Postdoctoral researcher in Central Asian Studies

Postdoctoral researcher in Central Asian Studies

Published Deadline Location
28 Apr 1 Jun Amsterdam

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Job description

The Amsterdam School for Regional, Transnational and European Studies, one of the six research schools of the Faculty of Humanities, offers a four year postdoc position as part of the ERC funded research project Building a Better Tomorrow: Development Knowledge and Practice in Central Asia and Beyond, led by dr Artemy Kalinovsky. Applications are invited from excellent candidates who wish to conduct research on the role of Central Asian social scientists, experts, and development workers in the Soviet era and after independence.

We are inviting applications for a postdoctoral candidate as part of the BuildingTomorrow project. This project proposes to study the influence of Central Asian economists, activists, specialists, and government officials who straddled the Soviet/post-Soviet divide by going to work in national and international development institutions after independence. By studying these individuals and the legacies of their work will allow us to investigate how ideas and practices of economic development and welfare provision were shaped and reshaped at the local and international level. The project will uncover how international development transformed post-Soviet Central Asia, and how the encounter with post-socialist states transformed paradigms and practices of international development.

The postdoc will work as part of a team consisting of the PI, a Senior Researcher, two PhD students, and another postdoctoral researcher to be hired separately.

Socialist workers, Women Entrepreneurs? Emancipation Through Labor Across the 1991 Divide

This project will be carried out by a social and cultural historian, or an anthropologist of labor interested in using historical methods. The USSR placed great emphasis on the emancipation of women through their participation in production; but by the 1980s, many Soviet economists had similarly come around to the idea that allowing women to work from home, and produce for local factories or even for the market, would do more for their emancipation than the (disappointing) effort to draw them into factories; a similar shift took place in western development thought. The postdocs project asks why these shifts occurred, in what ways changes in the USSR influenced what happened abroad, and how the debates of the 1980s influenced the approach of development agencies after 1991.

Tasks will include:

  • conducting ethnographic and historical research;
  • publishing peer-reviewed (co-authored) articles;
  • presenting research results at conferences/workshops;
  • helping to mentor the project’s two PhD students;
  • co-organising expert and team meetings.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


The successful applicant must have:

  • a PhD in history or anthropology;
  • demonstrable knowledge of:
    • Russian and at least one of the Central Asian languages to be used in this project (Tajik, Uzbek, Kazakh, and Kyrgyz),
    • ethnographic and historical research methods (including oral history),
    • research on the region’s recent history and contemporary politics, particularly concerning questions of development, labor, and gender;
  • demonstrable familiarity with:
    • historiography of development and development aid and
    • Soviet economic history;
  • a keen interest in societal valorisation of academic research;
  • excellent skills in academic English, both written and spoken;
  • excellent social and organizational skills;
  • ability and willingness to work in a team;
  • a broad international orientation and network.

Conditions of employment

The postdoctoral researcher will get an employment contract for 38 hours per week (1.0 FTE) for a period of 48 months at the Department of European Studies of the Faculty of Humanities. The research will be carried out under the aegis of ARTES. Initially an employment contract will be given for 12 months, with an extension for the following 36 months on the basis of a positive evaluation. The intended starting date of the employment contract is 1 September 2020. The gross monthly salary (on a full-time basis) will range from €3,389 (scale 10) to €4,978 (scale 11). The UFO profile for this position is, dependent on relevant experience, Researcher 4 (scale 10) or Researcher 3 (scale 11). The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities applies.


University of Amsterdam

With over 5,000 employees, 30,000 students and a budget of more than 600 million euros, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is an intellectual hub within the Netherlands. Teaching and research at the UvA are conducted within seven faculties: Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Law, Science, Medicine and Dentistry. Housed on four city campuses in or near the heart of Amsterdam, where disciplines come together and interact, the faculties have close links with thousands of researchers and hundreds of institutions at home and abroad.  

The UvA’s students and employees are independent thinkers, competent rebels who dare to question dogmas and aren’t satisfied with easy answers and standard solutions. To work at the UvA is to work in an independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterised by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society.


Faculty of Humanities – Research school ARTES

Research at the Faculty of Humanities is carried out by six research schools under the aegis of the Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research. The Amsterdam School for Regional and Transnational and European Studies (ARTES) combines humanities and social science-based approaches to the study of Europe and other world regions, and the relations between them.


  • Postdoc
  • Language and culture
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €3389—€4978 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 20-257


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX, Amsterdam

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