PhD position 'Adapting and Anchoring the Infrastructure of the Roman Empire in its Northwestern Provinces'

Institution Name 
Radboud University Nijmegen
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Application Deadline 
November 1, 2019
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PhD Position (4 years, 1.0 fte), Radboud University

Title: Adapting and Anchoring the Infrastructure of the Roman Empire in its Northwestern Provinces

(Anchoring Work Package 5, Technology, Science, and Material Culture)


Dr S.T.A.M. Mols (Radboud University), Dr M. Polak (Radboud University), Prof. Dr E.M. Moormann (Radboud University).

Job description:

In the first century BCE and early first century CE the territory of the Roman state was extended on an unprecedented scale. The reign of Augustus was crucial for the development of a Roman infrastructure in the Northwest, with the road network rolled out by Agrippa as its backbone. The candidate investigates the impact of the Roman presence on the landscape of the northwestern provinces, focusing in particular on the relationship between technical innovations and the way in which these were anchored in existing infrastructure or local customs.

The candidate will investigate the response to the challenges posed by the different landscapes, as well as the relation between physical changes in the environment. Cultural transformation will also be an important field of study. Were man-made environmental changes a result of a carefully planned operation or of a series of ad hoc decisions made by Roman authorities? What was the role of the local population? Was the existing indigenous infrastructure used as a starting point, and, if so, which were the consequences for existing settlements and for the foundation of new ones? Did the Romans adopt existing local solutions for technical problems regarding infrastructure?

We invite structured PhD proposals (title, research question, scholarly background, aims, method, corpus) which further explore this theme. The overarching research problem to be addressed is: in what ways was the establishment of a new infrastructure in the northwestern provinces anchored in already existing infrastructure and what does this process teach us about the concept of anchoring innovation itself?

More information about the Anchoring Innovation research agenda of OIKOS can be found on the OIKOS website (, including an article by Ineke Sluiter, entitled “Anchoring Innovation: a Classical Research Agenda”.

Organisational unit:

Radboud University, Faculty of Arts.

For more information, see:


PhD project, 4 years (1.0 fte, 38 hrs/week), starting date to be agreed, with a preference for 1 April 2020. Initially the employee will receive a one-year contract, with extension for the following 36 months on condition of a positive evaluation.


€ 2.325,- to € 2.972,- gross per month (based on a full-time appointment of 38 hours).

Tasks of the PhD candidate will include:

  • Completion of peer reviewed articles and a PhD thesis within four years;
  • Participation in meetings of the project research group(s);
  • Presentations of intermediate research results at workshops and conferences;
  • Participation in the training programme of the local Graduate School for the Humanities at Radboud University and the National Research School in Classics (OIKOS).


  • A Research MA, MA or MPhil degree in Archaeology or equivalent, with a specialization in Roman Archaeology and a MA-thesis on a topic concerning the northwestern provinces of the Roman Empire, held by time of appointment (if the degree is not yet obtained at the time of application, a statement by the applicant’s supervisor should confirm that it will be obtained by time of appointment);
  • Excellent research skills;
  • A strong cooperative attitude and willingness to engage in collaborative research;
  • Excellent command of written English, reading skills in German, French, and Dutch.


In order to be admissible, applications must include the following information (in the same order), in one PDF file (not zipped):

  • Cover letter;
  • CV, including contact information of two referees;
  • Transcript of records;
  • Research proposal of 1500 words. This does not include the bibliography and (if appropriate) an appendix containing a list of material and textual sources (together max. two pages A4);
  • Copy of relevant diploma;
  • If necessary (see requirements), statement by master thesis supervisor confirming that the applicant will hold the required degree at the time of appointment.

Please submit your complete application to Aniek van den Eersten, the coordinator of the Anchoring-programme, via before 1 November 2019.

Interviews will take place in the week of 2-6 December 2019. For candidates living abroad interviews may be held via Skype.

More information about the position may be obtained from Dr S.T.A.M. Mols, Questions about the procedure can be directed to Aniek van den Eersten,

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