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Postdoctoral Researcher in Ancient Near Eastern Studies (1,0 fte)

Vacancy number
Job type
Academic staff
Hours (in fte)
External/ internal
Placed on
23 January 2024
Closing date
15 March 2024 Vacancy closed

Faculty of Humanities and the Netherlands Institute for the Near East: Fixed-Term (2 years) Postdoctoral Researcher in Ancient Near Eastern Studies (1,0 fte)
Vacancynumber: 14477

The Faculty of Humanities at Leiden University invites applications for a fulltime postdoctoral researcher in ancient Near Eastern Studies.

The Netherlands Institute for the Near East (NINO) is pleased to offer a two-year postdoctoral fellowship hosted at Leiden University. This initiative is designed to foster early-career researchers specializing in the study of the ancient Near East. The fellowship comes with full-time employment at the Faculty of Humanities at Leiden University and with access to facilities at NINO (office space, computer, libraries and collections). The fellow is expected to reside in or near Leiden during the time of appointment and to participate in the intellectual life of the Institute. All applicants, but especially those with interdisciplinary research profiles beyond the Humanities, are encouraged to seek additional affiliation to relevant researchers or research groups in the Netherlands (Leiden or elsewhere).

The fellowship is aimed at candidates of any nationality who completed their doctorate (PhD) within the last four years and who have proven their potential to conduct and publish research at an international level. This year, we invite applications of researchers who work in the field of cuneiform studies in its broadest sense, including all time periods (4th millennium – 1st millennium) and regions (Anatolia, Iran, the Levant and Mesopotamia). We also welcome applications of interdisciplinary scholars who engage with cuneiform studies.

During the fellowship, the successful candidate will work on their own research. They will design and teach a graduate course on “Methods and Concepts in ancient Near Eastern Studies”, which is offered at a national level to advanced students from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds, including Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology and History, Assyriology, Classics, Egyptology, Hittitology and Coptic Studies. In their second year, the fellow will convene an international academic conference on a topic relevant to their own research, taking into consideration the research interests represented at the NINO and/or other institutes and universities in The Netherlands. A conference budget of € 8,000 is at their disposal. The proceedings of this conference will be published after peer-review in one of NINO’s book series.

Key responsibilities

  • Conduct original research on a topic relating to cuneiform studies;
  • Teach a graduate seminar on methods and concepts in ancient Near Eastern Studies;
  • Organize an international conference on a topic relevant to their own research;
  • Disseminate the results of their research to (non-)academic parties through appropriate channels.


  • A PhD degree in a relevant field of study, completed between January 2020 and February 2024;
  • A research and publication record that is commensurate with career stage;
  • Commitment to high-quality research, publication, and dissemination;
  • Excellent communication and organization skills;
  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a team.

Our Faculty/Institute

The Faculty of Humanities is an international centre for the study of languages, cultures, arts, and societies worldwide, in their historical contexts from prehistory to the present. We take culture broadly to include religions, philosophies, and worldviews as well as literature, art, and technology. We aim to contribute to knowledge, the sustainable well-being of societies, and the understanding of the cognitive, historical, cultural, artistic, and social aspects of human life. In research and teaching, we focus on “Dynamics of Diversity”, meaning the mobility of people, language, culture, ideas, art, and institutions in a globalizing world, and their interconnectivity through the ages.

Our faculty is home to more than 8,000 students and 900 staff members. For more information, see https://www.hum.leidenuniv.nl.

The Netherlands Institute for the Near East (NINO) is a research centre located at the Faculty of Humanities. NINO aims to advance knowledge of the history of the ancient Near East (incl. Egypt), its archaeological remains and its cultural heritage. Its research community consists of researchers based in Leiden as well as in other Dutch universities. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to engage with this community while in residence. The fellowship grants privileged access to NINO’s specialist library and its various collections.

The postdoctoral researcher will hold a position in the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (LIAS). LIAS is committed to the integration of disciplinary and regional-historical perspectives, on a solid foundation of excellent language skills, and comprises a School of Asian Studies and a School of Middle-Eastern Studies.

Terms and conditions

We offer a fixed-term position from September 2024 through August 2026. Leiden University is committed to diversity, inclusiveness, and equal opportunities.

The salary range for a postdoctoral researcher is from € 3,226 to € 5,929 gross per month (pay-scale 10 or 11), commensurate with qualifications, with substantial additional holiday and end-of-year bonuses. Depending on qualifications, the researcher may start at the appropriate step in scale 10 until s/he fully meets the requirements for scale 11 as specified by the Faculty of Humanities, particularly with regard to the number of years of relevant work experience. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.


Enquiries can be made to the chair of the search committee, Willemijn Waal (w.waal@hum.leidenuniv.nl).

Information about the Faculty of Humanities and about Leiden University can be found at www.leiden.edu

Information about NINO can be found at www.nino-leiden.nl


Applications must be received by March 15, 2024. Interviews will be held online in April or May. Applications should be in English, and should be submitted online via the blue button in Leiden University’s application system, with the items listed below included in this order in a single PDF document named ‘FAMILY NAME – Given name – vacancy number’: 14477

  • A CV including education, employment history and publications;
  • A letter of motivation;
  • A research proposal (c. 1,000 words)
  • A conference proposal including an abstract, a list of envisaged speakers, and a budget table explaining the expenditure of max. € 8,000 (c. 750 words).
  • One sample publication or other piece of written work;
  • Names, positions and email addresses of two referees (no reference letters).

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