Phd Archaeology - KITLV-KNAW/LU

Project Description Driven by the increasing public awareness of the impact of hurricanes and the devastation of coastal areas, Island(er)s at the Helm will …

28 dagen geleden


Reuvensplaats, Leiden, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur


Project Description
Driven by the increasing public awareness of the impact of hurricanes and the devastation of coastal areas, Island(er)s at the Helm will contribute to equipping (Dutch) Caribbean societies with proficient tools for confronting these challenging climatic phenomena. Such adverse events have significant ecological, social, and cultural implications, affecting the basic living conditions (water, food, shelter-nexus/WFS-nexus) and heritage of the island inhabitants. This research builds on the principle that local-specific practices and ontologies of Caribbean societies are crucial for promoting sustainable WFS-nexus solutions. The project brings together researchers and societal partners to employ a mixture of technical, traditional, and contemporary knowledge practices for studying climate change adaptation through a long-term perspective. Five inter-related work packages studying the WFS-nexus of the island(er)s will adopt a transdisciplinary research design including: archaeology, paleoecology, (paleo)ethnobotany, social-cultural anthropology, visual arts, performance arts, political science, urban design, urban planning, governance and policy sciences, legal studies, architecture, and civil engineering.

Island(er)s at the Helm is financed by the NWO Caribbean Research programme. The host institute for this project is the Royal Netherlands Institute for Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV/KNAW), in collaboration with the University of Sint Maarten (USM) and the University of Curaçao (UoC).

Job Description
The Island(er)s at the Helm project is looking for a PhD candidate in Archaeology, in the work package “Resilient past communities and traditional knowledge practices”. This work package aims to understand social adaptation to climate challenges in the past to enrich and innovate the current knowledge-practices of island(er)s. The team will study the continuities within the discontinuities of the precolonial and colonial histories of the island(er)s, by combining paleo-environmental and archaeological records to understand how people in the (Dutch) Caribbean islands adapted to climate challenges in the past. In-depth information of (ethno-)historical sources and ethnographic research into traditional knowledge practices will be collected to understand the ways people, during the pre-colonial and colonial periods, built resilience in terms of water and food management and how they construct(ed) their houses to protect themselves from extreme weather events. This information will significantly contribute to the set of traditional knowledge practices necessary to develop sustainable solutions for social adaptation to climate challenges.


We are looking for candidates with at least the following qualifications:

  • MA or Msc degree in Archaeology or related disciplines;
  • An excellent command of the English language, both in speaking and writing, and structured writing skills in general;

Furthermore, the following qualifications would be considered a plus:

  • Have experience in conducting archaeological research in diverse contexts, preferably in the Caribbean region;
  • Be knowledgeable of state-of-the-art archaeological methods and techniques;
  • Be knowledgeable about theoretical discussions on climate change in archaeology.
  • Have experience with ethnohistorical and ethnographic research;
  • Have the ability to work independently, as well as in collaboration with a diverse team of researchers and (non-)academic stakeholders and local communities;
  • Command of Papiamento, Dutch, Spanish, Caribbean creole English and/or Haitian Kreyol/Guadeloupian Creole.


KITLV is a KNAW institute. Appointment will be according to the terms of the Collective Labor Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO Nederlandse Universiteiten). We offer a full time position (38 hours per week) for one year starting in September 2021. Extension of the contract with 3 years is subject to satisfactory review. Based on the university system of job classification [universitair systeem functieordenen, or UFO], the position is classified as job profile Phd Candidate. The gross monthly salary will be between  € 2.395 and 3.061 (in accordance with salary scale P, of the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). KNAW offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %) and training and career development. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

The position is based at KITLV. Leiden is a pleasant, historical city located between Amsterdam and The Hague.

Additional information

For more information on this position, to request the full Island(er)s at the Helm research proposal or receive the NWO application template we expect you to use, please send an e-mail to

Diversity & Inclusion
The KNAW considers a working environment in which everyone feels welcome and appreciated of great importance. A working environment in which attention is paid to individual quality and where development opportunities are paramount. Together we strive for an inclusive culture in which we embrace differences. We would therefore like to invite candidates who want to contribute to this through their background and experience. In the event of equal suitability, preference will be given to the candidate who thus enhances diversity within the Academy.

We will not respond to any supplier enquiries based on this job advertisement.


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