Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Doctorate
A position is available at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam on improving access to humanities linked data in the context of the European InTaVia project.

FTE: 0.8 - 1

Job description

Representations of objects of European cultural heritage (such as images, texts, music, films, buildings or artefacts) have been digitized and made widely available, including as Linked Open Data. Now is the time to make such datasets meaningful for users, through the design and development of appropriate interfaces. As the needs of different audiences vary, such tools should satisfy various scholarly and practical, but also narrative and aesthetic demands. In the European InTaVia project, we seek answers to research questions that will contribute to the achievement of these goals. How do we contextualize cultural heritage and biographical datasets in such a way that we can actually tell stories about our shared history? How do we connect such linked data to a variety of (interactive) visualization tools? What are appropriate user-centric methods for developing and evaluating such tools? If you are passionate about these topics and curious to find answers, then we are looking for you! 

Your duties
In the InTaVia project, you will:
  • contribute to the shared research infrastructure and will be responsible for developing a generic solution for connecting linked heritage data to various visualization tools
  • develop various user-facing services and develop an application shell and front-end for this connection
  • be responsible for evaluating the usability of the integrated InTaVia platform for specific users. This project will allow for novel user-centric research on topics of Digital Humanities, Human-Computer interaction and Linked Data service design
  • have limited management tasks within the project

The position will be with Dr. Victor de Boer in the User-centric Data Science group. The group does data science research with a focus on the role of human factors, in close collaboration with researchers from the humanities and social sciences. This project will be conducted in close collaboration with Dr. Antske Fokkens from the Computational Lexicology & Terminology Lab. We especially encourage women to apply.


  • Candidates are expected to have a PhD in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Information Science or similar field with a record of publications in fields relevant for the position
  • Experience with linked data, data integration and human-computer interaction are a plus

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €2,790 (scale 10) and a maximum €4,402 (scale 10), depending on your education and experience. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

The contract will affect a period of 3 years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 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. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavour – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,000 students. We employ over 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

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.

About the department, institute, project
The VU Department of Computer Science has approximately 170 members, including 35 tenured staff members and 40-50 PhD students. The tenured staff members form the essential basis for the functioning of the department. A tenured staff member is required to make significant contributions to the research and education programmes, and to spend effort on specific tasks at the department level.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until November 27, 2020.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

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

Name: Dr. Victor de Boer
Position: Assistant Professor
Telephone: +31 20 59 87740

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