Coal at the cross roads: the rise and fall of an industry in the 19th and 20th century
Cluster 2: Mobility of commodities and information
In cooperation with the Centre for the Social History of Limburg (SHCL) and the Centre for the Regional History of Limburg (RHCL), the Department of History in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences offers a PhD position in transnational mining history. The project is broadly conceived, and is open to enthusiastic early-stage researchers aspiring to pursue a PhD in contemporary history.
Climate change and energy transition have re-ignited interest in the history of coal mining. The project team sees coal not just as an outdated fossil fuel, but rather as a point of departure for further research into the history of the social, cultural, economic, technical and environmental transformations that have been triggered by massive exploitation of energy resources. The recently catalogued archive of the Domaniale Mijn, a mining company operating between Kerkrade in the Netherlands and Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle) in Germany, opens exciting new avenues for historical research, also in a comparative framework. The digital catalogue of the Domaniale Mijn archive can be requested from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Different perspectives, ranging from business history to socio-economic history, and from the history of technology to landscape and environmental history, can be fruitfully explored. The candidate’s preference and background will play a major role in the focus and approach that the project will eventually adopt.
The candidate is expected to possess:
- A (Research) Master degree in History or a related field;
- Good (passive) knowledge of Dutch and of German (because of the main languages of the historical sources);
- Outstanding writing skills;
- Ability to work both independently and as part of a team
The researcher will be based at Maastricht University, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and undertake a 6-month secondment at the Sociaal Historisch Centrum voor Limburg (Centre for the Social History of Limburg) SHCL, the Netherlands and/or the Regionaal Historisch Centrum voor Limburg (Centre for the Regional History of Limburg), the Netherlands.
Supervisor: Nico Randeraad, Extraordinary Professor, Director of the Centre for the Social History of Limburg, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University
Co-supervisor: Ad Knotter, Honorary professor, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University
External supervisor: Ben Gales, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Groningen
Any inquiries about the position or the project may be addressed to the supervisor.
You are invited to apply for a 4 year PhD position in the project “LIMES – the hardening and softening of borders”. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 847596.
Because the PhD candidates work in a larger research project, team work is essential. In addition to individual work on their dissertations, the PhD candidates will contribute to regular project team meetings and joint academic publications. The PhD candidates will receive extensive training, including regular supervision, training by the Graduate Schools of the relevant faculties, and the partner organisations, where they can benefit from a secondment.
Application (eligibility criteria and application requirements)
Applicants submit an application package. The full application must be submitted by email and in English, by means of the application form, and consist of:
- The application form containing: personal details (including language proficiencies), the LIMES project targeted, and a research proposal and a time plan which responds to the relevant project description (max. 1.000 words) (cf. template).
- Annex I: A letter of motivation stating the candidate’s qualifications and reasons for interest in the position.
- Annex II: Curriculum vitae, outlining relevant work experiences and research output (where applicable). Applicants who have taken a break in their career should indicate this in their application (and in their CV), so it can be taken into account during the selection process.
- Annex III: Ethics self-assessment, based on the standard ethical research principles and the ethical principles of H2020 (cf. template).
- Annex IV: Copy of Bachelor (BA) and (Research) Master (MA) degree and transcript (including GPA).
- Annex V: Proof of proficiency in English (for applicants who neither are native speakers of English nor followed an English taught BA/BSc and MA/MSc); see below for the expected level.
- Annex VI: One academic paper (e.g. course paper; (draft)thesis; academic publication).
- Annex VII: contact information of two references (including e-mail; phone number, mailing address, and relationship to the applicant).
Following receipt of an application, the Programme Office (PO) carries out an eligibility check. In addition to the completeness of the application file, the PO also checks compliance with the Marie Skłodowska Curie Action (MSCA) requirements (1), minimum standards of academic performance (2), and language skills (3).
(1) Early-Stage Researchers (ESR) must on the end date of the call be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree.
Full-Time Equivalent Research Experience is measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree entitling him or her to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited, even if a doctorate was never started or envisaged.
Mobility Rule: Researchers may not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the three years immediately before the end date of the call.
Time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention, compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.
(2) LIMES will only consider applicants who have reached an overall average Grade Point Average (GPA) of the completed Bachelor of at least 3.4 and/or completed their Master study with a GPA of at least 3.5 (MA).
(3) For applicants who neither are native speakers of English nor followed an English taught BA/BSc and MA/MSc, the PO accepts certificates from:
- IELTS test: minimum score overall 7.0 and writing minimum score 6.5
- TOEFL test: overall, internet-based minimum score 100 and writing minimum score 25
- TOEFL test: overall, paper-based minimum score 600
- TOEFL test: overall, computer-based minimum score 250
- A Cambridge certificate: C or higher for the CAE (Certificate in Advanced English).
In case of ineligibility, the PO notifies the applicant by e-mail within ten working days after the receipt of the application.
Maastricht University is committed to nurturing an inclusive culture and a welcoming atmosphere. This inclusiveness strategy has resulted in a very diverse representation of nationalities and cultures. We strongly believe that diversity (including, but not limited to ethnicity, gender, age, and (dis)ability) is to our advantage. Creating an inclusive working climate in which students and staff feel a valued member of the UM community is therefore a top strategic priority. UM values diversity within its community and encourages you to apply if you are qualified for this position.
The deadline for submitting your application is 23 August 2020.
Please send your application electronically to email@example.com.
All applicants will be notified within two weeks after submission date as to whether or not they have been selected for an interview with the LIMES Cluster Committees. The interviews will take place two weeks later. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the interviews may take place digitally. Please see the application procedure on the website for more information.
What we offer
We offer a dynamic and challenging job in an internationally-oriented organisation where people receive an advanced education and scholars conduct exciting research. You will be part of an international network of top universities and renowned scholars within the field.
We offer a 4-year full-time appointment as PhD candidate in one of the research projects under the umbrella of LIMES.
The first year will be a probation period, after a positive assessment the position will be extended with another 3 years.
Remuneration will be according to standard salary levels for PhD students starting with a salary of € 2.325,- with a yearly growth to € 2.972,- gross a month in year 4 (based on a full-time appointment.)
Each year the standard salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%.
You have to be willing to move to (the vicinity of) Maastricht. You will be eligible for an allowance for moving costs. You may also be eligible for an allowance for alternative housing. Other secondary conditions include e.g. a pension scheme and partially paid parental leave.
You will be provided with shared office space and a PC.
Maastricht University’s Terms of Employment are laid down in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local university provisions apply as well. For more information please see the website: www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/support/UM-employees.
Starting date: preferably November-December 2020 (if the COVID-19 crisis allows)
Further information is available on the website:
- Selection process, application form and instructions
- Host institution, partners involved, employment conditions
- Set-up of the Programme, staff and contact points
- Training and secondment programme
- Information on the ethical and legal standards
 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol.
 GPAs are represented on a 1-4 scale, with 4 being the maximum score. The minimum thresholds are in line with the requirements of the major Dutch PhD funding schemes in the SSH sector (Research Talent / PhD in the Humanities). NUFFIC is referred to for any translations of grades between countries.