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Job opening: PhD candidate

PHD POSITION IN THE HISTORY OF EGYPTOLOGY, NETHERLANDS-FLEMISH INSTITUTE IN CAIRO (NVIC) NVIC is looking for a PhD candidate in Egyptology/History to join its team.

Profile NVIC

The Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo (NVIC) is an academic center that was founded in 1971. Eight universities in the Netherlands and Flanders participate in the institute with the aim to stimulate internationalization of their teaching and research activities in the Middle East. NVIC provides services for scholars and students from the supporting universities. The main focus of our activities had always been on the fields of Arabic & Islamic studies, Egyptology, Archaeology and Papyrology. However, recently, since 2012, the Institute has started to widen its scope, and has defined three additional focus themes: Cairo: the Urban Challenge; Politics, Law and Society in Egypt; Art & Culture. For more information, see here.

The staff members of the institute, as well as its temporary research fellows, undertake research on behalf of the supporting universities. The NVIC occasionally organizes colloquia on topics related to its expertise, and a weekly lecture series with a broad variety of topics. The institute holds a scientific library with ca. 13,000 books, both in the fields of Egyptology/ Archaeology as well as Arabic & Islamic studies.

The NVIC also offers academic courses in the archaeology of Egypt and in Arabic studies within the framework of study programs at the Dutch and Flemish universities. These courses focus on practical knowledge and academic experience in Egypt, thus adding a significant aspect to either field of study at the participating universities. The institute may assist in the supervision of theses, papers and other individual study programs undertaken in Egypt.

In addition, the NVIC organizes courses on demand in the fields of the language, culture and society of Egypt and the Middle East academic and non-academic target groups, such as governmental institutions and private companies.

Finally, the institute helps to disseminate Dutch and Flemish culture and promotes Dutch- and Flemish-Egyptian cultural co-operation, working closely together with the competent institutions in the Netherlands and Flanders and their respective embassies, for instance by offering Dutch language courses.

Education and experience

The candidate:

  • Has good organizational and social skills
  • Is familiar with modern Egypt
  • Has a broad interest towards all fields of study that are practiced at NVIC, and is willing to contribute to other areas outside of his/her own expertise
  • Is self-motivated to carry out his/her own research
  • Has excellent knowledge of English; knowledge of Arabic is strongly preferred; Dutch is desirable but not required. Good reading knowledge of German and French
  • Has an excellent academic track record in accordance with career stage
  • Has a demonstrated interest in the 19-20th century history of Egypt and how Egyptology developed as a science during that period
  • Has an MA in Egyptology, Archaeology, History, or a related field


The candidate:

  • Will assist the Director and the Assistant Director for Egyptology/Archaeology with any tasks and activities related to Egyptology and archaeology
  • Will complete this research and submit a PhD thesis within a period of 4 years
  • Will carry out his/her own PhD research, making use of the unique opportunities that Cairo has to offer for this type of research
  • Will develop and teach courses on the modern history of Egypt, in particular on the history of Egyptology and its links to nationalism and the broader political, economic, and social developments at the time, and how it contributed to the development of a national identity. These courses are part of the Middle East Studies program of NVIC

We offer

  • A local contract, the details of which will be discussed during the interview
  • The possibility to build your own network within Egypt and make use of the unique resources that are available within Egypt to carry out this type of research
  • An opportunity to work in a stimulating environment in the heart of Cairo, on the quiet island of Zamalek. You will be expected to carry out your research in Egypt
  • Logistical support of the institute for the research undertaken, including occasional conference attendance
  • Supervision of the PhD dissertation, which will be undertaken by staff of either KU Leuven (Belgium) or Leiden University (The Netherlands) in collaboration with the director and staff of NVIC. The PhD will be submitted at one of these two universities

How to apply

Please send the following documents to info@nvic.leidenuniv.nl before 1 July 2019:

  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Proposal for a course to be taught in the NVIC program of Middle East Studies (incl. bibliographical references)
  • Research proposal (ca. 5 pages, incl. bibliography) focusing on a chosen aspect of the history of Egyptology, and indicating how a position in Cairo would be beneficial for this research. Plan for a 4-year project, and indicate who your supervisor will be
  • CV
  • Letter of motivation

For questions or additional information about this position, please contact Rudolf de Jong (Director NVIC) at r.e.de.jong@nvic.leidenuniv.nl and Marleen de Meyer (Assistant Director for Egyptology/archaeology NVIC) at

Interviews will be held shortly after the closing date.

Start date: at the earliest convenience, and no later than 1 January 2020

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