ARCHON is the interuniversity research school of archeology in the Netherlands in which six universities as well as the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands and Saxion University of Applied Sciences participate. It is a research network that brings together junior and senior researchers and promotes excellent research within the field of archaeology.
Mission and strategic aims
ARCHON’s mission is to consolidate and expand the position of academic archaeology within Dutch academia and society. This is achieved by means of five strategic aims:
- to teach and train early career researchers (Research Masters and PhD students) from the participating universities;
- to promote collaboration and strengthen the cohesion within the community of academic archaeologists in the Netherlands;
- 3. to strengthen the academic and societal position of archaeology;
- to strengthen the societal position of academic archaeology within the setting of the Dutch commercial archaeology;
- to strengthen the international position of Dutch academic archaeology, maintain and expand relations with the international scholarly field, and highlight the breadth and diversity of archaeological research in the Netherlands;
These strategic aims are achieved by means of the following activities:
a. Facilitating an interuniversity training programme
The training programme is the primary role of ARCHON, financed by the participating universities. It is prepared by the Steering Committee and is decided upon by the ARCHON Board.
b. Channeling and exchanging information
A regular exchange of information about ongoing and upcoming research takes place by means of the ARCHON website and the organization of lectures, workshops and other gatherings. The ARCHON community also wishes to reach out to other players in the field, like Wageningen University, and the branch of contract-based archaeological companies.
c. Enforcement and protection of interests
ARCHON maintains a close watch on national policy on archaeological and cultural heritage, and tries to engage in dialogue with the representatives of this field, as well as with Dutch universities and the Dutch Research Council (NWO). Both the national government and NWO informally acknowledge ARCHON as the interuniversity platform. They ask advice and take unasked advice seriously. The academic standing of our research is also based on the assessment of our research by our academic peers. Our scientific output is largely based on peer-reviewed articles and monographs and in order to assess the scientific relevance hereof, ARCHON has created lists of relevant journals and publishers within our discipline to be used by peer review committees.
d. Enhancing the societal position of academic archaeology
ARCHON is a member of the CCvD Archeologie, the organisation that is responsible for the quality system that underlies commercial archaeology in the Netherlands (Quality Norm Dutch Archaeology KNA). Here ARCHON focuses on the quality of the procedures involved and the roles archaeologists with an academic degree are allowed to play.
For the period 2022-2027 ARCHON will undertake the following activities in order to implement the above aims:
- In order to strengthen the inter-university research community, ARCHON will start up a trajectory that should lead to a NWO Zwaartekracht grant proposal in which researchers from all participating institutes collaborate. ARCHON has organised a start-up meeting in June 2022. Especially mid-career researchers as well as the Advisory Board will be involved in writing the application. The ARCHON secretary has been appointed extra time in order to exchange information about seminar sessions, grant successes and PhD defenses.
- To claim a stronger position as a research network, ARCHON aims to function as a think tank that participates in discussions on, for instance, the national research agenda, or upcoming trends and developments in research and academic education.
- To strengthen the academic position of postdocs in the participating universities ARCHON will create a network of ARCHON Fellows to discuss career possibilities, grant schemes, provide feedback on grant proposals and give advice to the ARCHON Board.
- A steady flow of information is needed to promote the cohesion among the ARCHON members. The ARCHON Board has asked the secretary to revise its website so that up-to-date information is available about the ARCHON members and the activities organized by ARCHON. Via the website the secretary will share information about upcoming PhD defenses, grant-winning members and other successes achieved by members of the ARCHON communities.
- Another focus of attention is diversity in its widest sense. In order to promote this within ARCHON, the ARCHON Board pursues a stronger policy of inclusivity pertaining to all sections of ARCHON (ARCHON Board, Advisory Board and Steering Committee) and the ARCHON curriculum.
- To strengthen its position as a research school and platform for archaeology in the Netherlands ARCHON will reach out to OIKOS and other research schools to learn from their organisation and communication and their experiences in relation to the NWO Zwaartekracht grant proposal, and to explore possibilities of collaboration in research and post-grad teaching.