Jos Gabriëls studied History at Leiden University, after which he worked in the History section there. He also worked at the Biographical Archives of the Parlementary Documentation Centre in The Hague. In 1989 he gained his Ph.D. cum laude with a thesis on the institutional-political structure of the Republiek der Verenigde Nederlanden (Republic of the Seven United Provinces) in the second half of the eighteenth century.
In 1990 he was employed by Huygens ING, where he was the editing secretary of the ‘Biografisch Woordenboek van Nederland: 1880-2000’ until 2008. Since January 2010 he has been the final editor of the ‘Biografisch Woordenboek van Nederland: 1780-1830’.
For the NWO-project ‘Monarchy in Turmoil: Rulers, Courts and Politics in the Netherlands and Germany, c.1780 – c.1820’ , Gabriëls conducts comparative research in the Napoleonic courts of Louis Bonaparte, king of Holland (1806-1810) and Jérôme Bonaparte, king of Westphalia (1807-1813).