Senior Academic Staff and postdoc researcher / Work Leader (KMKG) BELCAIRE: Belgian Carriage Interior Research Project

WorkplaceAntwerpen, Flemish Region, Belgium
Senior Academic Staff and postdoc researcher / Work Leader (KMKG) BELCAIRE: Belgian Carriage Interior Research Project

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Department: Heritage
Regime Full-time

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The Royal Museums of Art and History (RMAH) are part of the federal scientific institutions, which in turn are managed by the FPS Science Policy. In addition to the presentation of their permanent collections and the organization of temporary exhibitions, the RMAH fulfill a series of tasks. It is:

  • the acquisition and conservation of works of art and documentary works with a museum and scientific importance in relation to the collections;
  • keeping a general inventory in which each art object is registered, stating the date of acquisition, provenance, purchase price and other relevant information;
  • the establishment of an archive repository, a documentation center with regard to the collections and a library specialized in the domains present in the institution;
  • collecting scientific and documentary data on the collections;
  • scientific work related to the collections;
  • the valorisation and dissemination of results of scientific research on a national and international level;
  • active participation in scientific missions;
  • active participation in scientific projects and meetings at national and international level;
  • service to the public by providing information about the collections, the organization of didactic activities, the provision of assistance to researchers;
  • the creation of a database relating to art collections, archives, the library;
  • issuing scientific publications intended both for the scientific field and for the general

The Faculty of Design Sciences of the University of Antwerp and the Royal Museums of Art and History (RMAH) have the following full-time vacancy (100%) vacant.

This position consists of two related appointments in the context of the federal government's FED-tWIN funding program, in particular:

  1. A part-time (10%) appointment as Senior Academic Staff (ZAP) and a part-time (40%) appointment as postdoc researcher (BAP) at UAntwerpen, Faculty of Design Sciences, ARCHES research group (Conservation-Restoration educational program)
  2. Part-time (50%) appointment as Work Leader (Class SW2) at the RMAH

FED-tWIN is a federal research program of the Federal Public Service Science Policy Programming Service (BELSPO) with the aim of stimulating sustainable cooperation between ten federal science institutions and Belgian Universities through the funding of joint research profiles.

This vacancy is part of the FED-tWIN research profile Prf-2021-041 BELCAIRE : Belgian Carriage Interior Research Project. The scientific analyses of historical materials and techniques and historical interiors of Hippomobile heritage in de collection of KMKG-MRAH. You implement the FED-tWIN BELCAIRE research profile in the UAntwerpen (50%) and KMKG (50%).

Brief description of the FED-tWIN BELCAIRE research profile

The KMKG-MRAH holds an exceptional collection of about eighty carriages and sledges dating from the late 17th until the early 20th C, including 11 coaches on loan from the Belgian Royal House. Although these objects accurately reflect the historical innovations in technology and material science of their era, hippomobile heritage remains an understudied field in heritage science. In recent years, a preliminary damage assessment of the KMKG-MRAH collection highlighted the exceptional original state of the objects, but in parallel raised concern for the poor material condition, especially of the interiors that include upholstery, shades, cushions, passementary and trimmings. A survey highlighted the complexity of preserving these mixed-material interiors, bringing instable inorganic materials (e.g., corroding metal) in close contact with sensitive organic materials such as (oiled) textile fibres, leather and early synthetic materials. As such, the goal of BELCAIRE is to develop a model for a long-term preservation strategy not only targeting the KMKG-MRAH collection but applicable to all hippomobile heritage. Therefore the researcher gains insight into the largely unknown, innovative materials and craftmanship employed for the manufacture of carriages by combining the study of historical sources (patents and manuals) with a careful optical inspection and chemo-physical characterization of a selection of carriages. In the first phase/two years, BELCAIRE focuses on four case studies which are representative for various social classes. In later years enlarging this corpus will allow finetuning and benchmarking the obtained insights. After this material study ongoing degradation phenomena are identified and listed whereas their mechanisms and urgency are further assessed through the production and artificial ageing of mock-ups. Based on the obtained insights, a generic risk assessment model is drawn up for hippomobile heritage, guiding curators and conservators in their decision-making processes for active and passive conservation. In this way, BELCAIRE aims to close the knowledge gap on the conservation and preservation of hippomobile heritage and contributes to the understanding of cumulative damage caused by mixed materials and techniques in carriage interiors in particular.

A detailed description, including work plan for the first two years, can be obtained via or

Position at the University of Antwerp

  • The 10% ZAP assignment focuses on the three core tasks of Independent Academic Personnel, namely education, research and services.
  • The 40% BAP assignment is aimed at research.


  • You provide high-quality education in the domain of Conservation-Restoration.
  • You hold a teaching assignment with an equivalent of at least 6 ECTS credits in which you lecture practice-oriented topics such as "Conservation skills” or “Conservation treatment” at bachelor or master level.
  • You contribute to the development of activating, student-centred and competence-oriented courses and study programmes.
  • You will supervise students and their Bachelor, Master and/or doctoral dissertations.


  • You will develop historical and material-technical research in the field of hippomobile heritage, focusing on the collection of the KMKG-MRAH.
  • You initiate new lines of research and coordinate the progress of scientific research projects. You also participate in ongoing research programmes.
  • You actively build on networks with stakeholders in the heritage sector from local to international level.
  • You will acquire and manage (inter)national research funding.


  • You take on internal policy tasks.
  • You will play a role in the provision of both academic services and service to society, within the institution and externally.
  • You provide advice within and outside the University of Antwerp, among other things, and act as an expert / reviewer for national and foreign institutions.

