTI. DOE investigates possibilities for economic diversity in the digital age based on cross-cultural comparative research among longstanding ‘other’ economies – hunter-gatherers, pastoralists, horticulturalists and non-industrial agriculturalists. For more information about the project, you are encouraged to check out this short manifesto published in Geoforum.

You will be based at Wageningen University and conduct fifteen months of in-depth ethnographic fieldwork in the Kyrgyz Republic. You will study how Kyrgyz pastoralists experience digitization, especially through the proliferation of smartphones as a potential further push towards their assimilation into dominant industrial, if not industrial-capitalist, economic systems and values. This will allow you to provide crucial insights into context-specific experiences with digitization among pastoralists and contribute critical digital perspectives to key debates on post-Soviet life-worlds and their capitalist entanglements including the often overlooked presence of diverse economic practices.

Your duties and responsibilities include:
  • setting up and carrying out ethnographic fieldwork;
  • setting up and completing a PhD dissertation within four years;
  • authoring and co-authoring publications;
  • participating in conferences, workshops, seminars and other scholarly activities;
  • being part of the research team;
  • being an active member of the Knowledge, Technology and Innovation Group (participating in seminars, meetings).

You will work here
The research is part of the DOE research team, led by the PI Geoffrey Hobbis. You will be embedded within the Knowledge, Technology and Innovation Group led by Prof. Anita Hardon. Your supervisor will be Dr Geoffrey Hobbis.


Wageningen University & Research


You are:
  • a dedicated and curious researcher who wishes to build a deeper understanding of issues related to economic anthropology and anthropologies of technology;
  • open to new challenges and diverse perspectives and have the aptitude and qualities needed to complete 15 months of ethnographic fieldwork in a largely rural environment;
  • committed to contributing to the broader research project as member of a larger team;
  • willing to nurture these qualities further over the course of the project, including how these could serve you in a future career in or beyond academia after the PhD.

You possess:
  • a completed (Research) Master’s degree in anthropology, archaeology, cultural geography, cultural economics, science and technology studies or related field;
  • demonstrated passion and aptitude for ethnographic research;
  • proven experience with field-based research methods, ideally in Central Asia
  • proven interest in topics related to economic anthropology, diverse economies, pastoralists, digital technologies, and/or socio-technical continuities and change;
  • excellent command of written and spoken English
  • ideally previous experience with Kyrgyz and Russian (a broader history of skilled language acquisition will also be considered)
  • good skills in planning, taking initiatives, presenting your work to a wider audience;
  • proven skills in academic writing;
  • interest in being part of and contributing to a lively, caring and engaging academic environment.

For this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level. Sometimes it is necessary to submit an internationally recognised Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language. More information can be found here.

Conditions of employment

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
  • partially paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional compensation / holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.

In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team.
The gross salary for the first year is € 2.770 - per month rising to € 3.539,- in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale P). This is based on a full-time working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well.

There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the “Best University” in the Netherlands for the 19th consecutive time.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees.

Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.

Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about for example helping your partner to find a job, housing, or schooling. Finally, certain categories of international staff may be eligible for a tax exemption on a part of their salary during the first five years in the Netherlands.


Wageningen University & Research

Wageningen University & Research
The mission of Wageningen University & Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With its roughly 30 branches, 7,200 employees (6,400 fte) and 13,200 students and over 150.000 participants to WUR’s Life Long Learning, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. The unique Wageningen approach lies in its integrated approach to issues and the collaboration between different disciplines.. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen’s unique approach. WUR has been named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.

These are the points our employees list as good reasons to come work at WUR: read the 5 reasons to come work at WUR

We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • P1428476-1


Wageningen University & Research

Learn more about this employer


Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

View on Google Maps

Interesting for you