PhD Position Archaeology of the Limes (1.0 FTE)

Updated: 6 days ago

PhD Position Archaeology of the Limes (1.0 FTE)

Job description

We are seeking a candidate for a PhD position in the NWO-funded NWA project 'Constructing the limes: Employing citizen science to understand borders and border systems from the Roman period until today.' C-LIMES is a large multidisciplinary project studying the border of the Roman Empire, and more specifically, the so-called Lower German Limes. The project not only investigates how the border functioned in antiquity, but also examines how the limes has become cultural heritage, influenced our contemporary views on borders, and was mobilized to support collective identities since the early modern period. The project is unique in its kind due to its strong attention for citizen science and close collaboration with societal partners. 

In a series of interconnected work packages, C-LIMES offers a new understanding of the specific dynamics of the Roman limes, not only archaeologically, but also how it has textured contemporary engagements with borders, cross-border movement, and the meeting of cultures. The work package Limes Archaeology analyses how archaeological artefacts can be reconceptualized to understand the functioning of the Roman border as a divider, or connector, and how the limes affected border communities and settlement patterns. For this work package we are looking for a PhD Researcher who will study the impact of the limes on settlement organization, spatial organization of domestic units, and evolving field systems across the borderscape.


The candidate is expected to handle a variety of source material, ranging from archaeological data, excavation reports, epigraphic material, literary sources, as well as select, master and apply the relevant theoretical frameworks to come to an holistic interpretation and reconstruction of the limes borderscape from the first century BCE to the fifth century CE. In addition, the candidate will employ insights from human geography and anthropology to critically evaluate the impact of borders on everyday life and migration patterns. As part of the application procedure, the prospective candidate is requested to submit a research design proposal (max. 1,000 words). The anticipated starting date is 1 September 2021.

Because the project is participatory in nature and operationalizes the principles of open science, the candidate will be expected to actively engage with societal partners, contribute to non-academic deliverables (exhibition and TV documentary), and regularly present findings of the project to the public. The Researcher will be based at the Ancient History and Classical Civilization section at Utrecht University and will be a contributing member of the Utrecht Heritage and Public History Lab.


You will be responsible for:

  • conducting the research (literature and archival research, collecting and analysing data, reporting results), resulting in presentations at national and international conferences, international scholarly publications, and a dissertation;
  • occasional teaching (max. 10% per year);
  • contribution to outreach of the project;
  • occasional travel;
  • active participation in the research community of the project and of the department.


You have:

  • a (Research) Master's degree in archaeology, ancient history, classics, or a closely related field;
  • an excellent academic record;
  • affinity with GIS;
  • an eagerness to publish international articles and write a dissertation;
  • good social and communication skills;
  • excellent command of English and Dutch, and adequate knowledge of German and/or French;
  • the ambition to collaborate with (inter)national partners and participate in secondments with our international project partners.


You will be offered a temporary position (1.0 FTE), for four years (one year plus another three years after a positive evaluation) and should lead to a doctoral degree. The gross salary ranges between €2,395 in the first year and €3,061 in the fourth year of employment (scale P according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year. In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions  (multiple choice model). More information about working at Utrecht University can be found here.

About the organization

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University , the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.


The Faculty of Humanities  has around 6,000 students and 900 staff members. It comprises four knowledge domains: Philosophy and Religious Studies, History and Art History, Media and Culture Studies, and Languages, Literature and Communication. With its research and education in these fields, the faculty aims to contribute to a better understanding of the Netherlands and Europe in a rapidly changing social and cultural context. The enthusiastic and committed colleagues and the excellent amenities in the historical city center of Utrecht, where the faculty is housed, contribute to an inspiring working environment.

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact:
Dr Saskia Stevens (Project Leader), via .

Apply Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. To apply, please send your curriculum vitae, including a letter of motivation via the ‘apply’ button below, including:
  • cover letter;
  • curriculum vitae;
  • research design proposal (max. 1,000 words);
  • copy of relevant diplomas;
  • names and contact details of two referees.

Note that incomplete applications cannot be included in the subsequent selection procedure.

Due to the current situation regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) the process of selection and interviews is subject to change. Candidates who make the shortlist will be invited for an interview, which may be conducted in person in Utrecht or online. Interviews are scheduled to take place late May 2021.

The application deadline is 06/05/2021
View or Apply

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