PhD candidate in Assyriology

Faculty of Humanities, Leiden Institute for Area Studies is looking for a PhD candidate in Assyriology (2 positions, 1.0 fte).

25 dagen geleden


Begijnhof, Leiden, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur
€ 2222 - € 2840 per maand


Project description
The candidates will carry out research on the history of Babylonia under Persian (Achaemenid) rule. This is part of the ERC-funded project, “Persia and Babylonia: Creating a New Context for Understanding the Emergence of the First World Empire,” headed by prof. Caroline Waerzeggers. The project seeks to explain the relative success of Achaemenid Persia, which established the first super-size empire in history (c. 550–330 BCE). It will exploit the large corpus of cuneiform texts produced in Persia’s most important periphery, Babylonia, in order to contextualize the emergence of the Persian Empire. A key analytical device in our work will be to compare Persian responses to those of the Assyrians, who were unable to establish control of Babylonia a century earlier. As part of our activities, we will develop an online prosopography of Babylonia under imperial rule to facilitate future research.

The application dossier should include a proposal (max. 4,000 words) outlining the topic, sources, methodology, and expected outcomes of the PhD project as well as a time-plan. Applications are especially invited on the following topics:

  • Writing and archival practice;
  • Temple-city-state interactions;
  • Elite culture and identity;
  • Office-holding and self-governance;
  • Social networks.

The research project should draw from primary text material and should make a contribution to the on-going publication of the Neo-Babylonian text corpus.

Key responsibilities

  • Write a thesis on Persian period Babylonia;
  • Participate in the research team of the Persia and Babylonia project;
  • Contribute to the development of an online prosopography;
  • Disseminate his/her own research to academic and non-academic parties.


  • A MA degree in Assyriology, Ancient Near Eastern History, Semitic Languages, or another relevant degree. Candidates near completion of the degree will be considered;
  • Excellent command of the Akkadian language and cuneiform script;
  • Experience in working with primary source material;
  • Ability to communicate in written and oral academic English;
  • Commitment to high-quality research, publication, and dissemination, including through social media, blogs or websites;
  • Willingness to work in an international and competitive research environment;
  • Ability to work independently and as part of and in support of a larger team.


Appointment will be according to the terms of the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO Nederlandse Universiteiten), for a period of one year with an extension of three years after positive evaluation of capabilities and compatibility, starting 1 January 2018. The appointment must lead to the completion of a PhD thesis. The gross monthly salary is set on € 2,222.- in the first year, increasing to € 2,840.- gross per month in the final year.

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. More at

Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.

Additional information

For questions about the academic aspects of the project and the position, please contact the PI of the research project at email


Leiden is a typical university city, hosting the oldest university in the Netherlands (1575). The University permeates the local surroundings; University premises are scattered throughout the city, and the students who live and study in Leiden give the city its relaxed yet vibrant atmosphere.

Leiden University is one of Europe's foremost research universities. This prominent position gives our graduates a leading edge in applying for academic posts and for functions outside academia.

Faculty of Humanities

The Faculty of Humanities is rich in expertise in fields as philosophy, religious studies, history, art history, literature, linguistics and regional studies covering nearly every region of the world. Our faculty is home to more than 5400 students and 800 staff members.

The PhD candidate will hold a position in the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies ( LIAS is comprised of a School of Asian Studies and a School of Middle-Eastern Studies, with international staff and student populations. The institute is committed to a present-day vision of area studies, integrating disciplinary and regional-historical perspectives on a solid foundation of excellent language skills.

Current staff in LIAS has expertise in the fields of Anthropology, Archaeology, Art Studies, Buddhist Studies, Film Studies, History, International Relations, Language Pedagogy, Law, Linguistics, Literary Studies, Material Culture Studies, Performance Studies, Philology, Philosophy, Political Economy, Religious Studies, Sociology, and Visual Culture Studies.


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