PhD position Protestant and Catholic exile (The Invention of the Refugee in Early Modern Europe)

Research / Academic


The Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH), one of the six research schools of the Faculty of Humanities, currently has a vacant PhD position as part of the NWO-funded VICI project ‘The Invention of the Refugee in Early Modern Europe’ led by Prof. Geert Janssen.

This PhD project on Protestant and Catholic exile is one of five closely-related projects, which together aim to analyse the invention of the refugee in early modern Europe. Funded through a VICI-grant of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), the programme seeks to achieve three inter-related objectives:

  1. to explain the emergence of the refugee as a social category in European society. It will map when, where and why particular migrants started to describe themselves as refugees and trace the models (religious, political, legal) of such discursive strategies;
  2. to identify the agency of displaced religious minorities in forging transnational solidarity networks. By studying how diasporic communities organized themselves, this project reveals the significance of refugees in shaping media coverage, initiating humanitarian interventions and promoting a new emotional culture that focused on empathy and
  3. to uncover the impact of refugees on European state formation. This project will examine how the protection and accommodation of displaced men and women interacted with the ambitions of early modern authorities to expand their territories and forge confessional regimes

You will study objectives 1 and 2 by focusing on the agency of Protestant and Catholic minorities in 16th and 17th century Europe. You will work closely with two other PhD’s, a postdoctoral researcher and the PI. You may obtain a detailed research outline on the project, including potential source material, from the PI Geert Janssen.

Your tasks will include:

  • completion and defence of a PhD thesis within four years;
  • participation in meetings of the project research group and the development of a shared database;
  • participation in knowledge dissemination activities;
  • presentations of intermediate research results at workshops and conferences;
  • participation in the training program of the Graduate School / Research School;
  • contribute to teaching courses during the second and/or third year.


If you are the PhD student we are looking for you should:

  • have a MA or MPhil degree in Early Modern History, or other relevant field in the Humanities;

  • have an excellent command of English, preferably a good command of Latin;

  • have excellent research skills;

  • preferably have experience with premodern manuscript reading;

  • have a strong cooperative attitude and willingness to engage in collaborative research.

Salary Benefits:

You will be appointed for 38 hours per week (1.0 FTE) for a period of 48 months at the Department of History, European Studies & Religious Studies of the Faculty of Humanities. Initially a contract will be given for 16 months, with an extension for the following 32 months on the basis of a positive evaluation. The intended starting date of the contract is 1 February 2019. The gross monthly salary (on full-time basis) will range from €2,266 during the first year to €2,897 during the fourth year. The salary will be supplemented with an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities is applicable.

Work Hours:

38 hours per week


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