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Postdoc project (1.0 fte, 36 months), Radboud University
Title: Anchoring Innovation and the Infrastructure of the Roman Northwestern Provinces

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

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

Job description
In the first century BCE and the beginning of the first century CE the territory of the Roman state was extended on an unprecedented scale. The reign of Augustus was crucial for the infrastructural planning of the Northwest, with the road network rolled out by Agrippa as its backbone. We investigate the impact of the Roman presence on the landscape of the northwestern Roman provinces, focusing in particular on the relationship between the spatial and technical solutions adopted and the way in which these were anchored in existing infrastructure or local customs. This postdoc project will consist of two parts: on the one hand, the mapping of the infrastructure in the Low Countries with the aid of, amongst others, digital mapping tools and geophysical survey (geophysical equipment already in the possession of the archaeological department of Radboud University); and, on the other, one or more case studies of the technical challenges posed by the different landscapes and the relation between physical changes and cultural transformation in the northwestern Roman provinces. Were the man-made changes to the landscape 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 local infrastructure used as a starting point, and, if so, what were the consequences for the existing settlements and the new ones? Did the Romans adopt already existing local solutions for technical problems regarding infrastructure? A central conceptual tool will be that of ‘anchoring’ as developed in the Anchoring Innovation program and applied to both successful and unsuccessful cases of innovation.

The candidate is expected to complete the mapping of selected parts of the Roman infrastructure in the Low Countries and to produce at least two scholarly articles by the end of the three year (1,0 fte) period. For a fuller description of the Anchoring Innovation project, see

Candidates for this post-doc project are invited to submit a 1,500 word research proposal concerning the anchoring of innovation in infrastructure in the Roman Northwestern provinces. The successful candidate is prepared to assist in the organization of workshops and conferences and the writing of grant proposals. (S)he will also work together with other researchers on technology, science and material culture of work package 5 of the Anchoring Innovation project and members of the Oikos research groups Cultural Interactions in the Ancient World and Cities and Settlements in the Ancient World.

Host institution
Radboud University, Nijmegen, Faculty of Arts, Radboud Institute of History and Culture (RICH). For more information see: and

Terms and conditions
PD project, 36 mos (1.0 fte, 38 hrs per week), starting date to be agreed upon, with a preference for March 1, 2021. Initially the employee will receive a one-year contract, with extension for the following two years on condition of a positive evaluation. Salary range from € 3.746 to € 5.127 gross per month for a fulltime appointment (pay scale for PDs, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). It is also possible to extend the appointment to 43 mos at 0,8 fte (30,5 hrs per week).

Radboud University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3%), training and career development. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

Tasks of the postdoc will include:
o Designing, researching and writing two or three research papers on the agreed research theme;
o Mapping of select parts of the Roman infrastructure in the Low Countries with GIS and geophysics;
o Presenting papers at conferences, both in the Netherlands and internationally;
o Taking part in the life of the Department of History, Art History and Classics at Radboud University, and participating actively in the academic community of the national research school OIKOS, and the wider Anchoring Innovation program.

o A PhD, preferably in Roman Archaeology, Ancient History or Classics, held by time of appointment;
o Experience with digital mapping tools (GIS) and geophysics;
o An excellent research and publication record in relation to stage of career;
o A strong cooperative attitude and willingness to engage in collaborative research;
o Excellent oral and written skills in English and good knowledge of other modern languages (e.g. Dutch, German, French);
o Driving license;
o Some organisational experience.

The Anchoring Innovation program is strongly committed to diversity within its team and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.

Enquiries about the position can be addressed to Dr Stephan Mols, Questions about the procedure can be directed to Dr Suzanne van de Liefvoort,

In order to be admissible, applications must include the following information (in the same order), in one PDF file (not zipped):
o Cover letter;
o CV, including contact information of two referees;
o Transcript of records;
o Research proposal of 1500 words. This does not include the bibliography and (if appropriate) an appendix containing a list of sources (together max. two pages A4);
o Copy of relevant diploma or statement by PhD supervisor confirming that the applicant will hold the required degree at the time of appointment.

Please submit your complete application to Dr Suzanne van de Liefvoort, the coordinator of the Anchoring-programme via before November 1, 2020. Interviews will take place in the week of Nov. 30 - Dec. 4. For candidates living abroad interviews may be held via an online platform.