Assistant Professor in Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
VU University of Amsterdam Faculty of Humanities


FTE: 0.8 - 0,8

Job description

The Department of Art & Culture, History, and Antiquity of the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, is seeking to fill a 0.8 position in Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Starting date will be 1 January 2022.

Your duties

The successful applicant will be teaching in our interdisciplinary BA and MA programmes in Ancient Studies (all taught in English). These programmes are offered in cooperation with the University of Amsterdam within the framework of the Amsterdam Centre for Ancient Studies and Archaeology (ACASA). In addition to Akkadian language acquisition courses, the successful applicant will be teaching Assyrian and Babylonian literature and history, as well as broader courses on ancient cultural history, also on a wider area. As the context of teaching is formed by interdisciplinary programmes rather than a mono-disciplinary Assyriology programme, it is crucial that applicants have a broader expertise and are also willing to collaborate in thematic courses with colleagues of other disciplines. Candidates should be able to inspire students and stir enthusiasm in them for the history and cultures of the Near East but also have the ability to teach the connections between Mesopotamian civilizations and wider Mediterranean world.

In terms of research duties, we are looking for a candidate with a strong and innovative research agenda in the literatures and cultural history of Mesopotamia and the Eastern Mediterranean area in the first millennium BCE, who is committed to writing applications in order to obtain research funding. A track record of cooperation with other relevant disciplines will be considered an asset.

In addition to teaching and doing research, the successful applicant will also be expected to contribute to the organization and administration of our programmes and to play a part in the life of the Department and of the ACASA community.


The successful candidate has:

  • a PhD in Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Ancient Near Eastern History, or Assyriology
  • an excellent knowledge of the Akkadian language and cuneiform, the ancient Near Eastern textual corpus, and the history of the first millennium BCE, including the broader context and connections to the wider Mediterranean world, and sufficient to teach these subjects at BA, MA, and Research MA levels
  • an excellent publication record fitting the stage of her or his career, preferably including at least one monograph (under review) and peer reviewed articles
  • relevant teaching experience as well as a teaching qualification (BKO/UTQ or similar), or a willingness to obtain such qualification within the first two years of appointment
  • a demonstrable capacity and willingness to operate beyond disciplinary boundaries within and beyond the fields of Assyriology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies, in teaching and in research
  • a strong cooperative attitude, team spirit, and willingness to engage in collaborative research and teaching duties
  • the ability to communicate and teach in English (CEFR C1 level for reading, listening, writing, speaking)
  • a knowledge of Dutch or willingness to learn Dutch within a reasonable period of time (within two years) (CEFR B2 for reading and listening, and CEFR B1 for writing and speaking, all in view of day-to-day communication and administrative tasks)

What are we offering?

We offer a tenure-track position at the level of Assistant Professor initially for the duration of 5 years starting 1 January 2022. Tenure can be achieved if the faculty criteria for Assistant Professor are fulfilled. For the duration of the tenure track, performance will be evaluated in terms of teaching, publication record, attempts to acquire research funding either individually or in consortia, academic service and valorisation. After a successful evaluation, permanent employment will be granted.

On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €3,746 (scale 11) and a maximum €5,127 (scale 11), depending on your education and experience. The job profile is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for 0.8 FTE.

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)
  • 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 endeavor – 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.

Faculty of Humanities

The Faculty of Humanities links a number of fields of study: Language, Literature and Communication, Art & Culture, History, Antiquities and Philosophy. Our teaching and research focus on current societal and scientific themes: from artificial intelligence to visual culture, from urbanization to the history of slavery, from ‘fake news’ in journalism to communication in organizations. We strive to ensure small group sizes. Innovative education and interdisciplinary research are our hallmarks.

Working at the Faculty of Humanities means making a real contribution to the quality of leading education and research in an inspiring and personal work and study climate. We employ more than 250 staff members, and we are home to around 1,300 students.

Ancient Near Eastern Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Our Ancient History section, part of the Antiquity cluster of the Department of Art & Culture, History, and Antiquity, also covers the ancient Near East. It aims to cover long-term developments in the eastern Mediterranean area and Mesopotamia from 1000 BCE to 1000 CE, with a stress on social, cultural, and religious history. It combines a close philological study of texts with approaches to material culture and methodologies from the social sciences. Members of the section cooperate with archaeologists and classicists in the same cluster as well as with colleagues at the University of Amsterdam. Together we offer several disciplinary and interdisciplinary BA and MA programmes within the framework of the Amsterdam Centre for Ancient Studies and Archaeology (ACASA). Our research is facilitated by the VU-wide interfaculty research institute CLUE+ and by OIKOS, the national Research School in Classics.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button until May 5 2021 and upload the following documents:

  • a cover letter addressing the requirements mentioned above
  • your CV and publication record
  • a statement (max. 1200 words) on your plans for research
  • the names and e-mail addresses of two referees

Interviews and selection will take place in June 2021.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions

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

Name: Prof. Bas ter Haar Romeny
Position: Professor of Ancient Mediterranean and Middle Eastern History

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