Student Research Assistant Church and Slavery project

Student Research Assistant Church and Slavery project

Published Deadline Location
13 Sep 20 Oct Amsterdam

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The PThU and VU are looking for a student research assistant for the NWO-project ‘Church and Slavery in the Dutch Empire: History, Theology and Heritage’.

Job description

Description of the Research Project

This NWO-funded research project studies the role of the Reformed Church in the Dutch colonial past. The project looks at the theological and exegetical arguments put forward by church and academic theologians to defend or criticize slavery, and at the concrete financial, social and administrative role of the church in slavery and slave trade (missionary, pastoral, the church as slave owner, investor, gatekeeper). Multiple perspectives are included (enslaved people, former slaves, indigenous people, mixed groups and white colonizers) and attention is paid to the legacy of slavery in today's churches and society.

The research project is a collaboration between the PThU and the VU, with the University of Curaçao and NiNsee (the National Institute for the Study of Dutch Slavery and its Legacy) as partners.

Your role

As a student research assistant you will be responsible for supporting both the organization of the research project, as well as the processing of the obtained data. You will be involved with the practical preparation of the seminars and conferences and you will digitalize and order raw data within Excel, supporting the team members in organizing and filling the project’s database.

What do we expect from you?

  • To assist and support the team members of the project (organizing meetings, taking minutes, and so on)
  • To assist in the editing of the project’s edited volume(s)
  • To assist in digitalizing and ordering data and to help storing these data in the database
  • To assist in public communication and communication with the project’s stakeholders through, for example, website maintenance, social media promotion, possibly newsletters

There are other vacancies within this project. Please check our website:


Protestantse Theologische Universiteit (PThU)


  • Enrolment in a relevant master’s program or in the final phase of a relevant bachelor’s program
  • A promising academic profile with an interest in conducting research
  • Good organizational skills
  • Good knowledge and understanding of technology (website maintenance, database, Excel, Outlook)
  • Excellent spoken and written English
  • 8 hours per week available (most of which you can allocate yourself); you are (as much as possible) present during the regular meetings.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1 year, with the possibility of extension.

We offer a large and inspiring team of scholars from various backgrounds and disciplines, ranging from biblical studies and church and colonial history to anthropology and gender studies, as well as a research project that covers both a long period of European and colonial history and societies in several continents.

The research project will have a vast scientific impact by expanding scholarly knowledge on the role of the churches and also by transforming that knowledge by the project’s scope, volume and its incorporation of the black and/or indigenous perspective. The project will also have a great impact on church and society, by contributing to the development of a new narrative of the Dutch past, in which our assumptions on the relations between toleration, racism, trade, slavery and Protestantism will be tested and revised.

We offer our Student Research Assistant the following

  • An employment contract of 0,2 fte for one year (workweek of 38 hours), with the possibility of extension.
  • Your salary will be according to the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities. This starts from a gross salary of € 2.402 per month for full time.

Within the research project, we greatly value diversity and therefore welcome applications from groups who are currently underrepresented in our institutions.


The Student Research Assistant will be employed by the PThU.

The Protestant Theological University (PThU) is connected with the Protestant Church in the Netherlands. It trains students to be the future ministers of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands as well as general theological experts, and provides post-academic training for ministers and chaplains.  With its nationally and internationally highly qualified research, the PThU seeks answers to the current and timeless questions that church, academy and society pose to us.

The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) has as its ambition to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. The VU strives to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. 


  • Research, development, innovation; Support staff (clerical, administrative, facility)
  • Behaviour and society; Language and culture
  • max. 8 hours per week
  • Higher professional education
  • AT PT 20220913-2


Protestantse Theologische Universiteit (PThU)

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De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV, Amsterdam

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