PHD position at the University of Utrecht, Netherlands

Utrecht University’s Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences is looking for a PhD candidate on the project ‘Movement(s) along the Balkan Route’. Interested? Read more and apply here.


We seek to appoint a PhD candidate who will investigate the dynamics of migratory movements along the Balkan Route, and what forms of social movements and citizenship these movements engender – locally, nationally, and internationally. Theoretically aimed at the intersection of the two forms of movements, this project will make an ethnographic intervention to the hypothesis put forward recently by scholars of migration, whether and how we might think of migration as a social movement in its own right. Focusing on makeshift ‘camps’, grassroots humanitarian organisations, municipal offices, and townscapes around the Croatian-Bosnian border, this project will study these dynamics in one of the world’s most difficult and volatile migration bottlenecks in the present. 

The candidate will conduct multi-sited ethnographic research in northwest Bosnia and Herzegovina around the Croatian-Bosnian border, in the migration bottleneck where the movements intersect. Although the project will be located primarily in northwest Bosnia and Herzegovina, it will trace the movements to other nodes along the route in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and beyond. The project will draw on the methods of participant observation, ethnographic interviews, urban ethnography, content analysis, and visual anthropology. It will also engage with the recent turn to the materiality of clandestine migration. 

This project will be embedded in the Department of Cultural Anthropology’s research program Sovereignty and Social Contestation in Complex Societies (SoSCo), and the candidate will be supervised by Prof. Rebecca Bryant (promotor) and Dr. David Henig (co-promotor). Read more about the project here (.pdf)

Job tasks/responsibilities

  • Conducting the research (literature research, ethnographic data collection and analysis, reporting the results), resulting in international scientific publications and a dissertation.
  • Assist in data collection on militarized ecologies along the Croatian-Bosnian border.
  • To present results at national and international scientific conferences.
  • Teaching (max. 10% per year).
  • Active participation in the research group of the project and of the Department.
  • Ambition to collaborate with (inter)national partners and to pay visits to these partners.


We are looking for someone who:

  • holds (or nearly holds) a Master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology or a related field, preferably with a specialisation in human mobility, humanitarianism and/or social movements;
  • preferably has affinity with Bosnian (Croatian, Montenegrin, Serbian) language;
  • has good social skills;
  • is effective and efficient, and able to think conceptually;
  • is able to meet deadlines, and conduct research independently and as part of a team;
  • has good communication skills (written and oral) in English.


We offer a temporary position (1.0 FTE) for one year, starting preferably September 1, 2019. Upon a positive performance, the appointment will be extended for three further years. The gross salary – depending on previous qualifications and experience – ranges between €2,325 and €2,972 (scale P according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) gross per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8 % and a year-end bonus of 8.3 % per year. We offer a pension scheme, (partly paid) parental leave, collective insurance schemes and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information is available at our website: Working at Utrecht University.


A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

Utrecht is a young and vibrant city with a large academic population, around 30 minutes south of Amsterdam. It combines a beautiful old city centre with a modern university. Utrecht has an excellent quality of life, with plenty of green space and a strong bicycle culture.

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences is one of the leading Faculties in Europe providing research and academic teaching in Interdisciplinary Social Science, Cultural Anthropology, Educational Sciences, Pedagogical Sciences, Psychology, and Sociology. More than 5,600 students are enrolled in a broad range of undergraduate and graduate programmes. The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences has some 850 faculty and staff members, all providing their individual contribution to the training and education of young talent and to the research into and finding solutions for scientific and societal issues.


Additional information concerning this position can be obtained by contacting Dr. David Henig via

The first interviews will take place in the week of 17 June, 2019.