1 oktober 2019

In support of the project Heritages of Hunger NIOD is looking for a PhD candidate. 

NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies is a scientifically independent and simultaneously strongly socially-oriented institution. The original expertise of NIOD lies within the dissemination of knowledge about the Second World War and the Holocaust in the Netherlands. Nowadays, this expertise is also used to study mass violence and genocides in the rest of the world. In addition to scientific research, NIOD offers substantively strong and intensive services. NIOD’s archives and collections about war, the Second World War in the Netherlands and the Dutch East Indies, the Holocaust and other genocides in the 20th and 21st century are accessible for all interested parties. Digitally or in our reading room. NIOD is located in a monumental building of the Central Government Real Estate Agency in the centre of Amsterdam. It manages 3 kilometres of in-house archive, a library with 75,000 titles, and a large photo collection. The NIOD has around 75 employees, and is one of the 15 institutes of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).


Fotograaf: Menno Huizinga. Collectie NIOD. Beeldbankwo2

Job description

You will work as part of a team on the NWO-funded NWA project Heritages of Hunger: Societal Reflections on Past European Famines in Education, Commemoration and Musealisation. This project is presently conducted by researchers at Radboud University Nijmegen, Wageningen University & Research, and the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Amsterdam.

Heritages of Hunger investigates how educational practices (at schools, heritage sites, museums, surrounding commemorative practices) can create awareness of famines as heritages of shared experiences and past solidarity among European communities. The case studies to be examined through a comparative approach are connected to episodes of war (Belgium and Germany during and after WWI; the Netherlands, Russia and Greece during WWII, Germany after WWII); neglect and ecological crisis (nineteenth-century Ireland, Finland) and oppression (interbellum Spain, Ukraine). Furthermore, the project addresses the significant impact on famine legacies in education and heritage practices of European immigrant communities across the globe.                                                                                        

On the basis of its results, the consortium will create a MOOC and a database of visual and textual famine legacies. Both can be used adaptably by stakeholders (educational and heritage institutes), as a way to connect national and local pasts to wider European experiences, and as a stimulus for alternative teaching practices. The project will also develop a report with recommendations for teaching heritages of hunger and migration directed towards policy makers, educational institutes and the heritage sector.

Your subproject Conflicting Legacies of Hunger in Germany will examine past and present educational and commemoration practices related to the famine conditions suffered in Germany during the Allied blockade in the First World War (1914-19) and the post-WWII food crises under Allied occupation, including the ‘Hunger Winter’ of 1946-47 and the Berlin Airlift. You will analyse how German schools, museums and heritage institutions have dealt with these famine legacies and corresponding international relief efforts historically, and how they presently feature in institutes of education and heritage. The dynamics between victim/perpetrator discourses will form an important part of this project.

Furthermore, you will contribute to the educational resources which the project will develop. You are also expected to actively participate in the project’s programme of meetings (e.g. expert meetings, conferences, public events).

See for more information https://www.ru.nl/heritagesofhunger

Job requirements:

  • A completed research MA or equivalent in history, cultural studies, or museum studies.
  • Demonstrable expertise about famine histories; Germany during both World Wars, or the Allied occupation of Germany after WWII.
  • Excellent command of English and German in oral and written form.
  • Demonstrable strong affinity with scientific research.
  • The ability to work collaboratively in an international research team.
  • The proven capacity to work with deadlines.
  • Experience with knowledge utilisation (preferably in education or the heritage industry) will be considered a plus.


  • NIOD offers an informal, internationally-oriented working environment with a great deal of room for individual initiative and responsibility.
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,325 per month, and will increase to €2,972 in the fourth year (p scale).
  • In addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be appointed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years.
  • The UFO job profile of PhD student level 1 applies to this position.

How to apply

If you would like to apply, we look forward to receiving your application at VACATURE@niod.knaw.nl no later than 1 November 2019.

Your application should include the following attachments:

  • Motivation letter
  • CV
  • Full transcript of grades obtained during (Res)MA studies
  • MA thesis
  • 1000-word research statement, which outlines: a) your research interests and their compatibility with the project, b) your intended focus in this subproject, c) your choice of methodology.
  • Two references, one of which preferably written by your MA thesis supervisor

The first round of interviews will take place on 11 December 2019.

More information

For more information you can contact associate professor dr. Marguérite Corporaal (m.corporaal@let.ru.nl) or assistant professor dr. Ingrid de Zwarte (ingrid.dezwarte@wur.nl).

We drafted this vacancy to find and hire our new colleague ourselves. Recruitment agencies are kindly requested to refrain from responding.