FUNDING PhD-scholarship “GIStorical Antwerp”

The University of Antwerp Centre for Urban History (Belgium), is looking for a historian, geographer or GIS-expert for a four-year PHD-scholarship (2012-2016) in the context of a new research project:

GIStorical Antwerp: a micro-level data tool for the study of past urban societies, test-case: Antwerp

GIStorical Antwerp is a challenging research project funded by the Flemish Hercules Foundation (Medium-size research infrastructure) and the University of Antwerp. It aims to design a GIS (Geographical Information Systems)-environment and micro-level data tool for the historical analysis of urban societies and environments, taking the city of Antwerp as an example, and using space to integrate a wide variety of historical geo-data (ranging from census and cadastral data, to building permits, archeological excavation reports, crime statistics, building permits, urban iconography etc.) at the level of the individual house
and household. For the inner city of Antwerp — one of the major commercial centers of the Low Countries since the later Middle Ages – a GIS-framework will be created that allows to integrate and analyse these data, and map their spatial and chronological development. In a first phase, the project will be emphasizing on 18th and 19th century Antwerp, but follow-up projects will be developed that aim to expand its chronological range from the medieval period until the 20th century, as well to transfer the system to test-cases outside Antwerp as well. Together with the team of the UA-Centre for Urban History and the City of Antwerp, and the supervisors of the project Bruno Blondé, Tim Soens and Tim Bisschops, the PhD-student will not only be developing the GIS-environment and data-sets, but also test its functionality through a PhD-project on the environmental and/or spatial history of Antwerp in the ‘long’ 19th century.

You are:
– EITHER a Master, Licentiate (or equivalent) in History with a profound research interest in large-scale datasets, and willing to become an expert in historical GIS.
– OR a Master, Licentiate (or equivalent) in Geography, Archeology, Urban Planning or other relevant disciplines in Humanities, Social or Natural Sciences, with a profound research interest in (urban) history.
– Passionate about old maps and the history of cartography.
– Both an independent worker and a teamplayer
– Qualified to obtain a Belgian PhD doctoral grant (not having received a Belgian doctoral grant before and not having worked as a scientific collaborator or assistant at the University of Antwerp longer than 1 year).

Candidates who will obtain a Master’s degree at the end of the present academic year may apply.

– designing, developing and expanding the GIStorical Antwerp infrastructure (in close collaboration with the other members of the project team)
– input and analysis of large datasets on 18th and 19th century Antwerp (e.g. maps, census data, tax lists, iconographic data etc.)
– preparing a PhD on the environmental and/or spatial history of Antwerp in the ‘long’ 19th century

We offer:
– A Four-year PhD-doctoral Grant (2012-2016)
– an attractive and highly stimulating research environment.
– A highly competitive financial remuneration scheme (doctoral grant about 1800-1900 € per month net (tax-exempt).
– The opportunity to develop highly divergent and multifunctional research skills, including GIS, data analysis, iconographic analysis.
– The opportunity to embark on a longer-term research project, as the explicit aim of the research team is to continue the development and extension of the infrastructure by applying for additional research funding beyond 2016.

How to apply?
Send a cover letter, your CV, and a copy of your undergraduate and Master’s degrees before August 20, 2012 to (e-mail).
Interviews will be organised in the second half of August. The PhD fellowship will normally start on October 1, 2012.

Tim Soens
Departement Geschiedenis — Department of History
Universiteit Antwerpen — University of Antwerp