Call KB Researcher-in-Residence 2023

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Are you an early career data scientist, social scientist, computer scientist, humanities scholar, or more simply put, a researcher working with or interested in our digital collections, such as the web archive, 130 million pages of digitised text or ground-truth sets? Then we’re looking for you! 

The KB, National Library of the Netherlands is seeking proposals for its fully paid Researcher-in-Residence program in 2023. This program offers a unique chance for early career researchers of all disciplines to work in the library with the Digital Scholarship team and KB data. In return, we learn how researchers use the data of the KB, what kinds of possibilities it offers and how we can improve our services.

The Researcher-in-Residence project will be carried out at the Research department of the KB and there will be two placements in 2023. You will be assisted by one of our research software engineers, an advisor, and collection and data specialists. The output of the project will be incorporated in the experimental platform of the KB, the KB Lab and is ideally beneficial for a larger (scholarly) community.

We also accept applications for a remote residency and can offer short-term fixed contracts for researchers currently not affiliated with a university or research institute!

The KB and opening up our digital collections

The KB, National Library of the Netherlands, is a research library with a broad collection in the fields of Dutch history, culture, and society. As a national library we aim to collect and store publications that appear in the Netherlands, as well as a part of the international publications about the Netherlands. The KB is working hard to digitise its entire collection of books, periodicals, and newspapers from 1470 onward by 2030. Over 130 million book, newspaper and magazine pages are currently available via the search portals Delpher and DBNL, and we also offer born digital collections, such as our web archive, which contains 75 TB of data and consists of more than 22.000 websites.

The KB has formulated a Research Agenda for the period 2018 – 2022 in which we distinguish identify five themes that we wish to focus our efforts on, such as our role in the shaping of the information society, as well as the quality, availability, and breadth of representation in our digital collections. The KB is also one of the co-founders of the Cultural AI Lab, which aims to accelerate excellent research on the intersection of humanities and artificial intelligence. For this venture, four research themes have been described, which include topics such as trust, bias, and a focus on using advanced technologies to uncover hidden collections and/or address the colonial history of our collections. 

Curious about the program? Listen to the experiences of previous Researcher-in-Residence Simon Kemper (02:02)
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What kind of projects are we looking for?

We’re open to all kinds of projects that use our data and benefit your research and other users of the KB and/or the KB Lab. We encourage you to define your project by:

  1. Formulating a fundamental research question that stems from your field of expertise, and can be linked to the KB Research Agenda or the Cultural AI Lab in any way.
  2. Formulating a project that uses one (or more) of the following collections: newspapers, magazines, web archive and/or ground-truth sets. For more information about other possible collections, see our Data services. We also offer derived datasets on our KB Lab and you can browse through our collection of newspapers, magazines, radio bulletins and books on Delpher and DBNL. Besides data, we offer metadata, some of which as Linked Data. These datasets contain a.o. bio- and bibliographical metadata, and keywords for subject cataloguing. Please note that in case you wish to perform research on our web archive, you can only opt for the on-site residency due to copyrights;
  3. Formulating a project that is different from or builds upon previous Researcher-in-Residence projects in terms of data, techniques, and research questions. See the table in the attachment for an overview of previous projects and outcomes.

Who are we looking for?

We’re looking for talented early career researchers of any nationality who are:

  • A PhD student in the final stages of their PhD project or researchers that have obtained their PhD between 2018 and 2022;
  • Either:
    • Employed as academic researcher at a university or research institute within the EU, which is willing to second you, or, 
    • an external PhD student, able to use the funding to obtain a contract at a university or research institute within the EU, which is willing to second you, or,
    • a non-EU university researcher, legally permitted to work within the EU and available for working at KB in The Hague on the basis of a short-term, fixed contract;
  • Interested in using one (or more) of the digital collections of the KB;
  • Available for 0.5 fte over a period of 6 months (preferably starting in Q1/Q2 2023 or Q3 2023); 
  • Able to spend at least 1 day a week at the KB premises for an on-site residency, or able to spend at least 1 full week at the KB premises for a remote residency, and a weekly virtual meeting.

The KB values the diversity of the people it hires and serves. Diversity at our organisation means fostering a workplace in which individual differences are recognized, appreciated, respected, and responded to in ways that fully develop and utilize each person’s talents and strengths.

What can we offer you?

  • A secondment or short-term fixed contract with the KB for 0.5 fte for a period of 6 months based on your current salary with a maximum of 4,514 euro gross per month for a fulltime position;
  • Access to all datasets of the KB;
  • Office facilities;
  • Travel expenses (up to a reasonable amount for the one-week visit in case of the remote residency);
  • Support from a research software engineer, advisor, and collection and data specialists.

How do I apply?

Please use the template to formulate your research proposal and submit this as a pdf before 30 September 2022 via the email address dh@kb.nl, after having carefully read our terms and conditions. The form contains the following elements: details, project description (including research question, theoretical background and applied methods and techniques), outcomes, work plan, personal background, your availability in 2023 and a checkbox on our terms and conditions. 

Before you start working on your proposal, we strongly advise you to contact dh@kb.nl to discuss eligibility, project details, prerequisites, and KB support with the Digital Scholarship team. Consultation slots with (part of) the team are available in August and September and advertised on lab.kb.nl

Review process

All proposals will first be reviewed on eligibility by an internal KB committee and then forwarded to an external committee of representative experts from several Dutch universities and institutions that have backgrounds in relevant fields. The commission consists of:

  • dr. Andreas van Cranenburgh (RUG)
  • dr. Laura Hollink (CWI)
  • dr. Nanne van Noord (UvA)
  • prof. dr. Els Stronks (UU)
  • dr. Andreas Weber (UT)

All entries will be judged on:

  • Originality and quality
  • Link with the KB Research Agenda and/or the Cultural AI Lab research themes
  • Feasibility (technically, legally, and practically)
  • How the KB data will be showcased 
  • Whether the end results are of use for a wider community

You will be notified of the outcome of this call in October/November 2022.

For answers to more questions, read our FAQ. Please also read the terms of this call and placement.