Position at the Royal Museums of Art and History

  • You develop historical and material-technical research in the field of hippomobile heritage.
  • Your attention is initially focused on the KMKG-MRAH collection of carriages and sledges, but also on relevant and related sub-collections and external collections if relevant.
  • You consult with the various curators.
  • You actively build on networks with stakeholders in the heritage sector from local to international level.
  • You contribute actively to the museum inventory.
  • You are responsible for making material-technical and historical data accessible within the MuseumPlus Collection Management system of KMKG-MRAH.
  • You participate in educational programs of KMKG-MRAH in the form of lectures, guided tours, texts, publications and workshops etc.
  • You strengthen the collaboration with the University of Antwerp by integrating the KMKG-MRAH collections into your educational program.
  • You actively contribute to the task of preserving the hippomobile collections.


  • You hold a PhD in the field of conservation and restoration.
  • You have evident knowledge of art history, more specifically in the field of applied arts and in particular on European furniture and upholstery of the 18th and 19th
  • You have a demonstrable interest in the field of historical carriages and sledges.
  • You obtained a PhD no more than 12 years before the predetermined deadline for submitting the application This 12-year period is extended by one year for any absence due to pregnancy, parental or adoption leave, as well as any long absence due to illness of the candidate or long absence due to illness of a first degree relative.
  • You can demonstrate expertise in systematic material-technical research of corpora of heritage objects and the linking of the resulting insights with research into historical textual sources.
  • You can demonstrate expertise in the active and passive conservation of movable heritage
  • You can demonstrate expertise in organizing and providing lectures and tutorials in an academic context and in supervising and following up Bachelor and Master dissertations
  • You can demonstrate expertise in various scientific analytical methods and are able to interpret the results and contextualize these historically.
  • You have practical knowledge of the collection management system MuseumPlus.
  • You have a proven record of passive and active object conservation and collection management (2-4 years), or alike experience (2-4 years).
  • You can demonstrate expertise in various scientific analytical methods and are able to interpret the results and contextualize these historically.
  • You have practical knowledge of the collection management system MuseumPlus.
  • You have a proven record of passive and active object conservation and collection management (2-4 years), or alike experience (2-4 years).
  • You master the technique of upholstering furniture and upholstery and textile conservation in addition he/she should have a strong theoretical and hands-on experience with a broad variety of historical materials such as textiles, leather, early synthetic materials.
  • Your expertise is complementary to the expertise within the research group ARCHES of UAntwerpen and the KMKG-MRAH.
  • You can demonstrate experience in setting up and carrying out research projects in the field concerned. Acquiring the necessary funds to realize these projects is recommended.
  • Your research qualities are in line with the faculty and university research policies. You have established an excellent research portfolio with impactful publications .
  • Your teaching competences are in line with the University of Antwerp’s educational vision. You are motivated to develop your teaching skills further through the professionalisation opportunities
  • If you do not speak Dutch, the administrative language of the university, you should be willing to obtain a CEFR B2 level of proficiency in Dutch. As soon as you take on teaching duties as a programme component coordinator, you should be able to demonstrate a CEFRC1 level of proficiency in the language of instruction. The University of Antwerp supports international staff members through an integration trajectory and offers tailor- made language coaching in compliance with Flanders’ statutory language regulations.
  • You demonstrate leadership potential and organizational skills.
  • You act with attention to quality, integrity, creativity and cooperation.

What we offer

The University of Antwerp offers :

  • A part-time 10% appointment as a member of the senior academic staff (Dutch: Zelfstandig Academisch Personeel, ZAP) for a period of three years and a part-time 40% contract (permanent employment contract) as a postdoctoral researcher.
  • The ZAP appointment is renewable after positive evaluation. The level of your appointment (lecturer, senior lecturer, professor or full professor) is determined on the basis of your professional experience and academic qualifications. Your gross monthly salary is calculated according to the pay scales for senior academic staff and according to the pay scale for a principal research fellow in the Contract Research Staff category (Dutch: Bijzonder Academisch Personeel, BAP). Your salary is calculated pro rata based on the employment
  • You will do most of your work at the city campus in a dynamic and stimulating working
  • Find out more about working at the University of Antwerp here and discover all the other benefits.

The Royal museums of Art and History offers:

  • The chosen candidate is recruited as Work Leader (class SW2) with the associated wage scale SW21 in contractual employment (50%), with a minimum four-year period of useful service.
  • Minimum remuneration (gross amounts adjusted to the current index, excluding regulatory allowances): SW21: 472,73.¤ per year
  • An open –ended contract

Additional advantages:

  • Possibility to acquire a bilingualism bonus;
  • Extensive range of training courses (to be followed during working hours);
  • Hospitalization insurance;
  • Free commuting with public transport;
  • Easily accessible by public transport;
  • An optional bicycle allowance;
  • Benefits and interesting offers via the Fed + card;
  • Flexible working hours in a 38-hour week;

Want to apply?

  • You can apply for this vacancy through the University of Antwerp’s online job application platform up to and including February 21, 2022#&open&#/strong# &close&# (by midnight Brussels time). Click on 'apply', complete the online application form and remember to include the following documents: (1) your motivation letter, (2) the completed job application appendix for ZAP, (3) your academic CV, (4) your research plan and (5) educational The selection committee will review all of the applications as soon as possible after the application deadline.
  • As soon as a decision has been made, we will inform you about the next steps in the selection
  • If you have any questions about the online application form, please check the frequently asked questions or send an email to If you have any questions about the job itself, please contact Prof. Geert Van der Snickt, ( ) and/or Dr. Emile van Binnebeke ( )

The University of Antwerp received the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award for its HR policy. We are a sustainable, family-friendly organisation which invests in its employees’ growth. We encourage diversity and attach great importance to an inclusive working environment and equal opportunities, regardless of gender identity, disability, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse characteristics to apply

Excellent HR policy for researchers
In your application, please refer to and reference JobID 5058.