Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

PhD positions in Architectural History

    KU Leuven
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    30/09/2019 17:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Multiple locations, see work locations below.
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

Ten European doctoral positions in architectural history available


The European Training Network PALAMUSTO. Research and Training for the Palace Museum for Tomorrow offers ten funded doctoral positions to graduates in architecture, architectural history, art history, history or heritage studies, starting on 1 January 2020. We are looking for early career researchers willing to combine research and professional training, and willing to travel.



KU Leuven is the coordinating institution of the PALAMUSTO ETN. The consortium unites five leading European universities (KU Leuven – coordinator, Universiteit Utrecht, Uniwersytet Warszawski, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München) with four heritage institutions and palace-museums (Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed, Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Parques de Sintra-Monte da Lua, and as partner, Muzeum Łazienki).



PALAMUSTO ETN investigates the court residence or palace as a phenomenon of cultural exchange, not only in the past but also today and in the future. A new history of the palace is indeed needed in order to define its relevance for present-day Europe.


The palace’s status as heritage, as prime touristic attraction and as part of the experience economy offers a continuous challenge to society in a global context, considering that the heritage industry is gradually replacing many traditional sectors of European economy. PALAMUSTO ETN offers multidisciplinary, trans-sectoral training to early career researchers who will become the first exponents of a new professional profile capable of meeting these challenges. Training through individual research on the palace, shored up by specific methodology modules, will run parallel with teaching the palace as heritage in all its complexity. PALAMUSTO researchers will learn to conserve, curate and manage the palace-museum on-site, interacting with professionals. They will learn to explain the palace’s societal relevance to all stakeholders and audiences engaged with this heritage.


Together the PALAMUSTO researchers will establish a new history of the palace, based on the insight they gain in the material culture and architecture of the courts which constitute the case-studies of their doctoral research. They will map the patterns of diffusion of specified movable objects with representational value in the world of European courts, paying special attention to location and display; some of these define the palace as functional machine. In parallel, they will map specific representational architectural spaces of the palace, their functioning, placing, and routing to/from. The overlay of patterns of diffusion, realized through digital means based on a GIS platform, is expected to generate a new understanding of the court residence.



  • ESR01 - Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed - Theme: Fixings, fittings and furniture
  • ESR02 - Uniwersytet Warszawski - Theme: Collectibles: the palace gallery as a place for collecting from the Renaissance to the Grand Tour
  • ESR03 - Universidade Nova de Lisboa - Theme: Courtly spaces in a globalized world
  • ESR04 - KU Leuven - Theme: Upstairs/downstairs
  • ESR05 - Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden- Württemberg - Theme: Making, serving and eating food in the palace
  • ESR06 - Parques de Sintra – Monte da Lua - Theme: Water and the early modern palace
  • ESR07 - Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München - Theme: Reception suites and throne rooms
  • ESR08 - Universiteit Utrecht - Theme: The court chapel across religious boundaries
  • ESR09 - Uniwersytet Warszawski - Theme: Negotiating status and gender boundaries in residences
  • ESR10 - KU Leuven - Theme: ‘Cherchez le lit’. State bedrooms and domestic sleeping rooms



The exchange of experience and knowledge during the secondment is crucial to realise a chief aim of PALAMUSTO: training a new generation of scholars and curators or heritage specialists who have international experience with both academia and applied science. PALAMUSTO’s researchers will spend three months on a research secondment to another institution, dedicated to the European comparative aspects of their research subject. In addition, they will spend a similar length of time of 3 months abroad at an institution of the other sector in order to experience professional practice: this other secondment is called the professional secondment. Each ESR is therefore supervised by an academic supervisor for his/her doctoral track and by a mentor from one of the heritage institutions for his/her professional track.


  • ESR01 - Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed – secondments at: Universiteit Utrecht and Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg
  • ESR02 - Uniwersytet Warszawski – secondments at: Muzeum Łazienki and Universidade Nova de Lisboa
  • ESR03 - Universidade Nova de Lisboa – secondments at: Parques de Sintra-Monte da Lua and Universiteit Utrecht
  • ESR04 - KU Leuven – secondments at: Parques de Sintra-Monte da Lua and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
  • ESR05 - Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg – secondments at: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München and Uniwersytet Warszawski
  • ESR06 - Parques de Sintra-Monte da Lua – secondments at: Universidade Nova de Lisboa and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
  • ESR07 - Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München – secondments at: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg and KU Leuven
  • ESR08 - Universiteit Utrecht – secondments at: Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed and Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg
  • ESR09 - Uniwersytet Warszawski – secondments at: Muzeum Łazienki and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
  • ESR10 - KU Leuven – secondments at: Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed and Universiteit Utrecht



