Job Opportunity: Postdoc Position at Huygens Instituut, Amsterdam

Job Opportunity: Postdoc Position at Huygens Instituut, Amsterdam

Location: AmsterdamMax hours per week: 22,08Max salary: €5.439,00Duration of agreement: 48 maandenApply until: 05/11/2023

Postdoc Children’s Upbringing in Protestant Institutions in (Post)Colonial Indonesia 

NL-Lab/Huygens institute seeks a postdoc for the NWO-funded project ‘Child separation. Politics and practices of children’s upbringing by faith-based organisations in colonial/postcolonial Indonesia (1808-1984)’. concentrates on how Protestant, Catholic and Islamic actors practised charity in the upbringing and education of various ethnic-cultural groups of children. It investigates how children in the Dutch East Indies and Indonesia came to be fostered, adopted or raised in protestant children’s or foster homes. It asks whether the practices and policies involved constituted child separation, and how these were entangled with colonial and national politics – both Dutch imperial ambitions and nation-building of the Republic of Indonesia. The project entails a citizen-science project that traces the voices and perspectives of affected children and their descendants. The project aims at creating a digital interactive map of faith-based children’s homes and orphanages in (post)colonial Indonesia. PI of the project is Marit Monteiro at the Radboud University.

This is what you are going to do

You will conduct the subproject on protestant institutions and their practices. Through research in published sources and archives in The Netherlands and in Indonesia you will trace and chart relevant archival and other collections. Together with the project team, you will develop your own interpretation. You will take present papers and publish peer reviewed articles on the (post)colonial practices and policies of child separation. 

  • Your research will provide evidence of Protestant children’s and foster institutions for the interactive digital map.
  • You will co-manage the citizen-science pilot in the Netherlands.
  • You will use oral history interviews together with written sources to reconstruct some exemplary life stories, to be published on the ColonialChildrenConnected website.
  • You will collaborate closely with the other researchers in the project who focus on children’s upbringing in Islamic and Catholic institutions.

What will you bring

  • You hold a PhD in Cultural, Social, Colonial or Gender History, Asian Studies, or a comparable discipline.
  • You have ample experience in archival research, preferably both in the Netherlands and in Indonesia
  • You have excellent oral and writing skills in English demonstrated in your PhD and other publications.
  • You have good passive command of (historical) Dutch and passive command of Bahasa Indonesia at a minimum
  • You are able to plan and organize your work in an international context, at several different (archival) sites and in collaboration with a larger international team
  • You are able to work independently, critically and to take initiative

What we offer

You will work at the Huygens Institute in Amsterdam with the NL-Lab team. The Huygens Institute is the research institute of history and culture of the Royal Dutch Academy of Science (KNAW). NL-Lab is an interdisciplinary, innovative research group on Dutch Culture and History in Past and Present, initiated by the Huygens and Meertens Institutes. This varied research group organizes many different events – from lunch-lectures to in-depth discussions with book authors. There is an open, interested and creative atmosphere. You will also be member of the Child Separation Research team, (PI: prof. dr. Marit Monteiro (Radboud University)) and have weekly (digital) meetings about the progress of the project. During the contract period, you will be expected to conduct your work both in the Netherlands and in Indonesia.

We aim to create a team that cares as much for the project as for its members.

Do you want to know more?

Please contact: prof. dr. Geertje Mak,


The deadline for sending an application is May 11 2023. First interviews will take place on 24 May 2023 in the morning hours (9am-12pm). Click here to read more and apply. 

Photo source: Picasdre, licensed under CC BY-SA 30, from Wikimedia Commons

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