Postdoc researcher

The Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology @CADSLeiden is looking for a Postdoc researcher for 'Prototyping Welfare' project (0.8 FTE); application deadline: 6 November 2022



Vacancy number: 22-648 12962
Job type: Academic staff
Hours (in fte): 0,8
External/ internal: External
Location: Leiden
Placed on: 11 October 2022
Closing date: 6 November 2022

The Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology (CADS, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences) is looking for a

Postdoc researcher for 'Prototyping Welfare' project (0.8 FTE)  
Vacancy number 22-648 12962

The Postdoc would preferably start on 1 February 2023. This position is based in Leiden, but your fieldwork will be conducted in the United Kingdom.

Postdoctoral research position (4 years, 0,8 FTE)

We are looking for a Postdoc for the research project 'Prototyping Welfare in Europe: Experiments in State and Society' funded by a Vici grant (NWO). For this position, you will conduct long-term ethnographic research on welfare experiments and contribute to a comparative analysis of welfare experiments in four European cities. You will conduct your field work in Manchester or a comparable city in the United Kingdom. The Principal Investigator and two PhDs will conduct research in cities in France (Marseille), the Netherlands (Amsterdam), and Greece (Athens or Thessaloniki).

The Prototyping Welfare project develops a comparative anthropological approach to welfare experiments in Europe, exploring what governmental and communal relations they craft, and what socio-political futures they prefigure. Across Europe, neighborhoods, schools and community centers are turned into living labs to experiment with doing welfare differently. They seek to craft models for future welfare arrangements, essentially prototyping welfare. This project examines such welfare prototyping in four European cities with distinct governmental traditions, welfare structures, social fault lines and political anxieties. The project is led by Principal Investigator Anouk de Koning.

Job Description
You will conduct long-term ethnographic research in a city in the UK. You will study two to four welfare experiments, which may be initiated by (semi-)state actors or by civil society organizations or citizen collectives. You’ll become part of the ‘crafting communities’ that you study. Throughout your research, you’ll work closely with the other members of the research team in the comparative analysis, and in translating the research findings into a language and form relevant for a range of interested publics.

For this Postdoc position, you will contribute to the following work packages:

Work package 1: Welfare Prototyping in Europe - For this work package, you will create an extended case study that seeks to document the collective arrangements prototyped by welfare experiments in Europe, and explore how they reconstitute state, civil society, community, and citizens. Your case study will also explore how these new collective arrangements articulate with racialized fault lines.

Work package 2: Comparing welfare worlds - In close collaboration with the PI, and the PhD candidates, you will combine the ethnographic findings of work package 1 in a comparative analysis to outline and theorize the distinct, historically sedimented nature of these welfare experiments, and by extension, the larger welfare worlds of which they are part.

Work package 3: Knowledge utilization and dissemination - For this work package, you will translate your research findings into accessible outputs suited to a range of audiences, including policy makers, social professionals and engaged citizens.

Your Profile

  • PhD in Cultural Anthropology or other relevant social science;
  • Demonstrated passion and aptitude for scholarly research;
  • Extensive experience with ethnographic research, and with independently conducting and coordinating research in a diverse, metropolitan environment;
  • Affinity with research on policy and welfare worlds and with the lives and experiences of residents in a diverse and/or metropolitan environment;
  • Ability to switch between low-level contact with residents and professionals and formal levels of government;
  • Demonstrated interest in working with community partners, and in working for general audiences;
  • Independent work attitude and demonstrable ability to work in a team;
  • Excellent academic English (written and spoken).

About the faculty
The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences consists of five institutes: Education and Child Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology and the Centre for Science and Technology Studies. The faculty has approximately 7,000 students and 1,025 employees. The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences brings together high-quality research and outstanding teaching as well as in multidisciplinary approaches. Please, visit the faculty’s website for more information. 

Our Organization
This project is embedded in the Institute for Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology. Our research program Global vulnerabilities and social resilience addresses ‘Diversity’, ‘Sustainability’ and ‘Digitalization’ as intersecting areas of critical investigation. Information about the Institute for Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology can be found here: 

What we offer
This position is for parttime employment (0.8 FTE) for 4 years. An appointment in accordance with the collective agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO), initially for a period of 1 year. After a positive evaluation, an extension will follow with a new contract for three years (0.8 FTE). The salary is, depending on education and work experience, a minimum of €3974 and a maximum of €5439,- gross per month for a full-time appointment (scale 11).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. More at

Diversity and inclusion
In light of Institute’s and PI’s commitment to diversity, and since diversity and inequality are key themes in the project, we strive for a research team that reflects society in all its facets. We therefore strongly encourage applications from people of color and/or with a migration background to apply.


For more information about the content of this position, please contact our project manager Sarah Smith, email: s.e.c.smith[ at  ]  She can answer your questions and share the project proposal with you.

More information about PI Anouk de Koning:

How to apply
You can apply exclusively through our online application system. Please use the blue button at the top of this page. We must receive your application no later than 6 November 2022.

Please include in your application: your letter of motivation, your resume (curriculum vitae) and a short vision on the subproject (which you also connect to the own academic, professional, and/or personal experience, and commitment that you bring to the project - max. 500 words), two references (these may be from within the socials sciences or beyond - please only provide names and contact details), and one publication (your PhD dissertation or a comparable publication).

The selection procedure will take place on 7 November, followed by a first round of interviews on 14 November. These interviews may be held online.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated


More details

Sarah Smith

s.e.c.smith[ at ]