Postdoctoral researcher, “Moving Animals: A History” at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, History Department, Maastricht University, 1 fte, 5 years

Postdoctoral researcher, “Moving Animals: A History” at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, History Department, Maastricht University, 1 fte, 5 years

Published Deadline Location
8 Apr 7 May Maastricht

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Applicants are invited for a 5 year postdoctoral position within the project “Moving Animals: A History of Science, Media and Policy in the Twentieth Century”. The project is funded by a NWO Vici grant awarded to the principal investigator, Dr. Raf De Bont.

Job description

Research project

The project ‘Moving Animals’ will study how the long-distance movement of wild animals has been understood, represented and managed in the course of the twentieth century. While historians of globalization have extensively studied the movement of humans, commodities and ideas, they overall had little attention for animal movement and the ways in which it has been perceived and managed by humans.

‘Moving Animals’ will combine perspectives from the history of science, cultural history and environmental history, in order to analyze (1) the ways in which humans have gained (both scientific and ‘vernacular’) knowledge about animal movement, (2) how this movement has been represented in the media, (3) how animal mobilities have been actively managed and have become the object of governance.

The project will consist of four interlinked subprojects – focusing respectively on invasive species, animal reintroductions, zoo trade and seasonal migrations. The post-doctoral project, dealing with the latter topic, will analyze the historically changing human interaction with migratory species. The post-doctoral researcher is expected to collaborate closely with the researchers in the other sub-projects. 

Job description

This is an exciting opportunity to join a research team working on the history of human-animal interactions in the twentieth century.

The Post-doctoral researcher will:

  • Develop a line of historical research that studies the changing ways in which humans have scientifically studied, culturally represented and environmentally managed migratory animals.

  • Carry out archival and oral history research in several countries.

  • Play a crucial role in the conceptual and methodological innovations required by the project, in collaboration with the other researchers on team.

  • Help to co-ordinate and administer the overall project, including the organization of workshops, conferences and public outreach events.

  • Dedicate some of her/his time to teaching and supervision in the Faculty’s BA and MA programs.

  • Write and co-author academic publications together with other members of the team.

  • Plan and participate in team meetings.


Maastricht University (UM)



We are looking for candidates who have:

  • A completed PhD in History, or another field relevant to the project, such as Political Ecology, Human-Animal Studies, Science and Technology Studies or Geography.

  • Methodological experience in archival research.

  • Experience with organizing workshops, lecture series, and/or similar events.

  • Excellent written and spoken command of English, as demonstrated by academic publications and presentations at international conferences.

  • Knowledge of other languages relevant to the cases studies of the project (desirable).

  • A willingness to contribute proactively to the development of the Moving Animals project.

  • Good organizational skills.

  • Experience in teaching at the BA or MA level.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 5 years.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website > Support > UM employees.

We offer a dynamic and challenging job in an internationally-oriented organisation where young people receive an advanced education and scholars conduct exciting research. The postdoctoral researcher will have the unique opportunity to carry out research within one or more of the four themes within the research programme. They will be part of an international network of top universities and renowned scholars within the field.

We offer a 1 fte appointment as Post-Doctoral Researcher (Onderzoeker 3) for 5 years. The first year will be a probation period, after a positive assessment the position will be extended for the remaining 4 years.

Remuneration will be according to standard salary levels, depending on education and relevant work experience. This implies a gross monthly salary of about € 3.255,00 per month, scale level 10 (based on a full-time appointment). Each year the standard salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%. After a positive assessment a promotion to scale 11 is possible in the 2nd year.

You have to be willing to move to (the vicinity of) Maastricht. If you do not already live in Maastricht (or its direct surroundings) you will be eligible for an allowance for moving costs or for alternative housing.

Other secondary conditions include e.g. a pension scheme and partially paid parental leave.

You will be provided with a shared office space and a PC.

Starting date: 1 September 2019



Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 16,300 students and 4,300 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.


Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS) has about 250 staff members, and about 1,600 students. More than 76% of the students are non-Dutch (64 different nationalities). All programmes are offered in English and some in Dutch as well. FASoS offers two 3-year bachelor’s programmes: Arts and Culture and European Studies. It also offers eight Master’s programmes and two Research Master’s programmes.

Research is organised around four programmes: Politics and Culture in Europe; Science, Technology and Society Studies; Arts, Media and Culture; and Globalisation, Transnationalism and Development. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is housed in the historic city centre of Maastricht.


  • Postdoc; Research, development, innovation; Education; Professor; Associate professor; Assistant professor; Lecturer
  • Behaviour and society; Language and culture
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • Doctorate
  • AT2019.115


Maastricht University (UM)

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