Job Opportunity: Permanent Lecturer / Post Doctoral Researcher for the KBR Digital Research Lab


Towards a KBR Digital Research Lab and knowledge network for the study of Belgium’s digitised and born-digital historical, literary and cultural heritage of the 19th - 21st centuries (BELSPO, FED-tWIN)

The aim of the KBR Digital Research Lab is to establish a long-term cooperation between the Ghent Centre for Digital Humanities (GhentCDH, also acting as national coordinating node of DARIAH-BE and the CLARIAH-VL Open Humanities Service Infrastructure) and the Royal Library of Belgium (KBR) to: a) facilitate data-level access to KBR’s digitised and born-digital collections, including integration into the KBR’s library management system, digitisation and (semi) automatic creation and enrichment of metadata workflows, b) ensure that the digitised and born-digital collections are embedded into the researcher’s workflow, in a user-friendly manner and c) optimise the digitised collections for using digital humanities research methods, such text and data mining.

The Belgian government has invested significantly in the digitisation of the collections of the Federal Scientific Institutions. The KBR’s digitisation of the Belgian Press 1830-1950 being a flagship example. Although the digitisation of these valuable Belgian literary, cultural and historical heritage collections represents a major achievement, the true potential of these resources for digital humanities research is as yet underexploited. Without the assistance of advanced digital methods and distributed computing infrastructures it is simply impossible to investigate and to give meaning to this large amount of mostly unstructured data on human culture that is - to a certain extent - locked in textual documents.

The Ghent Centre for Digital Humanities and KBR, Royal Library of Belgium are delighted to welcome applications for a post doctoral researcher for the KBR Digital Research Lab.

Job Profile

General requirements

  • You are collaborative by nature and willing to share your opinions, contribute ideas and build bridges between colleagues.
  • You have the commitment, the will and the ambition to achieve results and are willing to stand behind your choice of direction.
  • You guarantee that the intended results will be achieved and aligned with the structure, policy and objectives of both organisations. To ensure this, you will keep yourself informed of the environment in which the KBR Digital Research Lab operates.

Technical Skills

  • Knowledge of the intellectual, cultural of literary history of the 19th and 20th centuries
  • You have a high degree of technical and digital literacy, for example in-depth knowledge of programming languages used in the humanities (e.g. Python, R, ...), web and metadata standards, interoperability and data exchange

Essential Criteria

Research and Teaching Experience
  • You have digital humanities research experience
  • You have teaching experience and supervision of students
  • You have national and international publications
  • You have experience in applying for research funding
  • PhD in Humanities, Social Sciences, Computational Linguistics or Computer, Information or Library Sciences (that was defended no longer than 12 years ago).


  • You have an affinity with the library sector and are knowledgeable about the context and mission of KBR, Royal Library of Belgium
  • You have good active knowledge of Dutch, French and/or English.

Our offer

The position is combined contract between both partners:

  • a half-time, permanent (19 hours per week) as "work leader" (scientific personnel, level SW2) at KBR, Keizerslaan 4, Brussels
  • a half-time appointment as lecturer (10%) and a permanent contract as a postdoctoral researcher (40%) at Ghent University, History Department, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 35, UFO.

The candidate must be prepared to hold both half-time positions and must also apply for both positions. Start of appointment: 1 February 2020.

Application procedure

  • To apply for this position please send your CV, motivation letter and list of publications by email to with the reference KBR-2019-20, by 8th December 2019.
  • If more than 5 applications are received that meet the essential criteria, then a first selection will be made on the basis of the CVs.
  • The shortlisted candidates will be invited for a 45 interview on 16th December 2019.

Further information

Further details including a full job description and details about the employee benefits (in Dutch) is available on the websites of Ghent University and KBR.

Would you like to know more?

  • Christophe Verbruggen, Director, Ghent Centre for Digital Humanities (GhentCDH, Ghent University) Tel.: +32 (0)9 331.02.76 E-mail:
  • Sophie Vandepontseele, Director of Contemporary Collections (KBR, Royal Library of Belgium) Tel.: +32 (0)2 519 53 93 E-mail: