JOB: Postdoctoral Researcher in Sociology (University of Amsterdam; Application deadline 25 Aug 2023)

Are you interested in cultural sociology, and specifically in the rise of global economic elites and their impact on cultural fields? Is it your ambition to become a top-tier researcher?

The Department of Sociology is seeking a postdoctoral researcher for the project “The Return of the Medici? The Global Rise of Private Museums for Contemporary Art”, which is funded by the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO) and led by Professor Olav Velthuis. The researcher will be part of programme group Cultural Sociology of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR), and will as such be able to participate in activities of this research institute (e.g. research presentations, conferences, trainings/workshops).

The project studies the global rise of private art museums, in which private collectors open up their collections to the public, in different ways. Its main interest is in the role which these museums play in translating rising economic inequality into cultural forms of inequality. Quantitatively, it studies the reasons for the spectacular rise in the 21st century as well as the impact of private museums on the value of art and artistic careers. Qualitatively, it has zoomed in on specific regions including Brazil, Germany and Turkey. Since the project started, a database of private art museums and a public report on private museums have been established (available on

What are you going to do?
As postdoctoral researcher you will:

  • conduct empirical research, writing academic articles and a monography;
  • cooperate with other team members in developing & executing the research;
  • participate in conferences and seminars.

In terms of empirical focus, we are specifically looking for candidates interested in private museum finances and the role of tax incentives for private museums; in transparency and governance of private museums; in the analysis of private museums in specific regions, in particular in the global south; or in a systematic analysis of private museum founders’ motivations, e.g. on the basis of published interviews.


You have:

  • a completed Doctoral degree in Sociology or another relevant sub-discipline of Social Sciences or Humanities;
  • affinity with the cultural field;
  • publications in peer-reviewed journals or with established academic publishers;
  • extensive experience with empirical research;
  • excellent command of English.

Relevant language skills pertaining to the project countries will be considered as an advantage.

For full details, please see: