JOB Apr 22, 2024

PhD Position, Early Modern Art and Architecture, Brussels

Belgium, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Sep 1, 2024–Aug 31, 2028
Application deadline: Jun 7, 2024

Caterina Cardamone

The research project “Flanders in Florence: Architectural Exchanges from North to South, 1400-1600”, funded by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) and directed by Pieter Martens (VUB) in collaboration with Gianluca Belli (Università degli Studi di Firenze), is inviting applications for a full-time doctoral researcher from the field of early modern architectural history. The term for this position is 12 months extendable up to max. 48 months, on condition of the positive evaluation of the PhD activities), with planned starting date 01/09/2024.

Position description
The Faculteit Letteren en Wijsbegeerte, Department History, Archeology, Arts, Philosophy and Ethics, Research Group VISU (Histories of Art, Architecture and Visual Culture) is looking for a PhD-student with a doctoral grant.

More concretely your work package, for the preparation of a doctorate, contains:

You will work fulltime on a dissertation in the field of the history of art and architecture of the early modern period. You will be part of the four-year research project “Flanders in Florence: Architectural Exchanges from North to South, 1400-1600”, funded by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) and directed by Pieter Martens (VUB) in collaboration with Gianluca Belli (Università degli Studi di Firenze).

This project will be the first to investigate the role of ‘Le Fiandre’ for Florence’s architectural culture in the period 1400-1600. It does not argue for a marked Flemish influence on Florence’s Renaissance architecture but intends to study how the intense commercial, artistic, political and military ties with the Low Countries have enriched Florence’s broad architectural culture. While the impact of Flemish painting on Florentine art is well-studied, the transfer of architectural ideas, images, materials and techniques from Flanders to Florence remains a blind spot in scholarship on Renaissance Florence’s internationalism.

As a successfully selected candidate, you will contribute to the project’s objectives by completing a PhD dissertation focussing on the part of the project that investigates interactions between architecture and the visual arts. This comprises research on:
- the works of Flemish glaziers and glass painters in Florence;
- the presence of Flemish paintings in Florentine buildings, including their content, reception and spatial setting;
- the architecture depicted in Flemish artworks (paintings, tapestries, prints, drawings) that were present in Florence and/or made for Florentine patrons;
- Flemish influences on Florentine depictions of the built environment.

Your research activities will be primarily carried out at the VUB within research group VISU (Histories of Art, Architecture and Visual Culture) but you will also travel and spend research time in Florence. The planned doctorate will likely become a joint PhD with the Università degli Studi di Firenze.

You will be expected to present your research results at international conferences, to (co)author scientific publications, to complete your PhD dissertation, and to contribute to the organisation of meetings, research activities and other tasks related to the project.

You will also contribute to the workings of research group VISU and the Faculty of Languages and Humanities by participating in their academic activities and carrying out minor administrative and organisational tasks.

For this function, our Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering Campus (Elsene) will serve as your home base.

- You hold a Master’s degree (to be completed by the start date of the position) in architectural history or a closely related field such as art history, art sciences, archaeology, history, architecture or architectural engineering, with excellent study results.
- You have an excellent command of English (project language) and are proficient in reading Italian. Knowledge of additional languages including Dutch, French and German is an asset.
- You have excellent academic writing skills.
- You are motivated, flexible and perseverant in research.
- You are capable of working independently, with good organisational and planning skills, and are willing to communicate and collaborate actively as a team member.
- You are willing to travel for project-related research activities.
- Having an interdisciplinary profile with knowledge of the art, architecture, history and research methods (including archival research) relevant to the project is a plus.
- You have not performed any works in the execution of a mandate as an assistant, paid from operating resources, over a total (cumulated) period of more than 12 months.

The VUB wants to be a reflection of the society where everyone's talent is valued, regardless of gender, age, religion, skin color, migration background, disability and neurodiversity.

You’ll be offered a full-time PhD-scholarship, for 12 months (extendable up to max. 48 months, on condition of the positive evaluation of the PhD activities), with planned starting date 01/09/2024.

You’ll receive a grant linked to one of the scales set by the government.

IMPORTANT: The effective result of the doctorate scholarship is subject to the condition precedent of your enrolment as a doctorate student at the university.

At the VUB, you’re guaranteed an open, involved and diverse workplace where you are offered opportunities to (further) build on your career.

As well as this, you will also enjoy various other benefits:
- Extensive homeworking options, a telework allowance of 50 euros per month OR an internet fee of 20 euros per month;
- An open and informal working environment where attention is paid to work-life balance, and exceptional holiday arrangements with 35 days of leave (based on a fulltime contract), closure between Christmas and New Year and 3 extra leave days;
- Cost-free hospitalisation insurance;
- Full reimbursement of your home-to-work commute with public transport according to VUB-policy, and/or compensation if you come by bike;
- A wide selection of meals in our campus restaurants at attractive prices;
- Excellent and affordable facilities for sport and exercise, a range of discounts via BenefitsWork (in all kinds of shops, on flights, in petrol stations, amusement parks...) and Ecocheques;
- Nursery near campus, discount on holiday camps;
- The space to form your job content and to continuously learn through our VUB learning platforms and training courses;
- And finally: great colleagues with a healthy drive.

Then apply, at the latest by 7 June 2024, via, and upload the following documents:
- your CV; containing an overview of your study, work, relevant experience and publications (if any);
- your motivation letter; wherein you explain how you fit the criteria and why you should be considered for this position;
- your diploma (not applicable for VUB alumni);
- the names and contact details of two referees (e.g. academic advisor or employer) who can speak to your academic credentials and personal character;
- a specimen of your academic writing, such as a chapter of your master thesis or a recent publication.

Do you have questions about the job content? Contact Pieter Martens at or on +32 2 629 13 76.

Would you like to know what it’s like to work at the VUB? Go to, and find all there is to know about our campuses, benefits, strategic goals and your future colleagues.
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Pleas apply via the online form:

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