Vacancy: Research Coordinator / Senior Researcher

The Tropenmuseum (Amsterdam), together with the Afrika Museum (Berg en Dal) and Museum Volkenkunde (Leiden) have been part of the Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen (NMVW) since 2014. The Wereldmuseum in Rotterdam became a partner of the NMVW in May 2017 and shares both the collection and mission of the NMVW. The Research Center for Material Culture (RCMC) is a flagship research institute within these four museums and serves as a focal point for research on ethnographic collections in the Netherlands.
At the RCMC we pursue the museum’s mission, through a critical questioning of what it means to responsibly share a world with others. We are committed to fostering innovative research and making this accessible to broad and diverse publics. Under the supervision of and together with the Head of the RCMC, the Research Coordinator / Senior Researcher set the course developing and implementing the research agenda for the Center, with a focus on building the (inter)national research profile of the Center.
As a highly motivated senior researcher with a proven track record, you will work with the Head of the RCMC, on:
  • the development and coordination of the RCMC research themes and programming;
  • representation of the RCMC and the NMVW in national and international meetings and help
    further develop the international stature of the RCMC;
  • the scholarly program, publications and outputs;
  • funding proposals for the Center’s work;
  • research mentorship for junior staff;
  • in addition to maintaining and developing existing programs, you will work together with the
    Head of the RCMC, Chief Curator and Head of Collections to develop new projects that will maximize the impact of RCMC activities on collections research, museum practice, and public engagement. This could include the development of (online) exhibitions, digital platforms and object based workshops.
    Who are we?
    The RCMC comprise a team of five highly motived persons, and a director who sits in the Management Team of the NMVW. The Research Coordinator / Senior Researcher works together within the RCMC team and reports to the head of the department. The RCMC is fully integrated in the museum’s work, and is in the service of the museum, with team members participating in numerous working and projects groups, according to the museums matrix working structure.
For us at the RCMC inspiring openness and world citizenship requires the cultivation of critical relationship to the world around us, to our histories and relationships, past and present. For us this comes with the self-awareness of one’s own embedded and contingent position in the world; it also requires engaging with and listening to the world around us, which is always speaking-back.
At the RCMC, the museum’s collections provide an extraordinary foundation for exploring cultural diversity and its complex entanglements. These collections are the center of the work and we explore and mobilize these objects as focal points for public engagement and innovative research: for fostering community dialog and discussion, exchanging knowledge and viewpoints, and imagining and actualizing more open and collaborative possibilities for museum and collections work.
Our ultimate goal is to inspire and develop a critical, broad audience that not only accept and value the remarkable diversity of humanity, but who also share a sense of responsibility to the people and world around us.
What we are looking for:
In this role you can express and further develop your key competences: pro-active, collaborative, flexible, result oriented and with a strong awareness of the political landscape in which our kinds of museum work.
We are looking for someone who:
  • is a result oriented and enthusiastic senior researcher at PhD level in the field of material
    culture studies, with a proven track record of at least 2 years’ experience;
  • is a team player and a representative for the RCMC;
  • has expertise and thinks strategically about research connected to material culture and in
    relation to a broader public;
  • has passion for making research accessible for broad publics;
  • loves material culture and can place objects in relation to the social worlds which they help to
  • is willing or has experience with working with different stakeholders;
  • is able to coordinate projects;
  • has good communication skills;
  • is fluent in Dutch and English.
    We offer:
  • A contract for 28,8 hours per week (0,8 FTE) for the duration of 1 year with the possibility of extension. Depending on your experience, a salary between € 3.663,- and € 5.087,- gross per month (scale 12, Museum CAO) on full-time basis (36 hours), 8% holiday allowance and a fixed 3,40% end-of-year bonus. We offer a modest allowance for travel expenses.
  • An office space based in Leiden, the Netherlands.
  • A meaningful job in an international setting with varied work in a pleasant and open working
    environment in an organisation with more than 200 colleagues.
  • Access to our four museums, its collections and research resources.
    You can send in your cover letter and resume before Monday 17 June via the Workable site:
    After a letter selection, candidates are invited for a first round of interviews which will take place in the first week of July. We are an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age.
    If you wish to receive more information feel free to contact Manuela Kaptijn, personnel officer  or Ninja Rijnks-Kleikamp, Coordinator of the Research Center for Material Culture.
    Acquisition as a result of this vacancy is not appreciated.

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