Vacature: PhD position Coal at the cross roads: the rise and fall of an industry in the 19th and 20th century

In cooperation with the Centre for the Social History of Limburg (SHCL) and the Centre for the Regional History of Limburg (RHCL), the Department of History in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences offers a PhD position in transnational mining history. The project is broadly conceived, and is open to enthusiastic early-stage researchers aspiring to pursue a PhD in contemporary history.

Climate change and energy transition have re-ignited interest in the history of coal mining. The project team sees coal not just as an outdated fossil fuel, but rather as a point of departure for further research into the history of the social, cultural, economic, technical and environmental transformations that have been triggered by massive exploitation of energy resources. The recently catalogued archive of the Domaniale Mijn, a mining company operating between Kerkrade in the Netherlands and Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle) in Germany, opens exciting new avenues for historical research, also in a comparative framework. The digital catalogue of the Domaniale Mijn archive can be requested from

Different perspectives, ranging from business history to socio-economic history, and from the history of technology to landscape and environmental history, can be fruitfully explored. The candidate’s preference and background will play a major role in the focus and approach that the project will eventually adopt.

The candidate is expected to possess:
* A (Research) Master degree in History or a related field;
* Good (passive) knowledge of Dutch and of German (because of the main languages of the historical sources);
* Outstanding writing skills;
* Ability to work both independently and as part of a team

The researcher will be based at Maastricht University, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and undertake a 6-month secondment at the Sociaal Historisch Centrum voor Limburg (Centre for the Social History of Limburg) SHCL, the Netherlands and/or the Regionaal Historisch Centrum voor Limburg (Centre for the Regional History of Limburg), the Netherlands.

Supervision team:
Supervisor: Nico Randeraad, Extraordinary Professor, Director of the Centre for the Social History of Limburg, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University
Co-supervisor: Ad Knotter, Honorary professor, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University
External supervisor: Ben Gales, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Groningen
Any inquiries about the position or the project may be addressed to the supervisor.

You are invited to apply for a 4 year PhD position in the project “LIMES – the hardening and softening of borders”. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 847596.

Because the PhD candidates work in a larger research project, team work is essential. In addition to individual work on their dissertations, the PhD candidates will contribute to regular project team meetings and joint academic publications. The PhD candidates will receive extensive training, including regular supervision, training by the Graduate Schools of the relevant faculties, and the partner organisations, where they can benefit from a secondment.

For more information, click here.