Universiteit Leiden

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Postdoctoral researchers for ERC project on International Scientific consortia (ISCs)

Vacancy number
Function type
Academic staff
Hours (in fte)
2.0 (2 positions)
External/ internal
Placed on
11 August 2020
Closing date
10 September 2020

Vacancy closed

The Faculty of Science at the University of Leiden is looking for two

Postdoctoral researchers for ERC project on International Scientific consortia (ISCs)

Project description
We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher who will conduct a research on international scientific consortia for the European Research Council Consolidator program project titled Addressing Global Challenges through International Scientific Consortia (INSCONS). The postdoctoral researcher will be working under the supervision of the principal investigator of the project Professor Dr Simcha Jong, who heads the Science Based Business group at the Faculty of Science of the University of Leiden in the Netherlands.

The INSCONS project is about international scientific consortia such as ITER (nuclear fusion), ALMA (astronomy), and the European Brain Project (neurobiology). We increasingly look at such consortia to come up with scientific and technological advances that are needed to address global challenges in areas such as health, the environment and clean energy. These international consortia represent a novel model for organising scientific research that is rapidly gaining in popularity. Yet, little or no research has been done on them. Organising international scientific consortia represents various challenges. These consortia are highly complex organisations, with budgets that often run in the billions of euros, and work spread out across a multitude of research sites around the world. Moreover, these consortia must navigate (competing) interests of various international stakeholder groups from across the realms of science, policy, and industry. INSCONS is a ground breaking project that will shed light on the challenges involved in organising these consortia, and the broader changes these consortia herald for the scientific endeavour. The project will employ 3 PhD researchers and 2 postdoctoral researchers.

Key responsibilities
One of the two postdoctoral researchers we are looking for (postdoc 1) will be responsible for a work package within the INSCONS project that examines the relationship between international scientific consortia and the broader scholarly communities these consortia are a part of. To this end, the researcher will conduct a questionnaire-based survey of scientists who are active in specific research fields that different international scientific consortia are embedded in. The researcher will also carry out quantitative network analyses of citation data to examine the co-authorship ties that characterise relationships between scientists who are members of international consortia and scientists who are not members.

The other postdoctoral researcher (postdoc 2) will be responsible for a work package within the INSCONS project that examines the relationship between ISCs and industry. The researcher will assess relationships of dependency and influence between corporate- and ISC- research efforts at both the level of individual researchers and at the level of the organizations. This will both involve the design and analysis of new datasets on firm R&D activities such as patenting, as well as the development of qualitative case studies on international R&D collaborations and technology development projects of firms that are tied into ISCs. 

Selection criteria

  • A completed a PhD degree in a relevant field such as technology management, science and technology studies, sociology of science;
  • An ability to publish research in top-tier international journals;
  • Excited about the research goals of the INSCONS project;
  • A strong affinity with and interest in quantitative research methods in the social sciences.
  • The following qualities are a pre:
    • Experience in conducting network analyses using publication citation datasets and in carrying out large-scale surveys (postdoc 1 only);
    • Experience in carrying out quantitative and qualitative studies on firm R&D strategies; and organisations (postdoc 2 only).
  • An ability to work independently in the development of research.

Our organisation
The Science Based Business at Leiden University (SBB) consists of a small, young, and dynamic group of researchers embedded within Leiden’s Faculty of Science. Scholarship at SBB spans science, medicine, policy, and business, focusing on areas such as technology management, innovation, organisation studies, entrepreneurship, and operations. SBB programs fuse business scholarship with science, technology and industry engagement, and accordingly forge strong relationships to other groups within the Faculty of Science and the Leiden University Medical School. Members of the SBB team held previous academic appointments at or have research degrees form RSM, Harvard, UCL, KU Leuven, and UT Dallas. 

Leiden University was founded in 1575 and is one of Europe’s leading international research universities. It has seven faculties in the arts, sciences and social sciences, spread over locations in Leiden and The Hague. The University has over 5,500 staff members and 25,800 students. The motto of the University is 'Praesidium Libertatis' – Bastion of Freedom. In 2013 Leiden was the highest ranked university in the Netherlands in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The University counts among its former students and faculty ten leaders and Prime Ministers of the Netherlands including the current Prime Minister Mark Rutte, nine foreign leaders, among them the 6th President of the United States John Quincy Adams, a Secretary General of NATO, a President of the International Court of Justice, and sixteen recipients of the Nobel Prize. 

The Leiden University Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. Our people are driven by curiosity to expand fundamental knowledge and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline. The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is diverse, ranging from mathematics, artificial intelligence, computer science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 1,300 staff and almost 4,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together. For more information, see the website.

The Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS) is the Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science Institute in the Faculty of Science of Leiden University. We offer courses at the Bachelor and Master of Science level in Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, ICT in Business, Media Technology, and Bioinformatics. According to an independent research visitation, we are one of the foremost computer science departments of the Netherlands. We strive for excellence in a caring institute, where excellence, fun, and diversity go hand in hand. We offer a clear and inviting career path to young and talented scientists with the ambition to grow. For more information about LIACS, see the website

Terms and conditions 
We offer a position for initially one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities and compatibility the appointment will be extended by a further three years. Salary ranges from € 2,395.- to € 3,061.- gross per month (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. 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 program. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. For more information, see the website.

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science. Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness.

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

Enquiries can be made to Professor Simcha Jong, email s.jong@liacs.leidenuniv.nl. If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact Sylvia Maas, email jobs@liacs.leidenuniv.nl.

To apply for this vacancy, please send an email to jobs@liacs.leidenuniv.nl. Please ensure to upload the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number:

  • Curriculum vitae;
  • Cover letter;
  • The names of two references who can be contacted for shortlisted candidates.

Only applications received no later than 10 September 2020 can be considered

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