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Post-Doc Position for ERC Consolidator Project on "Political Apologies across Cultures"

We invite applications for a postdoctoral position at Tilburg University (the Netherlands), in the context of an ERC (European Research Council) Consolidator Grant project (682077) led by dr. Juliette Schaafsma on “Political Apologies across Cultures”.

10 maanden geleden


Warandelaan, Tilburg, Noord-Brabant
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
40 - 40 uur


In the past decades, there has been a considerable rise in the number of apologies offered by states for injustices and human rights violations. There is, however, significant debate about how useful such apologies are. Whereas some have applauded these gestures as an important step in peacemaking processes, others have argued that they may not fit in all cultures and may even be a risky tool for peacemaking. In this project, we examine whether political apologies have a universal potential to redress injustice or restore harmony. For this, we investigate how political apologies are valued, expressed, and interpreted across cultures and whether this varies as a function of cross-cultural differences in key values (collectivism and individualism) and norms (face and honor).

The project combines insights from transitional justice, cross-cultural psychology, and anthropology and consists of two subprojects. The first subproject examines how people across cultures think about political apologies and related notions such as collective responsibility and collective shame and guilt. The second subproject focuses on how political apologies are expressed and received in different cultures. The postdoctoral candidate will work on both subprojects, together with 2 PhD candidates and several research assistants. Research will be conducted across at least 15 countries.


The candidate should:

  • hold a PhD degree in a relevant discipline, including (in alphabetical order) Anthropology, Human Rights and Transitional Justice, International Relations, Language and Communication, Social or Cross-Cultural Psychology, or a related area. Candidates who are due to submit their dissertation manuscript in Spring 2018 are welcome to apply;
  • have a proven track record in conducting original scientific research, as demonstrated by publications in reputable scientific journals;
  • be interested in cross-cultural research, and preferably have experience in both quantitative and qualitative research and data analytic techniques;
  • be able to work both as a proactive, creative, and independent researcher and as part of an international, interdisciplinary team;
  • have excellent interpersonal and organizational skills and be able to set up international research networks, coordinate research, and manage related administrative tasks across different countries;
  • be able to support the ERC grant holder in managing tasks, coordinating the project work and supervising the PhD students and student assistants;
  • be able and prepared to travel abroad on a regular basis.


Tilburg University is rated among the top Dutch employers, offering excellent terms of employment and excellent reimbursement of moving expenses. The collective labor agreement of Dutch Universities applies. The PhD and postdoctoral projects will be carried out within The Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences, which hosts Juliette Schaafsma’s ERC-project within the Department of Communication and Cognition.

The postdoctoral candidate will be ranked in the Dutch university job ranking system (UFO) as a researcher with a minimum salary of € 3,238,- gross and a maximum of € 4,084,- gross per month (exclusive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3 % end year bonus) and is based on the scale 10 of the Collective Labor Agreement Dutch Universities. The selected candidate will start with a contract for one year, concluded by an evaluation. Upon a positive outcome of the first-year evaluation, the candidate will be offered an employment contract for another year.

Researchers from outside the Netherlands may qualify for a tax-free allowance equal to 30% of their taxable salary. The university will apply for such an allowance on their behalf. The Tilburg School of Humanities will provide assistance in finding suitable accommodation.

Additional information

For further information on these positions, please contact dr. Juliette Schaafsma (J. Schaafsma@uvt.nl, +31134663579). The extended abstract of the proposal is available upon request. More information about the project can also be found on our website: http://www.politicalapologies.com.