Research position in archaeological and forensic isotope biogeochemistry

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Research position in archaeological and forensic isotope biogeochemistry
  • Doctorate
FTE: 0.6 - 1

Job description

The Geology & Geochemistry (G&G) research group of the Department of Earth Sciences has a vacancy for a junior or senior (postdoctoral) researcher to strengthen the team responsible for carrying out forensic and archaeological isotope research in the Netherlands. The G&G group consists of ~ 30 research and technical staff. Research addresses a diverse set of questions that range from the formation and differentiation of the terrestrial planets to the environmental impact of human activity. This vibrant and internationally renowned group has consistently obtained major EU and national funding, including infrastructure investment and runs state-of-the-art geochemical facilities.

Your duties
  • In the framework of rapidly expanding national and international collaborations with leading archaeological research groups, and national and international police and forensic organisations, a junior researcher or post doc position is available with immediate effect.
  • The successful candidate will be involved in applying radiogenic (Sr-Pb) and stable (H-C-N-O) isotopes to active police case work and archaeological research questions pertaining to human palaeomobility and palaeodiet. In addition, the research group is actively exploring the application of novel geochemical-isotopic techniques in an archaeological and/or forensic science context with the aim of improving the quantitative interpretation of provenance information.


You must have an MSc degree or PhD with a strong background in the physical sciences and training in analytical techniques and/or biology/geology/archaeology. Practical experience with mass spectrometric techniques will be an advantage. 
Furthermore you must have excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and preferably some Dutch to aid communication with local police and national commissioning bodies in the field of (commercial) archaeology. We expect a keenness to develop your own research direction aimed at improving the quantification of archaeological and forensic provenancing methods, to collaborate with local authorities, and an interest in the public dissemination of scientific results.

What are we offering?

The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and depending on experience, range from a minimum of  €2.709 (schaal 10) up to a maximum of  €4.274 (schaal 10) gross per month (salary scale 10.0 junior researcher, senior 10.5 up to salary scale 10 max) based on a fulltime employment.

The initial appointment will be for a period of 1 year. After satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment can be extended to 2 years and potentially to a total duration of 4 years.

Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. And to be a university where personal education and societal involvement play a leading role. Where people from different disciplines and backgrounds work together on innovations and on generating new knowledge. Our teaching and research embrace the whole spectrum of science – from the humanities, the social sciences and the pure sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,500 students. We employ more than 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible, located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

Diversity is one of our university’s core values. We are an inclusive community, and we believe that diversity and international activities enhance the quality of education and research. We are always looking for people who can enhance diversity on our campus thanks to their background and experience.

The Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to around 6,000 students.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until 13 December 2019.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: prof.dr. Gareth R. Davies / dr. Lisette Kootker
E-mail: /
Telephone: +31 (0)20 5987329 / +31 (0)20 5981500 or +31 (0) 06 24752297

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