Visual Call Bib Pi

Open call for a Research Fellow

Call July 10, 2019

to lead future artistic research with a unique historical resource

The Orpheus Institute is currently seeking to appoint a full-time Research Fellow who will bring vision for the use of a unique collection of early books and scores as a resource for artistic research.

The position Your profile Application process The collection

This collection of some twenty thousand items (including musical manuscripts, facsimiles, historical and modern editions), dedicated to music from the 17th/18th centuries, has been assembled over fifty years by a single artist, a world-renowned performer of baroque music, and will be entrusted to the Orpheus Institute. A brief outline is given below. The Research Fellow will design, plan, coordinate and lead innovative projects exploring the potential of this unique collection as a research instrument for musical practice.

The position

This is an opportunity for you to develop innovative and radical modes of working with historical materials that open new paths for present and future musical practices. It is an opportunity to mold and envision new research structures and modes of knowledge production, bringing historical material into the context of artistic research in the twenty-first century. You will be appointed Research Fellow at the Orpheus Institute, and will be encouraged to develop a new research group within the Orpheus Institute. You will design, plan and lead new artistic research projects, animate and coordinate research initiatives more widely, and contribute to the research strategy and international profile of the Institute.


The starting date could be set by negotiation, but should be in autumn/winter 2019. The contract will be for three years, with a view to continuing renewal. The initial contract will be subject to a mutually satisfactory evaluation at the end of the first year. The position is full-time, based in Ghent.


In the range €50,000 - €70,000 p.a. gross, commensurate with experience.

Your profile

  • a developed and sustained artistic practice
  • a degree at doctoral level
  • a track record of publications as a researcher
  • a working awareness of the field of artistic research
  • experience in research management, organization or team leadership
  • the ability to develop research funding applications
  • keenness to develop new modes of artistic knowledge production
  • fluency in English, good knowledge of German

Please note that librarianship, cataloging or conservation skills are not primary requisites for this position. An assistant researcher/librarian will be appointed at the next stage.

Your job

  • develop innovative artistic research strategies to explore the potential of this unique collection of historical materials for contemporary and future musical practices
  • collaborate in the creation of an exemplary digital humanities project, generating knowledge maps from the previous and future use of the collection by artist-researchers.
  • develop research funding applications
  • contribute to the artistic research ethos of the Orpheus Institute
  • maintain schedules of artistic practice and academic publication
  • interact with other research groups at the Orpheus Institute
  • animate and coordinate research initiatives from beyond the Orpheus Institute, particularly in transdisciplinary projects
  • contribute to doctoral supervision and training in the docARTES programme
  • support the Director of Research in
    • formulating and coordinating institutional research strategy
    •  initiating and leading new initiatives for the Research Centre as a whole

Application process

  • Describe your vision for the potential role of such a collection in the context of artistic research (no more than two pages).
  • Describe your own work in the context of artistic research (no more than one page).
  • Submit a sample of written work (the equivalent of a printed essay or chapter of a book)
  • Provide a cover letter explaining your motivation for this application.
  • Provide a full CV
  • Provide names and contact info of three possible references (only names, no letters at this point)

Upload these materials and complete the online application form by the end of Friday 6 September 2019 at:

Earlier applications are welcome; we will begin reviewing applications on 19 August.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to visit the Orpheus Institute to discuss their research, work at the Institute and details of the collection. They will subsequently be invited to submit a more specific outline of their vision.

More information and questions

If you have any further questions about this position, please contact: Ms. Heike Vermeire (

Please note that the Orpheus Institute will be closed from 18 July to 18 August.

> Download call (.pdf)

​The collection

The collection has been assembled over fifty years by a world-renowned artist, with a focus on German baroque music, especially Bach and Buxtehude. A unique aspect of this collection is the extensive indexing, cross-referencing and annotation of many of the volumes, constituting a valuable “knowledge map”. Candidates selected for interview will be able to view the provisional catalogue on that occasion, but the collection includes:

Historical publications (17/18th century):

  • ca. 3600 books (pre-1800), of which one third specifically music-related, the remainder relating to contextualising topics (general history, literature, theology, spirituality etc.) A strong focus on books written in German.
  • ca. 1600 scores (pre-1830)

Other publications:

  • ca. 10,000 more recent books (19-21st century)
  • ca. 1300 facsimiles (mainly 17/18th century books and music)
  • ca. 4000 modern musical editions (mainly 17/18th century music)