Are you interested in doing ethnographic research around issues of mobility, corporatization and commodification of (transnational) care in Central and Eastern Europe? Is it your ambition to become a top-tier researcher?

The Department of Anthropology is one of the departments at the University of Amsterdam’s Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. The Department is currently seeking 2 PhD candidates for the ERC Starting Grant project ‘ReloCare: Relocating Care within Europe’ led by Dr Kristine Krause. The PhD track is part of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR) programme group Health Care and the Body.

Project description

ReloCare studies the entanglement of uneven European welfare states by investigating transnational commercial care infrastructures and their impact on places, care systems and people’s lives. It starts from the outsourcing of vulnerable (mainly elderly) populations to places where care is more affordable by focusing on care homes in Central Eastern Europe (Poland, Czech Republic/Slovakia, and Hungary) that recruit patients from Austria and Germany, and offer care at roughly one-third of the cost of similar institutions in the home countries. Most of these care homes are located in regions characterized by a long German and Habsburg-Hungarian history, adding historical complexity to the story. Some serve only German-speaking patients, others serve local, wealthier elderly people as well. Some are run by former migrant care workers, others by international companies, bringing labour migration and real estate investment into the picture.

As postdoctoral researcher you will be based in Amsterdam at the AISSR and will do ethnographic research for the overall project but also develop your own focus and profile further, preferably in relation to the overall project. Organisational and research management tasks will be part of your responsibilities.

What will you be doing?

You will be part of a research team consisting of two PhD candidates, one Postdoc (you) and the Principal Investigator. You will have the following tasks.

1. Project management:

  • participate in & co-coordinate project meetings;
  • co-support and mentor Phd students (formal co-supervision possible);
  • co-coordinate partner collaboration (including management and preparing and writing of reports and papers);
  • co-organize workshops and conference panels (CfP, coordinate paper selection, logistics);
  • co-coordinate collaborative publication projects of team members.

2. Research:

  • conduct ethnographic field research in one or more of the following countries: Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Germany, Austria. Since the project has a strong transnational component, you might be required to do research in more than one country;
  • publish within four years with respect to the project;
  • participate in AISSR conferences, workshops, seminars and other scholarly activities;
  • next to working on your own research within the framework of the overall project, you will contribute to collaborative aspects of the project. This will include collecting data for jointly written publication(s), and lending respective (language) expertise to team members.

For those parts of the employment period in which you will not do fieldwork, you are expected to live in Amsterdam and take active part in team meetings and the research environment at the AISSR.

There will be the possibility to gather teaching and supervision experiences. Mentoring and support to prepare for your next career steps will be available and facilitated.

What do we require?

You have:

  • a PhD with a relevant specialization within the social sciences or humanities. Social and Cultural Anthropology, History, Human Geography, and Eastern European Studies are preferred academic backgrounds. The degree must have been obtained by the time of application;
  • excellent oral and written communication skills in English;
  • relevant (ethnographic) fieldwork experience ideally in the region and on related topics;
  • a strong academic record with relevant publications;
  • relevant work experiences, in particular management of research projects, logistics around conferences and publications;
  • a good sense of humour.

While the working language for the project is English, candidates who demonstrate ability to collect data in at least one of the following languages will be preferred: Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Polish, German. Candidates who have basic fluency in one or more of the mentioned languages and are willing to take language training (funded by the project) are also encouraged to apply.

You preferably have:

  • familiarity or interest in creative methods (including audio, visual and other methods).

What can we offer you?

A challenging but friendly work environment with a variety of duties and ample scope for individual initiative and development within an inspiring organisation. The social and behavioural sciences play a leading role in addressing the major societal challenges faced by the world, the Netherlands and Amsterdam, now and in the future.

To work at the University of Amsterdam is to work in a discerning, independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterised by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society.

Our offer

The position concerns a temporary appointment of 30,4 hours per week (0,8 fte) for a maximum term of four years in total; if the candidate proves suitable after the first year, we intend to extend the term of employment for one year, followed up by a last extension of two years. The starting date is 1 April 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Salary depends on past education and relevant work experience, with a minimum salary of €3,746 and a maximum salary of €5,127 gross per month based on a full-time appointment for a 38-hour working week (in keeping with scale 11, as per the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). We additionally offer an extensive package of secondary employee benefits, including a generous holiday scheme and end-of-year bonus. Because we value your continued personal development and professionalisation, we also offer excellent opportunities for study and development.


Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:

Would you like to learn more about working at the University of Amsterdam? Visit the website.

Job application

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

Does this profile sound like you? If so, we are eager to receive:

  • your application letter describing your qualifications and motivation for the position. Please specify which aspects of the project you are interested in and tell us which factors have brought you to your present focus of intellectual and scholarly interests (2 pages max.);
  • your Curriculum Vitae (with a list of education, positions, research and teaching experiences, and other qualifying activities, including a list of publications/conference presentations);
  • a scan of your PhD certificate;
  • contact information for two academic references (no letters of recommendation at this stage).

All documents must be in English and uploaded in a single pdf (not zipped). The deadline for applications is 28 February 2021. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview. You can apply online by clicking on the link below.

No agencies please

Apply now

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