Assistant Professor of Museum, Heritage and Restitution Studies

Assistant Professor of Museum, Heritage and Restitution Studies

Published Deadline Location
28 Nov 1 Feb Amsterdam

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Job description

The Faculty of Humanities provides education and conducts research with a strong international profile in a large number of disciplines in the field of language and culture. Located in the heart of Amsterdam, the Faculty maintains close ties with many cultural institutes in the capital city. Research and teaching staff focus on interdisciplinary collaboration and are active in several teaching programmes. The Faculty of Humanities offers assistant professors the opportunity to collaborate with leading researchers at research institutes that - partly as a result of their interdisciplinary approach - are world-renowned. Moreover, you will be teaching in a dynamic context in which new teaching methods are being developed. Art and Culture Studies at UvA is a large and highly successful academic department that connects research and teaching in Art History, Heritage and Memory Studies, Museum Studies, Cultural Studies, Theater and Music Studies. Research on Museums and Heritage studies is one of the central themes of the scholarship in the Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM). AHM is one of the five research schools of the Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research. AHM, as a thematic research school, is the research base for a broad spread of disciplines from Heritage, Memory and Museum Studies, to Archaeology, Conservation and Restoration, media studies and Art History. Museums and heritage sites are privileged sites of preserving, valuing, contesting and reinterpreting memory, often by means of material culture.

What are you going to do?

The multidisciplinary approaches of Heritage and Museum studies, firmly based in archaeology, art history and cultural history, have continuously been expanded with particular knowledge of contemporary discourses such as gender, memory and trauma, material culture and technical research. Recently this has been expanded with the issue of restitution, which relates to a broad spectrum of practices and ethics, relating to historical and archival research, presentation and narrating of collections, conservation and restoration, politics of acquisition, and transitional justice. Museum and heritage collections and issues of representation, ownership and restitution have become large in public and political debates on looted archaeological artefacts in (post) imperial contexts, colonial art and artefacts in colonial situations, and art under Nazi terror in WWII. The complexity of these social debates needs ongoing academic reflection at the crossroads of disciplines. Which concepts and practices are needed for such reflection and for a rigorous interdisciplinary debate on the ethical questions? How can these reflections and debates optimally support museum and heritage collections of arts and culture and help us move towards a more inclusive and sustainable vision on ownership and representation, conservation and preservation of such collections in the future?

Within the department of Arts & Cultures, a position is available for an assistant professor in Museum, Heritage and Restitution Studies. This new position aims to bring together the museum, heritage and conservation approach and the ethical and global aspects of restitution processes, particularly the tensions between the ethics of restitution, the original, historical and contentious ownership of cultural artifacts, decolonization, museum collections, institutional policy, critique and agency towards global social change and practice.

We are looking for a candidate with a strong background in museum and heritage studies and well acquainted with the fields of conservation, preservation and restoration, material culture and anthropology, who is able to connect through a global perspective the diverse strands of World War II claims, colonial restitution and illicit trade in archaeological artefacts and material culture. The assistant professor has a focus on museum and heritage collections and practices as well as the ethical considerations on the discourses of restitution and their possible implications for the material handling and treatment of object(s), both in conservation and in presentation. The candidate is able to reflect on museum and heritage practices and also contributes to the academic development of the field. You will provide education in a dynamic context with ample opportunities for the development of innovative teaching methods. Your research will be part of the Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM).

Tasks and responsibilities:
  • Designing and conducting independent research that provides a museum and heritage and conservation and restoration studies view on the ethical and global aspects of restitution and repatriation processes, resulting in academic publications in peer-reviewed international journals and/or books;
  • actively pursuing external funding for research, notably funding from research councils, national as well as European;
  • actively contributing to and developing national and international research networks and other forms of cooperation;
  • actively contributing to the research activities of AHM ;
  • developing, coordinating and teaching courses in both Dutch and English, in the Bachelor and Master programmes of cultural studies, Museum Studies, Heritage Studies and Conservation and Restoration Studies;
  • supervising Bachelor and Master theses and tutoring students; co-supervising PhD theses;
  • actively contributing to the development and improvement of the broader teaching programmes in the department;
  • taking part in committees and working groups, and carrying out departmental administrative tasks as directed.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


You are a dynamic and ambitious researcher with a strong profile, demonstrable by international publications and an international academic institutional network. Your publications show broad knowledge of the ways in which contemporary museum and heritage studies, exhibitions and institutions critically engage with the academy and society. You are familiar with - ideally theoretically contribute to - discourses on museum and critical heritage research, conservation and preservation and social practice from a global perspective. You have a strong investment in and contribute to humanities research, particularly where categories are challenged and attempted to be dissolved. Your research matches the profile of AHM.

You are able to develop and provide modules on museum and heritage studies, restitution and repatriation, conservation and restoration research; contemporary cultural and artistic practices, productions, exhibitions, institutionalization and musealization and reception functions in society. Important is proven flexibility in teaching on topics beyond your own research focus, a willingness to work in interdisciplinary teams of teachers and the ability to offer inspiring lectures and tutorials in the BA, MA and minor programmes that aspire to a wide range of students.

Your experience and profile:
  • holds a PhD in the Humanities with a research focus on Museum and heritage studies, cultural studies, conservation and restoration ;
  • holds an international academic network in the research area concerned;
  • provides research output commensurate with the level of the position;
  • active and ambitious researcher with a strong publication record;
  • demonstrable ability and ambition to obtain external research grants;
  • broad and relevant teaching experience at BA and MA level;
  • good command of Dutch and English. If you do not speak Dutch, an active and passive command must be acquired within the first two years of the employment contract and the state examination for Dutch as a Second Language programme II must be passed;
  • experience with digital and audiovisual teaching facilities and affinity with IT in university teaching;
  • experienced in valorisation and practice-based education and/or research;
  • good team player and versatile at all levels, capable of multidisciplinary co-operation;
  • excellent organisational experience and skills;
  • acquired the Dutch Basic Teaching Qualification, or is willing to acquire this within the first two years.
Research that entails collaboration with non-academic institutions and agencies in the Netherlands, Europe, and beyond is highly welcome.

Conditions of employment

We offer permanent employment upon a satisfactory evaluation following a temporary employment contract of a maximum of 18 months with a probationary period of two months. If you already have an employment contract with the UvA, we offer permanent employment upon a satisfactory evaluation following a temporary employment contract of a maximum of 12 months. The employment is for 38 hours per week. Preferred starting date is September 2023.

The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week and relevant experience, ranges between € 3974 to € 6181. This sum does not include the 8% holiday allowance and the 8,3% year-end allowance. A favourable tax agreement, the '30% ruling', may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

We additionally offer:
  • the opportunity to collaborate in interdisciplinary teams;
  • opportunities for professional development;
  • an inspiring academic and international working environment in the heart of Amsterdam.


Faculty of Humanities

The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands' largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 30,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates study and work in a diverse range of fields, connected by a culture of curiosity.

The Faculty of Humanities provides education and conducts research with a strong international profile in a large number of disciplines in de field of language and culture. Located in the heart of Amsterdam, the faculty maintains close ties with many cultural institutes in the capital city. Research and teaching staff focus on interdisciplinary collaboration and are active in several teaching programmes.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.

Any questions?

Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact (during office hours):


  • Assistant professor
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • max. €3974 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 10906


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012CX, Amsterdam

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