JOB: PhD Candidate The value appraisal of high-value artworks (Maastricht University; Application deadline 14 Aug 2023)

Maastricht University is seeking a PhD Candidate to join the NWO funded public-private research consortium Priceless Assets of Subversion: Financial Crime and the Valuation of Unique Goods (PRICELESS).

This is one of two PhD positions within the PRICELESS project that are currently being advertised.
Fixed-term contract: 1 + 3 years.

As a PhD Candidate in PRICELESS you will investigate the value appraisal of works of art (including crypto art and NFTs) across professional contexts and different public and private stakeholders from an anthropological and sociological perspective.

The main research question of your PhD project is how does high-value art get appraised? This involves the following key dimensions: which individuals and organisations are involved in appraisal processes? Which devices and techniques do they deploy in appraising art? Which individuals and organisations commission appraisals and for which purposes (e.g. tax filings, insurance, accounting, or financial assetization)? In addressing these questions, your research will aim at 1) mapping the (networks of) actors and the factors of valuation and revaluation processes and practices, and 2) understanding the authoritative norms and forms of appraisal expertise.

In this four-year academic position, you will conduct research leading to a final dissertation. You will work with the supervisors, as well as with the greater PRICELESS consortium to achieve project goals and produce project outputs. You will also participate in PRICELESS consortium events, outreach activities, and research meetings. The PRICELESS consortium consists of a large group of both public and private partners, allowing for a mutually beneficial networking and research experience. A percentage of your time may be dedicated to gaining teaching experience.

This PhD project will be supervised by Christoph Rausch (Maastricht Centre for Arts and Culture, Conservation and Heritage (MACCH), Maastricht University) and Olav Velthuis (Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR), University of Amsterdam).


The ideal candidate for this position:

  • Has earned a master’s degree in anthropology, sociology, or a closely related discipline (including art history and cultural studies)
  • Has experience in conducting research and analysing data on (art) appraisal practices and/or markets in high value unique goods such as the art market
  • Has experience in qualitative research
  • Has a high proficiency in spoken and written English and Dutch (or a willingness to learn)

For full details, please see: