Het Nieuwe Instituut, the Netherlands national (and international) museum and institute for architecture, design and digital culture, and caretaker of the national collection for Dutch architecture and urban planning, is looking for a

Senior Researcher, Digital Cultures (32-36 hours/week)

What does the position entail?

As Senior Researcher, you will take a leading role in developing the institute’s strategy and research agenda relating to digital cultures. Within its research projects Het Nieuwe Instituut aims to act on and through digital cultures, instead of merely analyzing them. This entails working as a researcher on collectively developing practical tools and methods, as well as carrying out theoretical research.

We invite you to situate yourself in an expanded field of digital cultures, ranging from DIY cultures to planetary computation, from AI to TikTok dances, from sensor tech to techno-diversity, from platform capitalism to NFTs, from cyberspace to metaverse and sustainable digital collection practices.

As a Senior Researcher you will be developing partnerships and collaborations, producing texts and publications, and organizing public programmes. In addition, it is hoped that the Senior Researcher can help define and guide the institute’s approach to digital cultures as an expanding field within its institutional context, in collaboration with research team colleagues, research fellows and colleagues from other Het Nieuwe Instituut departments.

This position is structured as part of a Research collective, described below, that reports directly to the General and Artistic Director of Het Nieuwe Instituut.

The position includes the following responsibilities:

- Developing an exciting vision that inspires digital culture practitioners, a wider audience, colleagues and other internal and external stakeholders.
- Developing and executing projects and initiatives that build a profile and reputation that place Het Nieuwe Instituut nationally and internationally at the heart of debates and progressive and innovative thinking around digital culture.
- Advising and guiding internal and external staff (fellows, curators, researchers, designers)
- Developing Research-related publications, both digital and print, and, in particular, web content related to digital culture.
- Collaborating with the Research team in the development of broader research and institutional agendas and strategies.
- Taking on any other practical duties that may reasonably be required of you within the scope of a Senior Researcher's duties.

We require:

- A strong background in and knowledge of contemporary and historical digital cultures, and the awareness of where the field and overlapping disciplines are going.
- Well-versed in web vernaculars.
- Familiarity with current digital culture practices on local, regional, national and international levels, and an ability to recognise the most promising emerging practices and developments around digital cultures.
- An open mentality: Staff members function as ambassadors, actively forging contacts, maintaining relationships, acting as hosts and representing the organisation.
- Familiarity with a dynamic way of working.
- Familiarity with a multivocal way of working. (See description of Het Nieuwe Instituut below)
- Comfort with teamwork and exploring different modes of co-creation.
- Strong communication skills (written, oral and relational) and professional networks, effective presentation skills and the ability to build relationships, participate in symposia and meetings as a representative of Het Nieuwe Instituut, and to function as a link with other departments and external parties. 
- Experience in strategic roles, successfully coordinating and implementing projects and coordinating and motivating staff.
- Demonstrated ability to define, communicate and implement a vision and strategy.
- Ability to manage resources, planning, and work responsibly in (for example: time, socially or financially) sensitive circumstances.
- Experience of working at a university, in a museum, gallery or similar institution.
- Command of spoken and written English.

Het Nieuwe Instituut Research team

For the Research team at Het Nieuwe Instituut, the act of doing research is considered a public activity, done with and for (different) publics. From this perspective, exhibitions, public programmes and publications become occasions for public investigation and experimentation, and not necessarily only for displaying outcomes.
We see research as collaborative practices that lead to collective forms of imagination and action, opening a space for experimental, regenerative activities and critical thinking with the aim to contribute to the emergence of a society that sustains all life.

Het Nieuwe Instituut

Het Nieuwe Instituut is the Netherlands’ national museum and institute for architecture, design and digital culture. Based in Rotterdam, a global centre for design innovation, the institute’s mission is to embrace the power and potential of new thinking, exploring past, present and future in order to imagine, test and enact a better tomorrow. Encouraging visitors of all ages to question, rethink and contribute, the institute’s exhibitions, public programmes, research, and wide-reaching national and international initiatives provide a testing ground for collaboration with leading designers, thinkers and diverse audiences, critically addressing the urgent questions of our times.
In addition to housing the National Collection for Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning, the institute manages the 1933 Sonneveld House, a leading example of Dutch Functionalist architecture, as part of its campus in Rotterdam’s Museumpark.
In 2022, Het Nieuwe Instituut became the world’s first Zoöp, a groundbreaking model through which all areas of the museum’s operations and programming are informed by its impact and benefit to other forms of life. The institute also serves as commissioner of the Dutch pavilion at the biannual Venice Architecture Biennale, and in 2023, will act as the Artistic Director of the London Design Biennale. In 2022 Het Nieuwe Instituut curated the official Dutch entry to the Triennale di Milano, winning the exhibition’s Golden Bee Award.

At Het Nieuwe Instituut, we work from the principle of multivocality. We actively make room for different perspectives in all the research we do, in the activities and exhibitions that we organise, and throughout the organisation. We do our best to be multivocal in both social and environmental terms. This also applies to how we design, maintain and develop our own organisation and the building and the immediate surroundings of the institute. We are committed to a society, ecosystem and organisation that recognises and values the “voices” of all humans and non-humans (including soil, plants, animals and artificial intelligence).

We offer

An appointment for 1 year. With good performance, there is a prospect of extension. An appropriate package of employment conditions within the Museum CAO with a scale of 11, this knows a salary scope of 3.500 to 4.700 euro for a 36-hour working week. A pleasant working environment in a dynamic organisation where you work with permanent colleagues and a flexible pool of freelance contractors.

More information

For more information about the content of the position, please contact Delany Boutkan, Researcher, d.boutkan@hetnieuweinstituut.nl, 06 50 44 33 57. For questions about the procedure, contact Roos Hamers, HR, 010 440 13 26, r.hamers@hetnieuweinstituut.nl.


Applications can be sent in a self-selected format until 12 October 2022 to hr@hetnieuweinstituut.nl. Interviews will take place in week 41 and 42.

Celebrating and encouraging diversity in a broad sense (outlooks, mindsets, culture, age, gender, sexual orientation, faith, etc.) is a key focus of Het Nieuwe Instituut. Het Nieuwe Instituut accordingly strives for a balanced composition of its staff..

Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.