As the National Museum of Art and History of the Netherlands, the Rijksmuseum holds canonical collections of Netherlandish fine and applied arts and historical artefacts from the Middle Ages onwards, supplemented by important holdings of other European and Asian arts. Its principal function is to study, enhance and augment these collections and to present them for the enjoyment and benefit of a broad national and international audience. The Rijksmuseum, which is staffed by some 600 employees, was reopened on 13th April 2013 after an intensive refurbishment, and expects to attract over a million visitors per year.

Applications are invited for the post of:

PHD in Analytical Chemistry, Titanium dioxide white in modern artists' paints
*for 36 hours per week*


PhD position in Organometallic/Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry Titanium dioxide white in modern artists' paints.

Job information

The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, in collaboration with the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE) ,the Technical University of Delft (TUD) and AkzoNobel, are offering a PhD position in conservation science.
Titanium dioxide white is at present the most important pigment used in the paint industry. Introduced in the 1920s, within decades it has become a very important artist pigment, gradually replacing the lead white that had been used since antiquity. Titanium white is photo-catalytically active, yet its destructive properties have been successfully tackled by coating the individual pigment particles. However, degradation phenomena such as chalking have been observed in titanium white paints, in modern paintings as well as in retouching paints used by conservators. Visible changes also occur in the course of time which may not be attributed to the white pigment but to the binding medium and its propensity to attract and imbibe dirt, or to yellow.

The research will focus on the use of the pigment in artists' paints, the mid- and long term degradation mechanisms and visual changes that may occur.

The candidate will work within the RCE research department and at the TUD in collaboration with the Rijksmuseum research and conservation staff. Further collaboration will take place with partner institutes and museums in the Netherlands and abroad, as well as AkzoNobel.


The successful candidate is a chemist with a background in analytical surface chemistry, photochemistry, organic chemistry and/or mass spectrometry, and an evident affinity to art technology and conservation of cultural heritage.

Further information

Please contact for further information dr. Klaas Jan van den Berg,; or Prof. dr. Joris Dik,


Preferably the position will start 1 April 2014. The full-time appointment will be on a temporary basis for a maximum period of four years (18 months plus a further 30 months after a positive evaluation) and will lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). The candidate is expected to attend courses and (international) meetings and to disseminate the research outcome to the conservation field. Based on a full-time appointment (36 hours per week) the gross monthly salary will range from € 2.103,- in the first year to € 2.665,- in the final year, according to the Dutch salary scales for PhD students. The collective labour agreement (CAO) for independent national museums applies.

Job application

Interested applicants should email a Letter of Motivation and CV to, quoting the vacancy name in the subject line and arrange for two recommendation letters to be sent to the same address.
The closing date for applications is February 17, 2014. The interview will take place on Monday, March 10, 2014.