Open PhD Position: Multimodal Experimentations in More-Than-Human Anthropology

Open PhD Position: Multimodal Experimentations in More-Than-Human Anthropology

Published Deadline Location
15 Apr 26 Apr Amsterdam

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Job description

Are you curious about the relations between humans, animals and their environments? Are you interested in exploring how various technologies [of vision] are shaping such relationships amidst global environmental challenges? Do you have affinity or experience with filmmaking, multimodal ethnographic research methods and/or creative modes of storytelling? Do you have an innovative research idea and enjoy working together with a diverse group of committed researchers?

The Department of Anthropology is currently seeking a talented PhD candidate working at the intersection of human-nature relations, (digital) technologies and multimodal methods. This project is funded by combining Starter Grants (Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science) of Dr Martha-Cecilia Dietrich, Dr Ildikó Plájás and Dr Else Vogel.

The Department of Anthropology is part of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG) at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). The PhD track is part of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR) programme group Exploring diversity, critical ethnographies on belonging and exclusion’.

What are you going to do?
This is an open call for applicants to submit proposals for individual research projects addressing ‘more-than-human’ relations involving technological and ecological landscapes, animals, and/or other living entities. While the candidate will develop their own unique research idea, the proposed research project must align with the stated thematic focus (more-than-human relations) and methodological approach (multimodal/experimental). We are interested in projects that approach multi/inter/cross-species collaborations through creative engagements with time, space and/or sensory/affective lifeworlds. We envision this position as a place for methodological experimentation within anthropology and as an invitation to explore various forms of multimodal storytelling.

The aim of this position is for the candidate to contribute to the emerging fields of environmental anthropology and ‘multi-species ethnography’ within the Department of Anthropology, connecting the expertise in visual anthropology and science and technology studies offered by the supervision team.

While the supervisory team has extensive research experience in Western and Eastern Europe and Latin America, we encourage candidates of diverse backgrounds to apply with projects that are situated in other geographic locations as well.

Your tasks:
  • you will be a PhD candidate conducting individual ethnographic research on a topic of your choosing;
  • you will work with a collaborative supervision team consisting of three senior researchers (the supervisory team) based at the University of Amsterdam;
  • you will form part of a larger body of PhD candidates at the Department of Anthropology and the Visual Anthropology research lab;
  • your main task will be to develop your own PhD project within the thematic and methodological framework of the call;
  • you are expected to live in the Amsterdam area and take an active part in the department and the research environment at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR);
  • teaching (up to 10% of your time) and organisational support for the project (e.g. organizing workshops and seminars) will be part of your job responsibilities. These tasks will allow you to gain valuable professional experience next to working towards your PhD.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


You have:
  • a Master’s degree or equivalent with a relevant specialization within the social sciences or (environmental) humanities. Social, Cultural and Visual Anthropology, Human Geography, Sociology and Human-Animal Studies are preferred academic backgrounds. The degree must have been obtained before the employment starting date;
  • familiarity with ethnographic research methods;
  • training and/or experience in multimodal research designs and creative modes of storytelling (for instance in filmmaking, sound recording, animation, drawing, programming, etc.) attested in your CV (please include access to selected works);
  • a well-designed, feasible, innovative research idea combining technology, human-animal relations and multimodal/ audio-visual methods;
  • excellent oral and written communication skills in English;
  • excellent oral and written communication skills in the country where you will do research;
  • independent thinking and critical analytical skills;
  • good collaboration skills and the ability to join interdisciplinary academic communities;
  • the skills needed to finish the PhD thesis in four years; i.e., independent and pro-active work attitude, good planning and academic writing skills.

You preferably have:
  • affinity with STS, multispecies anthropology, visual and multimodal anthropology and decolonial perspectives.

Conditions of employment

The position concerns temporary employment of 38 hours per week for a maximum term of four years. The initial employment is for one year and will start on 1 September 2024. Following a positive assessment and barring altered circumstances, this term will be extended by a maximum of three years, which should result in the conferral of a doctorate. We will put together a curriculum which will also include the opportunity to attend training courses and both national and international events. You will also be tasked with teaching bachelor's students.

For this position the University Job Classification profile “Promovendus” applies. Your salary will be €2,770 gross per month in the first year and will increase to €3,539 in the final year, based on full-time employment of 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 an 8% holiday allowance and a year-end bonus of 8.3%. The UvA offers excellent possibilities for further professional development and education.

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

To work at the University of Amsterdam is to work in a discerning, independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterised by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society.


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 stimulating 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
  • 12883


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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