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 Chemistry on Ultramarine Degradation
for 36 hours per week


PhD position in Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry to study the degradation mechanism of blue ultramarine paints.

Job information

The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam in collaboration with the Faculties of Science and Humanities of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and AkzoNobel, is offering a PhD position in conservation science. The research focuses on the degradation mechanism of the blue ultramarine paints, natural as well as synthetic, and defining the most appropriate treatment approach. The PhD candidate will work closely together with the paintings scientist and conservators of the conservation department of the Rijksmuseum. The candidate will also work within the PAinT research project at the Van ‘t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences at the UvA. The PAinT team investigates the ageing, deterioration and migration processes inside mature oil paints related to pigment-binder interactions.


The successful candidate is a chemist specialized/experienced in (in)organic synthesis, surface chemistry, zeolite chemistry and catalysis, spectroscopic techniques, and/or mass spectrometry. He or she has a true interest to apply science to the field of cultural heritage.

Further information

Please contact Arie Wallert, should you require any further information on


The position would preferably start from 17 March 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 name of the vacancy in the subject line and arrange for two recommendation letters to be sent to the same address. The closing date for applications is February 10, 2014. Interviews will take place on February 27, 2014.