Research School for Economic and Social History

Posthumus Masterclasses

A Posthumus masterclass brings together renowned experts and junior academics (early-stage post-docs, PhD Candidates, ResMA students) who are more or less working in the field of expertise of these experts.


  • A masterclass will usually last a couple of hours, to have time to discuss 3 to 7 pre-circulated papers (draft chapters, working papers, or provisional texts you want to turn into an article).
  • The organisers decide whether there is time for short presentations.
  • All participants are expected to have read each other’s paper in advance.
  • Otherwise, the format is free: the participants might prepare specific questions for the master, who might also give other insights, for example in how to get published. However, it is not supposed to be a pure teaching seminar.

Advantages of the Posthumus Masterclasses

  • Sheltered setting, where PhDs do not have to worry about their reputation, but ample room for the junior academics to show doubts and uncertainties.
  • Given the aforementioned, participation of Posthumus fellows or senior researchers should therefore be avoided, in particular supervisors in particular (even if they are co-authors).
  • The organisation of a masterclass will count towards your organisation criterion for the Advanced Training. Both the organisation and the masterclass itself should be useful experiences.

Support by NWP

The N.W. Posthumus Institute offers generous support for the organisation of a masterclass. For example to cover flight costs (within Europe), or pay for accommodation for the master, if she/he is already in the area (for example at a local conference), or both. Usually it is advisable to organise a public lecture of some kind, to get additional funding from your home institution.

Organising a Masterclass?

If you consider organising a masterclass please contact the Education Programme Director Dr Rogier van Kooten about the intended speaker and topic for the masterclass. You can use this template document (docx) for composing a Call for Papers and a tentative budget. Upon approval by the Education Programme Director, you can compose the final Call for Papers, which should be sent to at least three weeks before the sign-up deadline date for the masterclass.

After the masterclass has finished, the organiser will be required to send the presented papers and a list of participants to the Secretariat for reporting purposes.