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Post-Doc Position on Knowledge Representation and Museum Collections (3 years, 0,8 fte)

Vacancy number
Job type
PhD positions
Hours (in fte)
External/ internal
Placed on
30 January 2024
Closing date
6 March 2024 1 day left to apply

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The Department of Heritage and Society Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University, is looking for a Post-Doctoral Researcher in the field of Knowledge Representation, Linked Data, and Museum Collection Data to join a project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) and carried out at the Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University.

Post-Doc Position on Knowledge Representation and Museum Collections (3 years, 0,8 fte)

Project Description
The Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University, seeks to appoint a 0,8 fte Postdoctoral Researcher for the duration of 3 years to carry out research at the intersection of Knowledge Representation, Linked Data, and Museum Collection Data. The successful candidate will join the Department of Heritage and Society.

Research will be supervised by Dr. Martin E. Berger (PI), Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Archaeology of Leiden University, as part of the ERC-funded Starting

Grant project BECACO – Between Canon and Coincidence: using data-driven approaches to understand Art Worlds.

The BECACO project will develop a novel interdisciplinary framework for studying the provenance of ethnographic and archaeological collections. The aim of the project is to create a diachronic, international, and cross-institutional understanding of the collecting of Indigenous Latin American Material in Europe between 1850 and 2000. Central to the project’s approach is a mobilization of the potential of data-driven methodologies (e.g. Linked Data, network analysis, data mining) in order to better understand the appearance and disappearance of collecting networks over time and space. The primary role of the postdoctoral research within the project will be to assess the promises and limitations of using Knowledge Graphs and embedding models to study large corpuses of museum collection data, in order to uncover hidden knowledge and study collecting processes at an unprecedented scale.

The postdoctoral researcher will work with domain experts in collections history and museum studies to develop a Linked Open Knowledge Graph out of collections data supplied by 12 museums across 9 countries in Europe. The post-doc will be responsible for developing and maintaining the data infrastructure of the project, making sure the data adhere to FAIR standards. Research will result in a Linked Open Knowledge Graph that can be used by future researchers and expanded with data from other museums, as well as at least one peer-reviewed article on methodological issues.

Key tasks

  • Clean and structure the data supplied by museums, in collaboration with the BECACO project team
  • Convert structured data into Linked Data/Knowledge Graph
  • Create a transparent and explainable Embedding Model that can provide link prediction between actors, institutions, and communities
  • Publish and present research in international conferences and journals, both independently and with team members;
  • Contribute to the overall aims of the BECACO project.

Selection criteria

  • A PhD in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Information Sciences, or similar field.
  • Demonstrable experience working on Knowledge Representation and Knowledge Graphs, Linked data, and Semantic Web technology
  • Ability to work with domain experts in the field of museums and collections
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team in an organized and results-oriented fashion;
  • Excellent command of English, knowledge of Spanish and/or Portuguese is considered an advantage
  • Experience working with cultural heritage data and questions is considered an advantage

Our Faculty
The future of the past begins in Leiden. The Faculty of Archaeology is internationally leading for its research, home to a broad array of specializations and notable for the strong connection it fosters between teaching and research. Home to over 500 students in the multidisciplinary world of Archaeology, the Faculty and its researchers from all areas of the Archaeological field determine the future of archaeological research.

We offer
candidates will be appointed in accordance with the Collective Agreement of Dutch Universities, for a period of 36 months;
the salary will be dependent on previous qualifications and experience, and ranges between € 4332.- to € 5929.- gross per month on a full-time basis (pay-scale 11);

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. More at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at/job-application-procedure-and-employment-conditions.

Leiden University attaches great importance to diversity and therefore welcomes applications from people who are currently under-represented at Leiden.

Enquiries can be made to Dr. Martin Berger (m.e.berger@arch.leidenuniv.nl)
Information about the Faculty of Archaeology can be found at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/archaeology. More information about Leiden University can be found at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en.

You can apply via the ‘Apply’ button. The deadline for applications is 6 March 2024.
Applications must be submitted via SuccessFactors. The position is envisaged to start mid-August 2024.

Please attach the following additional documents as one PDF file, stating the job number above:

  • Motivation letter, including your relevant interest and experience in the subject matter and in doing advanced research (max 2 pages)
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of publications
  • A writing sample
  • The names and address of two potential referees (no recommendation letters required at this stage)

The first round of interviews will be scheduled in March/April. We kindly request that you be available during this period. Whether this interview will take place in person or online depends on the availability of the applicant and their ability to travel to Leiden.


Apply now

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