Are you a Roman archaeologist passionate about marrying empirical detail to large-scale socioeconomic questions? The Roman Archaeology expertise group at the Radboud Institute for Culture and History is looking for a postdoctoral researcher to work closely with the group’s Chair on developing a project on Roman failure. You will collect and analyse archaeological data to investigate what happened when investments did not pay off as expected.

In this position for two years you will contribute to a larger developing project that aims to take a case study-based approach to investigate the causes of and responses to failure in the Late Republican and Early Imperial Roman world. Failure is here defined as instances when risk caught up with plans. The Roman world was a high-risk environment, but this risk and its consequences were not equally distributed. A focus on failure favours socioeconomic processes of boom and bust at the expense of narratives of smooth growth and success. Overarching questions include whether failure was tied to a particular vision of the future; how failure intersects with precarity and privilege (who could fail; who could bounce back; who was marked as a failure); and whether and when failure triggered increased investment and fuelled growth. 

As a postdoctoral researcher, you will collect data from published and unpublished excavation reports of Late Republican and Early Imperial Roman sites with evidence of investments that were abandoned, short-lived, or reoriented. These might include settlements, agricultural installations, infrastructure, or crafts and industries. Preference will be given to projects focusing on Roman Italy, but proposals on other areas of the Roman Empire will also be considered. You will build a database cross-referenced with a GIS platform in order to detect chronological, spatial, and organisational patterns, and carry out quantitative and/or qualitative analyses responding to some of the overarching questions as set out above. 

You will be asked to propose and develop your own study, responding to the overarching questions. 

Your main tasks will be to:

  • Compile a database and linked GIS platform.
  • Present the research results in at least one peer-reviewed article in an international scientific journal.
  • Organise an international conference on Roman failure in consultation with the Chair.
  • Work closely with the Chair in developing a framework for a larger funding bid.


  • You have completed a PhD in Archaeology, Anthropology, Classics, or Art History with solid knowledge of Roman archaeology.
  • You have an excellent research and publication record in relation to the career stage.
  • You have an excellent command of spoken and written English.
  • You are fluent in Italian and/or other relevant modern languages, depending on the proposed case study.
  • You are competent in GIS or willing to acquire this competency.
  • You have evidence of engagement with questions regarding Roman socioeconomics and the ability to think conceptually.
  • You are committed to team science within an international context.

We are

The Faculty of Arts is committed to knowledge production with a significant scientific and social impact. With over 500 academic and support staff, we teach and conduct research in the fields of history and art, languages and cultures, and linguistics and communication, using innovative methodologies and working in close collaboration between the disciplines. Our research is embedded in two research institutes: the Centre for Language Studies (CLS) and the Radboud Institute for Culture & History (RICH). We currently have approximatively 2,500 students, enrolled in three departments: the Department of History, Art History and Classics, the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, and the Department of Language and Communication. We aim to contribute to a more sustainable and inclusive world, which is why we especially seek applications from candidates who bring diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and skills that will be assets to our study programs and research profiles

Radboud University

We want to get the best out of science, others and ourselves. Why? Because this is what the world around us desperately needs. Leading research and education make an indispensable contribution to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This is what unites the more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!

We offer

  • It concerns an employment for 0.8 – 1.0 FTE.
  • The gross monthly salary amounts to a minimum of €3,974 and a maximum of €5,439 based on a 38-hour working week, depending on previous education and number of years of relevant work experience (salary scale 11).
  • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • It concerns a temporary employment for 2 years.
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
  • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 30 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.

Additional employment conditions

Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University’s primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.

Would you like more information?

For questions about the position, please contact Astrid Van Oyen, Professor of Archaeology, at

Practical information and applying

You can apply until 31 March 2023, exclusively using the button below. Kindly address your application to Astrid Van Oyen. Please fill in the application form and attach the following documents:

  • A letter of motivation, including a statement of past research (max. 500 words).
  • Project proposal (max. 1000 words).
  • Your CV (including a list of publications, a description of your teaching experience, and the contact details of two referees).
  • A writing sample relevant to this vacancy (preferably in English, but Dutch will be accepted).

The first round of interviews will take place on Thursday 20 April. The second round of interviews will take place on Thursday 11 May. You would preferably begin employment on 1 September 2023.
We can imagine you’re curious about our application procedure. It offers a rough outline of what you can expect during the application process, how we handle your personal data and how we deal with internal and external candidates.

Apply now Application deadline 

Leave a Reply