PhD candidate Forensic culture in Spain, 1930-2000
Utrecht University, Faculty of Humanities

PhD candidate Forensic culture in Spain, 1930-2000 (1.0 FTE)

Job description

The Department of History and Art History seeks to appoint a PhD student for the project ‘Forensic Culture. A Comparative Analysis of Forensic Practices in Europe, 1930-2000’ (FORCe), funded by means of an ERC Consolidator grant awarded to Dr. Willemijn Ruberg. 

The PhD candidate will be working on the following sub project: 'PhD project 2Forensic culture in Spain, 1930-2000'. 

This PhD project will analyse the impact of scientists, doctors and psychiatrists as expert witnesses in Spanish court cases in the period 1930-2000, in particular in criminal cases of rape, murder and infanticide. It focuses on the techniques used to produce knowledge, the relationship between science and the judiciary, the representation of forensic science in the media and the role gender plays in all of these aspects. The project will largely be based on primary source research (e.g. legal records, scientific journals, newspapers). It forms part of the project ‘Forensic Culture. A Comparative Analysis of Forensic Practices in Europe, 1930-2000’ (FORCe), which compares the forensic cultures of four countries (the Netherlands, England, Spain and Russia) in regard to legal system, political regime, the availability of knowledge and technology, media representation of forensic experts and norms on gender and sexuality. Overall, the project will gauge the influence of culture on forensic practices.


A successful PhD candidate should preferably have:

  • a (research) master degree in History, Gender Studies, Science and Technology Studies or another relevant discipline, and a demonstrable affinity with the project;
  • an outstanding record of undergraduate and master's degree work;
  • good command of English, both written and orally; very good command of Spanish (specifically very good reading skills);
  • experience with archival research;
  • strong writing and analytical skills;
  • ability to meet deadlines and complete a PhD thesis within four years;
  • capacity to work both as a creative and independent researcher and as part of a team.


The position will be offered for 1.0 FTE, start date from 1 September 2018 onwards. The appointment is for an initial period of 18 months, which after a satisfactory evaluation will be extended by another 30 months (4 years in total). The gross monthly salary on a full-time basis starts at €2,222 in the first year, ending at €2,840 in the fourth year (scale P Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) gross per month for a full-time employment.

Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8 % and a year-end bonus of 8.3 % per year. We offer a pension scheme, (partly paid) parental leave, collective insurance schemes and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information is available at: working at Utrecht University.

About the organization

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.


The Faculty of Humanities has around 6,000 students and 900 staff members. It comprises four knowledge domains: Philosophy and Religious Studies, History and Art History, Media and Culture Studies, and Languages, Literature and Communication. With its research and education in these fields, the Faculty aims to contribute to a better understanding of the Netherlands and Europe in a rapidly changing social and cultural context. The enthusiastic and committed colleagues and the excellent amenities in the historical city center of Utrecht, where the Faculty is housed, contribute to an inspiring working environment.

Additional information

Enquiries can be made to Dr. Willemijn Ruberg, An extended research description is available upon request.


Written applications should address each of the criteria mentioned under qualifications, and include the following documents:

  • cover letter;
  • curriculum vitae;
  • research design proposal (max. 600 words);
  • copy of relevant diplomas and grades;
  • copy of a recent academic publication (max. 30 pages) or a recent paper or thesis;
  • names and contact details of two referees.

Please include ‘PhD project 2: Spain’ in the subject line of your cover letter and note that incomplete applications cannot be included in the subsequent selection procedure.

Candidates who make the shortlist will be invited for an interview. These may be conducted in person in Utrecht or via Skype. Interviews are scheduled to take place early June.

Please use the application button below to apply. The application deadline is 13 May 2018.


The application deadline is


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