Postdoc/Senior Researcher for the Dissident Networks Project

Brno, Czech Republic
28 Jan 2021
End of advertisement period
15 Mar 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Department Faculty of Arts
Deadline 15 Mar 2021
Start date 1 September 2021


Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University announces an open competition for:

Two full-time postdoc or senior positions for historians in an ERC-funded digital research project on medieval heresy and inquisition

Department: Centre for the Digital Research of Religion, Department for the Study of Religions, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University

Position:  researcher (postdoc or senior)
Work time: 100%
Number of open positions:  2
Expected start: 1 September 2021
Duration: 31 August 2022 (probationary period), 31 August 2026 (full duration)
Deadline for applications: 15 March 2021 23:59 CET (UTC+1)

The Dissident Networks Project (DISSINET, - an ERC Consolidator Grant-funded research initiative based at Masaryk University (Brno, Czech Republic) - offers two full-time postdoctoral or senior research fellowships for historians with a medieval focus from September 2021 to August 2026.

The focus of research for the successful candidates will be the computational study of medieval religious dissent and inquisition, and will be founded on medieval inquisition records (c. 1230-1520)

The successful candidates will develop their own research direction in consultation with the Principal Investigator (Dr. David Zbíral). They will receive hands-on training, building on their core skills as medievalists through the use of computational techniques (social network analysis, geographic information systems, computational text analysis). The ERC-funded positions thus represent a unique opportunity for building a truly cutting-edge research profile.

The candidates’ Ph.D. research will have focused on any aspect of medieval or early modern European history or literature. They must have demonstrable competence in Latin and English language and in historical research, and a computer-friendly mindset (tables, digital tools).

Candidates with particular experience in heresy studiesnotarial recordsmedieval religionlate medieval history (c. 1200-1500, especially of France, Germany, Italy and England), social and economic approaches to the Middle Agesdigital humanities, quantitative history or historical network research are particularly encouraged to apply. Nevertheless, we are very open to candidates whose previous research has focused on any aspect, period or region of pre-modern Europe, provided that they have a willingness to engage deeply in DISSINET’s computational approach to the study of medieval religious dissent and inquisition.

The position is residential (although with reasonable flexibility for the duration of the pandemic). We are open to applications from those who have already completed their doctorates, and those who have submitted their thesis and are only awaiting the degree to be awarded. The successful candidates will be expected to have had their doctoral degree awarded prior to joining the project.

We offer:

  • A research position in an interdisciplinary team working on an exciting frontier-research project.
  • Growth in interdisciplinary digital research (databases, social network analysis, geographic information systems, computational text analysis).
  • Competitive salary.
  • Individual research budget for participating in conferences and workshops, buying books, etc. (ca. 4,000 € each year).
  • Participation in writing high-profile publications in history, social network analysis, and the digital humanities.
  • Friendly and informal working environment.

Expected work tasks:

  • Leading a key research strand within the larger project, concerning selected sets of medieval inquisitorial records.
  • Compiling structured datasets on the basis of inquisitorial records.
  • Co-authoring articles (incl. as lead author).
  • Participating in the team’s discussions, meetings, tutorials, and other activities.
  • Contributing to the project’s visibility (papers at conferences, publications, online outcomes, social media, etc.).
  • Reading and excerpting literature.
  • Organizational and administrative responsibilities related to the project.

Attachments to the application:

  • Letter of motivation (in English).
  • Two letters of recommendation from established scholars in a relevant field (candidates may either submit their referees’ letter themselves or, if preferable, ask their referee to send it to the PI confidentially at
  • Structured CV (in English) with an overview of competences, language skills (incl. Latin and English), previous research experience, and a list of publications (incl. submitted).
  • Two examples of academic texts (co-)authored by the applicant (in any European language).
  • Scanned proofs of the Ph.D. degree (e.g. academic transcript, certificate) or, if awaiting examination, written proof of thesis submission (dated no later than 15 March 2021).

The selection procedure has three rounds. The first will be based on the submitted attachments. In the second, the short-listed applicants will participate in tests (a translation test in Latin and a data entry test). In the third, they will discuss with the PI their possible research focus within the larger DISSINET project, turn the topic into a written research project proposal, and participate in an interview via videoconference.

The candidate’s Ph.D. degree does not need to be recent for this position. Career breaks do not pose any problem: we are very open to those seeking to return to academia, provided their skills and interests are suited to the role. Applications from female candidates are particularly encouraged.

Application with all required documents should be sent by e-application available below. Electronic application deadline is: March 15, 2021.