PhD Fellowships in Hellenistic Sport and Festival Culture 2018, University of Groningen, Netherlands

University of Groningen


September 09, 2018

Opportunity Cover Image - PhD Fellowships in Hellenistic Sport and Festival Culture 2018, University of Groningen, Netherlands

2 PhD positions hellenistic sport and festival culture (2.0 FTE) (218379-80)


The Faculty of Arts is a large, dynamic faculty in the heart of the city of Groningen. It has more than 5000 students and 700 staff members. The Faculty offers a wide range of degree programmes: 15 bachelor's programmes and over 35 master's specialisations. The Departments of Classics and Ancient History ranked worldwide #27 in the 2018 QS ranking.

Job description

Keywords: Ancient History, Hellenistic History, Sport History, Networks, Digital Humanities

Applications are invited for 2 PhD positions (AIO) in the research project ‘Connecting the Greeks: Multi-scalar festivals in the Hellenistic world’ funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The research team is directed by Prof Onno van Nijf and Dr Christina Williamson.

The goal of this project is to investigate festival networks in the Hellenistic world. Greek cities, regional leagues, and rulers invested heavily in festival infrastructures as a means of creating collective identities at different levels. Their rituals and rules made festivals excellent coordinating mechanisms. As a result, athletes, performers, and officials crisscrossed the Hellenistic world, promoting cultural and political communication while raising awareness of shared values and creating a sense of common Greek identity.

Two PhD projects will focus on festival networks at different scales.
One PhD project addresses this phenomenon at a Panhellenic scale by focusing on festivals involving Hellenistic rulers and ruler cult. This project uses network analysis to interpret the role of these festivals as integral to empire-formation.

The second PhD project addresses festival network dynamics at a regional level. The project charts the developments and fluctuations (lifeline) of regional festivals in the Hellenistic era as a means of establishing regional identity. This project uses both network analysis and agent-based modelling to produce hypotheses on further festival connectivities (catchment areas, festival circuits).

Candidates will also contribute to the further development of an online (geo)database of festivals and festival agents (athletes, performers, theoroi) that will make it easy to plot individual mobility and festival connectivities over time and place. A fully operative database is already available on

For more information on the project see:

NB A third related PhD project on Rome-oriented cults and festivals will be advertised separately as part of the Anchoring Innovation research initiative of the Dutch National Research School in Classical Studies - OIKOS


⁃ MA degree in Ancient History, Classics or Archaeology
⁃ good knowledge of ancient Greek
⁃ excellent oral and written skills in English and a good knowledge of modern languages (German, French)
⁃ interest in digital approaches to ancient history (including network theory)
⁃ willingness to contribute on a regular basis to a project database and a project website
⁃ interest in methodological and theoretical discussions in the field of ancient history
⁃ strong motivation to complete a PhD dissertation in 4 years
⁃ proactive attitude
⁃ excellent social, communicative and writing skills, ability to work in a team
⁃ willingness to share in the organisation of the interfaculty research group CRASIS:

Conditions of employment

The University of Groningen offers a salary of € 2,266 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 2,897 gross per month in the fourth year, based on a full-time position (1.0 FTE), in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (cao NU), excluding a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual income and a 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance.

The 1.0 FTE appointment is temporary for a specified period of four years. It is possible to make this into a 0.8 FTE position for a period of five years.

The candidate will first be appointed for 12 months. After 9 months, an assessment will take place of the candidate's results and the progress of the project to decide whether the employment will be continued.

The appointment will be effective from 1 February 2019.

The PhD candidates will be enrolled in the Graduate School for the Humanities, affiliated with the Research Institute for the Study of Culture Groningen (ICOG), and based at the chair group Ancient History. The candidates will be expected to be normally resident in Groningen.

You may apply for this position until 9 September 23:59h / before 10 September 2018 Dutch local time by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

Applications should be in English, and should contain the following:
• a letter of motivation
• a curriculum vitae (including date and place of birth, copies of MA-degree, and a transcript of the grades obtained)
• a copy of the passport
• details of publications if any.
• names and contact details of two academic referees.

Please upload your application documents in one single pdf-file (under ‘CV’ attachment in the online application form). Shortlisted candidates will be asked to prepare a short research proposal developing one of the PhD projects, of max 1000-1500 words excluding bibliography.
The interviews with the selected candidates will be held in October 2018. For candidates living abroad interviews may be held via Skype.

Precise date to be announced.

Drs. Marijke Wubbolts may be contacted for practical information (, please do not use for applications)

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


For information you can contact:

  • Prof. Onno van Nijf (may be contacted informally about the project),
  • Dr. Christina Williamson (may be contacted informally about the project),

Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

Eligible Countries
Host Country
Publish Date
August 27, 2018
Link To Original