Updated: 2 months ago
Deadline: ;

Are you interested in Legal History and modern innovative technical research methods, then Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam would like to get to know you. Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

FTE: 0.8 - 1

Job description
Project description

We are seeking a highly motivated PhD student to join our NWO-funded project titled "An Analysis of the Pluralism of Legal Sources in the Early Modern Legal Practice of the Court of Friesland." This exciting research opportunity involves delving into the civil court records from 1716-1730, which are preserved in the archive of the Court of Friesland. During this period, the legal landscape was characterized by a rich plurality of legal sources. The primary objective of this project is to comprehensively understand the utilization of these sources in legal practice. Specifically, we aim to investigate the impact of the revision of the Landsordonnantie in 1723. To facilitate our research, we have digitized the corpus of civil court records and made it accessible through Transkribus, an advanced Handwritten Text Recognition system. Additionally, we employ text annotation platforms to uncover the diverse patterns of legal sources. As a PhD student, your pivotal role will involve analyzing these patterns to enhance our understanding of the motivations and mechanisms behind the usage of different legal sources.

Throughout the project, you will have the invaluable opportunity to collaborate closely with legal experts and data science professionals, fostering an interdisciplinary approach to your research. You will receive guidance and supervision from esteemed professors: Prof. Hylkje de Jong from VU Amsterdam and Prof. Gijs van Dijck from Maastricht University. Moreover, you will work alongside other dedicated members of the project team, encouraging a collaborative and supportive environment.

The main task of the PhD-student will be to conduct investigations within the research project “An Analysis of the Pluralism of Legal Sources in the Early Modern Legal Practice of the Court of Friesland”, resulting in a PhD thesis. Educational modules are also followed for this task.

We welcome applicants who are passionate about legal history, have a keen interest in early modern legal practices, possess strong analytical and research skills, and are eager to make a significant contribution to the field.

  • A Master Degree in Law (Private Law or Legal History);
  • Demonstrable affinity with legal historical research;
  • Paleographical skills or willingness to amess these skills within the first year of appointment;
  • Capability of reading secondary literature in Dutch;
  • Demonstrable good writing skills;
  • Good analytical skills.

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2,770 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €3,539 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a duration of 4 years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 31,000 students. We employ over 5,000 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

Faculty of Law
The Faculty of Law provides bachelor’s degree programmes in three main fields: Law, Notarial law and Criminology. In addition, we offer an extensive range of Master’s programmes as well as contract education. Our teaching and research focus on the social function and relevance of law: from contracts in the platform economy to the new way of working, from colonial injustice to medical liability, from family reunification to civil participation, from sex offenses to ransomware. Our research is often both international and multidisciplinary in character.

Working at the Faculty of Law means being engaged in an active and inspiring academic setting. Together with your colleagues, you will contribute to the quality of teaching and research in a challenging and rewarding working environment. More than 300 people work at the Faculty of Law, which is home to some 4,500 students.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until


. The job interviews are planned for 12/10/2023, when possible please take them into account when applying for the position.

Submitting a diploma is part of the application process.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Prof. dr. mr. H. de Jong
Position: Professor

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