Universiteit Leiden

nl en


PhD researcher positions

Vacancy number
Function type
PhD positions
Hours (in fte)
3 positions of 1.0 FTE
External/ internal
Internal, External
Placed on
21 August 2018
Closing date
30 September 2018

9 more days to apply

The Institute of Political Science of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences invites applicants (starting in January 2019) for PhD researcher positions (3 positions of 1.0 FTE).

Key responsibilities

Leiden University’s Institute of Political Science has a strong research tradition in various areas of comparative, Dutch and international politics, as well as political theory. Its research programme focuses on the design, workings and implications of political institutions, broadly defined, though individual members of staff pursue research projects within and beyond this theme.

Positions 1 & 2: European economic governance / European political economy
These two PhD positions should focus on an aspect of European economic governance / European political economy related to European Union (EU) governance, the relations between the EU and its member states, the impact of aspects of European integration in the member states or relations between (a selection of) EU member states in particular in the field of European political economy. Both positions are linked to the institute’s new Chair in European Politics and Political Economy held by Prof. Amy Verdun. The PhD candidate joins a team of researchers committed to learning about European economic governance in areas such as the European Semester with particular interest in the interactions between the EU institutions and the member states. Candidates with an interest in these specific issues are particularly encouraged to apply. The goal is to advance knowledge about governance and democracy in Europe including a better understanding of recent institutional developments in EU architecture, governance, and (dis)integration.
Candidates for these positions should have a strong understanding of the governance of the European Union, in particular in the area of EU economic governance, and solid training in qualitative and/or quantitative methods. 

Position 3: Open
Applicants for this position should propose a research project in any area of political science including comparative politics, Dutch politics, international relations or political theory/philosophy. All topics will be considered but projects linked to specific expertise within the institute’s staff are most likely to succeed. Applicants for this position should therefore indicate in their motivation letter which member(s) of the institute’s staff they would like to supervise the proposed project.
Applicants for this position should have a strong understanding of the issues and scholarly literature related to their proposed area of study, plus solid training in qualitative or quantitative empirical methods or philosophical methods appropriate to the proposed project.

Candidates are expected to have:

  • Conduct research and write a PhD dissertation;
  • Undertake relevant coursework and other training;
  • Assist in teaching of 2 courses a year on average;
  • Participate in PhD program activities and the general intellectual life of the Institute.

Selection criteria

  • A master’s degree in Political Science or in a cognate discipline with an evident interest in political science;
  • An excellent command of English plus any other language skills appropriate to the project;
  • Excellent study results and academic skills, visible in the bachelors and masters course transcripts;
  • Strong writing skills, visible in the research proposal;
  • The ability to work independently, and as part of a team.

Our Faculty/Institute

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences comprises four institutes: Education and Child Studies, Political Science, Psychology and Cultural Anthropology & Development Sociology. The Faculty also includes the Centre for Science and Technology Studies. The Faculty is home to 5,000 students and 600 members of staff. Our teaching and research programmes cover diverse topics varying from adoption to political behaviour.

The Institute of Political Science is consistently one of the top-ranked departments of its kind in Europe. It has over 50 academic staff, including many non-Dutch scholars, and houses a number of editorships of international refereed journals. Members of the institute are also involved in a number of the university’s multi-disciplinary research centres, including Central and East European Studies, International Relations, Parties and Representation, and Political Philosophy. The Institute is based in Leiden but also teaches at the university’s campus in The Hague (12 minutes away by train). The Institute offers a range of programmes at the Bachelor and Master levels and also trains PhD students in political science. The BSc programmes include general Political Science (in Dutch & English, in Leiden), International Politics (in Dutch & English, in Leiden), and International Relations and Organisations (in English, in The Hague). The MSc programme (taught mostly in English) includes four specialisations taught in Leiden (International Politics; Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict; Parties, Parliaments and Democracy; Political Legitimacy and Justice) and two specialisations taught in The Hague (International Organisation; Dutch Politics).

Terms and conditions

The position starts in January 2019, or as soon as possible thereafter.  If accepted, the candidates will initially be appointed for a probationary period of one year, with the prospect of a prolongation subject to satisfactory performance. The contract may be prolonged with an additional two years.  Salary range from €2,266 to €2,897 gross per month (pay scale P in accordance with the collective employment agreement of Dutch universities). No tuition fees are required.

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

Leiden University requires teaching staff to obtain the University Teaching Qualification (UTQ). If the successful applicant does not already possess this qualification or its equivalent, he/ she must be willing to obtain this Qualification within two years.


Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups. 


Inquiries about positions 1 & 2 can be directed to Professor Amy Verdun.
Inquiries about position 3 can be directed to Professor Joop van Holsteyn.
See also “Further information”.


Please submit online your application via the blue button of our application system.
Applicants should submit online:

  • A letter of interest expressing the motivation for the application;
  • A CV;
  • Copies of final academic transcripts from prior study at Bachelors and Masters levels;
  • A research proposal (max. 2,500 words) addressing the research question, methodology, theoretical approach or research tradition, academic and societal relevance of the subject;
  • An abstract of the proposal (max. 100 words);
  • A writing sample: the applicant’s master’s thesis or another academic paper
  • Two recommendation letters submitted by email (directly by the letter writers, not by the applicant) with “PhD applicant” in the subject line to vacature_powe@fsw.leidenuniv.nl.

Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration.
The selection procedure will take place in October/November. Selected candidates will first be invited for an online pre-interview; some will be invited to Leiden for an in-person interview. You are kindly requested to be available in this period. 

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.

This website uses cookies. More information