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Volunteer job in scientific librarianship

Apply: Volunteer job in scientific librarianship

The Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS), located in the heart of Amsterdam, is looking for a colleague to work voluntarily (x/f/m) for up to 16 hours a week to complete and maintain our unique library collection. If you are well-versed in scientific librarianship and enjoy tracking down and requesting titles, we hope you will join our team!

Who are we?

The Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study is part of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). Annually, it facilitates 60 researchers (‘fellows’) from all over the world to allow them to focus on a subject they are passionately curious about – a curiosity that is however firmly rooted in their knowledge and experience. Our research community has existed for more than 50 years and epitomizes that, above all, curiosity-driven scholarship produces the insights that propel the world forward.

Approximately 20 dedicated people are employed by NIAS to recruit and select fellows, to facilitate their arrival, stay, research and the research community, and to communicate its activities and results via diverse media and events. NIAS is one of the international leaders in our field. If you are already familiar with us, you will appreciate the uniqueness of our library. First and foremost, our fellows rate its services invariably highly. In addition, it is a place of inspiration. It surrounds you with more than 5 decades of our fellowships’ published findings. We are eager to add many more years of books to our collection.

Your role

You will inventory and acquire the “output” of our fellows. NIAS fellows are requested to send us a copy of printed publications they have worked on during their fellowship so we can add these to our library. Many fellows do so. Others don’t get around to it. Therefore, you must proactively seek their output by contacting them. You then make the found monographs, book chapters and journal articles available using various forms. For instance, you will co-edit the online page: “Written@NIAS” or contribute to organizing a public programme. You mostly work with the NIAS librarians and communication colleagues but maintain collegial relationships with everyone in our small team.

In brief

  • researching alumni publications resulting from their fellowship, through e.g. catalogues, LinkedIn, ResearchGate, own website…
  • writing to alumni requesting details of publications resulting from their fellowship and requesting them to donate the physical output (books, chapters in books, articles)
  • describing publications in a user-friendly way to present to a broad audience.

Experience & Qualifications


  • You have experience in searching for publications in bibliographic files and on the Internet.
  • You know/have experience with the scholarly publishing process; knowledge of the humanities and social sciences would be beneficial
  • You know your way around with standard Office packages; user knowledge of WordPress and Procurios is a plus
  • Your English is excellent; understanding some spoken and written Dutch is beneficial (B1 or B2)
  • You are an independent team player, communicative and collegial
  • You are available for a minimum of two and a maximum of four fixed half-days a week, at least one of which must be a morning



What do we offer?

  • A role in the realisation of a prominent scientific institute
  • An environment that knows and embodies the added value of diversity and polyphony
  • Inclusion in a friendly and dynamic team of colleagues
  • Participation in team occasions such as weekly lunches and an annual outing
  • The opportunity to practise your Dutch, if not yet perfect
  • If desired, a volunteer allowance in line with the legal possibilities

More information and application

If we have sparked your interest, please indicate your interest to Busra Saglam via personeelszaken@bb.huc.knaw.nl and share with us your motivation, experience and qualifications. The vacancy is open until we find a suitable candidate. If you require further information, please send your question to the NIAS’ Institute Manager via Marlous.Willemsen@nias.knaw.nl. She will be pleased to be of assistance, or refer you to a colleague who can provide an answer.