Researcher Afghanistan project -NIOD

Researcher Afghanistan project -NIOD

Published Deadline Location
5 Jan 15 Jan Amsterdam

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Job description

Researcher ad NIOD

The Netherlands' Deployment in Afghanistan (2001-2021): "Legitimacy, Consequences, and Accountability"

(Fixed term of 4 years, fulltime, 38 hours per week)

About the research programme

Since December 2001, the Kingdom of the Netherlands has made multiple contributions to international military operations, crisis management measures, humanitarian actions and (re-)construction projects in and around Afghanistan. It has particularly done so through military detachments and deployments - under the banners of operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) -, through the Netherlands embassy in Kabul, and through support to governmental and non-governmental initiatives and assistance programmes. The Netherlands' Council of Ministers commissioned the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (NIOD-KNAW), in cooperation with the Netherlands Institute for Military History (NIMH), to conduct external, independent and scholarly research into the Netherlands' deployments in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2021.

The research programme aims to investigate and analyse the facts, circumstances and context, and aftermath of this deployment from a broader historical framework, and deals with the nature, scope, costs, time period, and stated objectives of the Netherlands' military, diplomatic and civil deployment, as well as the limitations, dilemmas and choices made in implementations on the ground. The study is organised around three themes: (a) the national and international decision-making processes; (b) the Netherlands' integrated deployment in situ; and (c) the legitimisation of the Netherlands' missions in a broader historical context. The research programme consists of 9 individual scholarly studies on specific themes, including 5 military mission-related studies, and will conclude with a synthesising final report, which will be presented to the Netherlands' Government and Parliament.

About the position

The NIOD-KNAW is currently recruiting an experienced researcher to complete the team, and to (1) conduct (together with a senior researcher) one of the programme's sub-studies, and to (2) further contribute research in the broader research project. The newly recruited researcher will set up, carry out and finalise one individual study within the research programme, in close cooperation with the NIOD's scientific project leader, the other senior researchers within the programme and the research assistants.

In broad preliminary terms, the newly recruited researcher is to conduct a study that should consider the overarching questions regarding Legitimacy, Consequences, and Accountability in the context of the Netherlands' deployments in Afghanistan in the long-term perspective, and in broader historical context. This study concerns - among other things - (1) international causes for, and national/international legitimatisation of, (2) the course of (including the use of violence), and (3) the consequences of the international intervention in Afghanistan - including information sharing and accountability. The theme of 'accountability' is to be broadly understood, and includes: (a) societal, political and financial justification (national and international); (2) justification towards Afghanistan and Afghans (in situ); and (3) transitional justice.

The newly recruited researcher is expected to partake in the final determination of the research questions/direction, sources and methodology, and research plan. The newly recruited researcher will work together with a senior researcher. Furthermore, the newly recruited researcher is expected to be an excellent and sociable team player, and to substantively partake in the entire collaborative Research Project/Inquiry and contribute to the final report.


Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)


  • A completed PhD dissertation (history, anthropology, sociology, criminology, transitional justice, security studies, international relations/political science) on a topic related to the position, or, alternatively, strong relevant and demonstrated research experience;
  • Demonstrated expertise and clear vision on empirical, archival and analytical historical research;
  • Entrepreneurial and independent attitude, and strong organisational skills, in terms of research;
  • Ability to work under the pressure of the tight deadlines of the research programme;
  • Demonstrated experience with using (classified) primary sources, archives, oral history;
  • Ability to condense and synthesise complex information, both qualitative and quantitative, from multiple primary (including classified) sources;
  • Demonstrated experience in writing high-quality and accessible research, and/or project reports and deliverables (in Dutch and/or English);
  • Research experience regarding Afghanistan (or the region) is a strong asset;
  • Excellent knowledge and command of Dutch and English, and preferably knowledge of a third relevant language regarding Afghanistan or the region;
  • Extensive relevant network at home and abroad;
  • Willingness and ability to travel abroad;
  • Willingness and ability to undergo a security clearance procedure carried out by the Netherlands' Military Intelligence and Security Service (MIVD) and the Netherlands' General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD);
  • Living, or willing to go living in the Netherlands;
  • Excellent standard IT-skills and experience.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 yrs.

Terms of employment
Depending on education and experience, the salary amounts to a minimum of €3.974 and a maximum of €5.439 gross per month for full-time employment (scale 11 collective labour agreement for Dutch Universities/KNAW) This excludes 8% holiday allowance, 8.3% year-end bonus, travel allowance, internet and home working allowance and pension accrual with ABP.

The KNAW offers its employees an excellent package of fringe benefits. A package that meets the different needs of employees depending on their stage of life, lifestyle or career ambitions. For example, by working an extra two hours a week, it is possible to increase the number of days' holiday from 29 to 41 days a year (for full-time employment).

For a complete overview of the employment conditions, please refer to the webpage: working at the KNAW.



About NIOD

The NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (NIOD-KNAW) was founded on 8 May 1945 to map the history of the Second World War in the Netherlands and the Netherlands' East Indies through independent scholarly and societal research. In recent decades, this expertise has been extended to research into mass violence and genocides in Europe and elsewhere in the world. NIOD-KNAW is a scientifically independent and at the same time strongly socially oriented institute. In the past, the NIOD-KNAW has carried out commissioned research on the Fall of Srebrenica in 1995 and more recently on Indonesia's War of Independence between 1945 and 1950. It is one of the 15 institutes of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).


  • Assistant professor
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €3974—€5439 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 1285


Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)

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