Postdoctoral Researcher Comparative Historical Analysis of Depopulation and Welfare

Updated: 21 days ago
Deadline: 24 Jun 2024

Within the Chair Group of Economic and Social History, Faculty of Arts at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, a Postdoctoral Researcher position is currently available for the period of 2,5 years (30 months). The position will be within the ERC-funded project “Coping with decline: Comparative social-historical analysis of depopulation and community welfare in Europe, 1950-2022 (DEPOP)”.

The overarching goal of the ERC project is to comparatively examine the links between regional depopulation and welfare decline, specifically in the areas of health and care, in Europe for the period of the past 70 years. We will analyse: (macro-level) population trajectories and state welfare provision data, available as reports and regional statistics; (meso-level) collective coping strategies through social organisations, collected through their archives and witness seminars, and (micro-level) individual coping strategies, examined through existing and new oral histories. This Postdoc position will focus on European regional comparison predominantly at the macro-level of analysis. You will work closely with two PhD students whose focus will be on the Netherlands and Finland.

DEPOP’s ambition is to shed a new light on the histories of ‘stayers’ in rural and urban communities, and on their welfare in health and care sectors. We will be paying close attention to community’s resilience and agility as well as social inequalities, especially around gender, class, age, ability, and ethnicity/race. A short article about the project could be found here: https://www.rug.nl/news/2024/04/studying-depopulation-also-means-studying-the-history-of-those-who-stay

Organisation and affiliation
The University of Groningen has an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative centre of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 36,000 students and researchers to develop their own individual talents. Belonging to the best research universities in Europe and joining forces with prestigious partner universities and networks, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.

The Faculty of Arts is built on a long-standing tradition of four centuries. Our mission is to be a top-ranking faculty with both an excellent education and world-quality research, with a strong international orientation, firmly rooted in the North of the Netherlands. We build and share knowledge benefits to society. We work at a modern, broad and international institution, educating over 5.000 Dutch and international students to become forward-looking, articulate and independent academics. We are a hardworking and diverse team of 700 staff members.

The Chair Group of Economic and Social History is an ambitious group of researchers dedicated towards global and regional histories of population and health, gender and social inequalities, and focusing on the role of spatial, socioeconomic, and cultural contexts in historical change. We have a specific interest in social science history and long-term historical developments and apply theories and methods from the social sciences in our research. The candidates will also have an opportunity to contribute to the activities of the faculty-wide Groningen Centre for Health and Humanities and the History of Medicine and Health Group of the Centre for Historical Studies.


The successful candidate has a PhD degree in History or a related discipline (demography, sociology, human geography). Areas of expertise may include one or more fields: economic history, population history, comparative history, history of health and care, history of welfare provision, and history of social policy. Expertise and affinity with quantitative methods, mixed-methods and GIS is desirable.

The successful candidate has a good command of English (oral and written). Knowledge of one or more languages relevant for the project (Finland, the Netherlands, and Ukraine) is desirable. The candidate should also be able to work independently, be a team player, and possesses excellent communication skills (indicated by the ability to write scientific papers and deliver presentations).


We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

  • A salary of € 4,332 (salary scale 10) gross per month, based on a full-time position.
  • A holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income.
  • An 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance.
  • An 0.8 FTE appointment for a specified period of 2.5 years (additional teaching tasks up to 0.2 FTE may be possible). The successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of one and a half years extension.

The position must lead to a two academic peer-reviewed articles and one co-edited collective volume.



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