• 22 June 2023

Call KB Researcher-in-Residence 2024

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 KB is looking for you!

The KB, National Library of the Netherlands, is seeking proposals for its fully paid Researcher-in-Residence program in 2024. 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 addition, we also learn how researchers use our data, what new possibilities these may offer 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 positions in 2024. You will be assisted by one of our research software engineers, our research advisor including our collection and data specialists. The output of the project will be incorporated in the experimental platform, the KB Lab and is ideally beneficial for a larger (scholarly) community. 

The KB and opening up our digital collections

The KB, National Library of the Netherlands, owns a broad collection in the fields of Dutch history, culture, and society. As a national library we aim to collect and store publications printed in or that deal with the Netherlands, as well as a part of the international publications about the Netherlands. The KB is currently digitising its entire collection of books, periodicals, and newspapers from 1470 onward by 2030. Over 130 million books, newspaper and magazine pages are currently available via the search portals Delpher and DBNL, and recently we also offer born digital collections, such as our web archive, which consists of more than 23,000 websites.

The KB has formulated a Research Agenda for the period 2023-2026 with eight themes that we wish to focus our efforts on, related to tasks dealing with issues that go beyond our organisation, and tasks related to KB collections and sources. 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.

What kind of projects are we looking for?

We invite 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.
  3. Formulating an original 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 2019 and 2023;
  • 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;
  • 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 2024 or Q3 2024);
  • Able to spend at least 1 day a week at the KB premises for an on-site residency.

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 for 0.5 FTE for a period of 6 months based on your current salary with a max. of 4,789 Euro gross per month for a fulltime position;
  • Access to all datasets of the KB;
  • Office facillities;
  • Travel expenses;
  • Support from a research software engineer, research 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 29 September 2023 via the email address, 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 2024 and a checkbox on our terms and conditions.

Before you start working on your proposal, we strongly advise you to contact 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

Review process

All proposals will first be reviewed on eligibility by the KB digital scholarship team and then forwarded to an external committee of representative experts with backgrounds in relevant fields from several Dutch universities and institutions.

The commission consists of:

  • Dr. Laura Hollink (CWI)
  • Dr. Folgert Karsdorp (Meertens-KNAW)
  • Dr. Claartje Rasterhoff (UM)
  • Prof. Dr. Els Stronks (UU)
  • Dr. Jetze Touber (DANS-KNAW/CLARIAH)
  • Dr. Jesper Verhoef (EUR)

All entries will be assessed on the following criteria:

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

You will be notified of the outcome of this call in October/November 2023.

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