The “weeks” modules each comprise two submodules of either methodology, heritage studies and court studies, progressing from introductory, methodologically oriented seminars to more specialized study visits and research seminars which aim at presenting the court residences of a particular country within the context of a particular heritage issue and within the context of one or more relevant themes from the area of court studies. Each of these modules also comprises training through teaching, in the form of a seminar during which each ESR must present his/her research to the other ESRs according to an increasingly elaborate format, with feedback by the attendant scientists, supervisors and mentors. To each module, a workshop aimed at further developing the common digital platform tying together the individual research results will be attached. The module in The Netherlands marks the mid-term presentation. The fifth module (Belgium) serves as the final synthesis meeting and conference. At this event, there will be a specific submodule on the conceiving and writing of research proposals.


  • German week: Documenting the palace; digital humanities (including GIS training); developing digital platform; presentation skills and teaching.
  • Polish week: Discourses of differences; theories on gender; developing digital platform; presentation skills and teaching.
  • Dutch week/Intermediate meeting: Conserving the palace; framing dynastic identities in architecture and etiquette; developing rich platform; presentation skills and teaching
  • Portuguese week: managing the palace; tangible and intangible heritage; developing rich platform; presentation skills and teaching.
  • Belgian week/Final meeting: creating the synthesis proposal; finalizing the rich platform; research multiplication, presentation skills and teaching.




Candidates are offered full-time employment for three years, extendable to a fourth year in several of the PALAMUSTO consortium institutions, according to the rules of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. They receive additional financial aid to help them move to the country of their chosen institution. The costs for travel and lodging linked with the secondments abroad and with the training weeks are also carried by PALAMUSTO.

Eligibility criteria

Apart from the general requirements detailed below, candidates must have a working knowledge of the main forum languages of European architectural history, apart from English. They will be expected to acquire the necessary skills in the languages needed for archival research, as is relevant for their chosen research topic. Professional experience in the field of heritage will be considered as an advantage, as is knowledge of the digital humanities.

Selection process

In order to be considered, please send a full curriculum vitae together with a brief presentation text and justification (minimum half page) for your choice of subject (see below) to the PALAMUSTO Coordinator, Krista De Jonge at krista.dejonge@kuleuven.be.

If you pass the first selection phase (with eligibility check), you will be invited to an interview with the PALAMUSTO ETN supervisory board. This meeting will take place in Leuven, Belgium, in late October or November 2019.

At that stage you may be asked to submit additional materials, such as a writing sample.

The selected candidates will be made known right afterwards, so that the formalities of job application at the PALAMUSTO consortium institutions can be completed by the beginning of the year 2020.

Additional comments

All member institutions of the consortium are equal opportunities employers.

Web site for additional job details

Required Research Experiences

    1 - 4
    1 - 4

Offer Requirements

    Arts: Master Degree or equivalent
    Architecture: Master Degree or equivalent
    ENGLISH: Excellent


Candidates must have a master degree in a relevant field of study, such as architecture, architectural history, art history, history or heritage studies, and show aptitude for the field of architectural history and/or heritage, the main areas of the programme. 

Specific Requirements

According to the rules for a European Training Network, only Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) can be recruited. Candidates have to meet the following eligibility criteria:

• The candidate does not have a doctoral degree (PhD).

• The candidate is in the first 4 years of his/her research career (full-time equivalent research experience) at the date of recruitment.

• The candidate has not resided or carried out his/her main activity (e.g. work, studies) in the country of the recruiting institution for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the date of recruitment.

Map Information

Work location(s)
2 position(s) available at
KU Leuven, Department of Architecture
Kasteelpark Arenberg 1
1 position(s) available at
Universiteit Utrecht, Research Institute for History and Art History
3512 BS
Drift 6
1 position(s) available at
Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed, Sector Kennis en Advies
3811 MG
Smallepad 5
2 position(s) available at
Uniwersytet Warszawski, Instytut Historii Sztuki
ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28
1 position(s) available at
Ludwig-Maximilians- Universität München, Institut für Kunstgeschichte
D - 80798
Zentnerstr. 31
1 position(s) available at
Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden- Württemberg, Zentrale Bruchsal
Schloßraum 22a
1 position(s) available at
Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Instituto de História da Arte
Avenida Berna 26 C
1 position(s) available at
Parques de Sintra – Monte da Lua SA
Palacio de Sintra, Largo Rainha Dona Amélia

Open, Transparent, Merit based Recruitment procedures of Researchers (OTM-R)

Know more about it at KU Leuven

Know more about OTM-R

EURAXESS offer ID: 437374


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