Employment: 3 PhD Fellowships, Economic History, Leiden University

Closing date 30th July 2012

PhD Fellowships
Institute for History of the Faculty of Humanities 
Leiden University

Vacancy Number: 12-158 
PhD Position (38 hours per week)

Challenging Monopolies, Building Global Empires in the Early Modern Period: Serving the East and the West – Strategies in Imperial Career Paths within the VOC and the WIC 

Vacancy Number: 12-159 
PhD Position (38 hours per week) 

Challenging Monopolies, Building Global Empires in the Early Modern Period: Suing the Monopolies – The Case of the VOC and the WIC

Vacancy Number: 12-160 
 PhD Position (38 hours per week)

Challenging Monopolies, Building Global Empires in the Early Modern Period: Lobbying for Brazil and Taiwan – Lobby Groups to the Companies and the States General 

From October 1, 2012, the Section Economic and Social History, Institute for History of the Faculty of Humanities of Leiden University will be appointing three full-time PhD, for four years, within the NWO funded VIDI project Challenging Monopolies, Building Global Empires in the Early Modern Period (http://www.hum.leiden.edu/history/research/projects-mgi/challenging-monopolies.html), under the supervision of Dr Cátia Antunes (http://www.hum.leiden.edu/history/organisation/staff-history/antunes.html).

This comparative project will answer the general question, how did free agents in the Dutch Republic react to the creation of colonial monopolies (VOC and WIC) by the States General? This project will answer this question by looking at the role individuals played in the construction of an informal global empire parallel to the institutional empire devised by the States General and enacted by the chartered companies.

The PhD posts implies working in a team of at least seven researchers directly and indirectly involved in the project. Individuals will be required to openly share questions, hypotheses and results and participate in open discussions of each others’ work




The Section Economic and Social History is a dynamic research group with broad interests, enthusiastic researchers and lecturers with outstanding track records and successful in attracting national and international research grants.


  • Writing a dissertation in English within four years
  • Submitting research results for publication in international peer-reviewed academic journals (in single or co-authorship)
  • Presenting papers at conferences and workshops
  • Co-organizing conferences and workshops
  • Teaching undergraduate courses in the third and fourth year of appointment
  • Actively participate in project discussions and work as peer review for the team


  • MA degree in Early Modern Economic or Social History, History of the European Expansion, Global History or World History
  • Fluency in Dutch and English spoken and written (knowledge of French, German, Portuguese or Spanish will be strongly considered)
  • Experience in working with Dutch Early Modern archival sources
  • Willingness to work in comparative history in an international and highly competitive environment
  • Ability to work independently and as part of the team

 Conditions of employment:

The position of Ph.D. student is full-time for maximally four years. Initially the employee will be contracted for one year. An extension of three years is possible after positive evaluation of capabilities and compatibility.

Remuneration for a full working week will be € 2.042,- gross per calendar month in the first year, increasing to a maximum of € 2.612,- gross per calendar month in the fourth year and is in accordance with the current pay scales as indicated in the “CAO Nederlandse Universiteiten”. An appointment with Leiden University includes a pension build-up and facilitates other benefits such as an annual holiday premium of 8% and an end-of-year premium of 8.3%. 


For more information, please contact Dr Cátia Antunes (c.a.p.antunes@hum.leidenuniv.nl)

General Information

Project: http://www.hum.leiden.edu/history/research/projects-mgi/challenging-monopolies.html

Section of Economic and Social History: http://www.hum.leiden.edu/history/organisation/staff/staff-sections.html#economische-en-sociale-geschiedenis

Institute for History: http://www.hum.leiden.edu/history/


Letters of application should be submitted in Dutch or English and should include:

  • Cover letter stating your motivation for this position
  • Curriculum vitae and list of publications (if applicable)
  • Copy of the MA thesis
  • List of (maximum) two referees to your application (with full postal addresses, telephone numbers and emails). Referees will be contracted directly by the search committee

Please quote the vacancy number in your application and send it electronically to: vacaturesgeschiedenis@hum.leidenuniv.nl before July 30, 2012. All requested documents should be sent in pdf format.

An interview with the search committee is part of the procedure. Interviews will be held in the last week of August, 2012 at Leiden University.


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