Universiteit Leiden

nl en


PhD candidate in the field of cybersecurity governance in organisations

Vacancy number
Job type
Academic staff, PhD positions
Hours (in fte)
External/ internal
Den Haag
Placed on
21 September 2021
Closing date
5 October 2021 Vacancy closed

The Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) of the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs at Leiden University is looking for a

PhD candidate in the field of cybersecurity governance in organisations

Project description
The Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) at Leiden University seeks to appoint a full-time PhD candidate to carry out research (80%) and teaching (20%) activities on cyber security in organizations. The position is a shared position between ISGA and The Hague University of Applied Sciences (Centre of Expertise Cyber Security). The PhD candidate will have a promotor at ISGA and daily guidance from The Hague University of Applied Sciences (Centre of Expertise Cyber Security).

Security of software systems has emerged as a critical societal need, yet too often we hear about failures in functioning, hacks or privacy-related problems. We think it is more sensible to understand and fix these issues during the development time and prevent problems, rather than later, when the system becomes accessible to the users and can cause real damage.

Security is not only a technical concept. It emerges from an interplay of many technical and non-technical factors, such as human behaviour, privacy and organizational aspects. For that reason, we aim to create a methodology for developing secure systems in the Cyber Security by Integrated Design (C-SIDe) project. This methodology will allow organizations to have a better view on security of the products they create. To facilitate adoption of security-by-design, we will also work on identifying opportunities to improve the public cyber security policy aiming to support companies working on secure-by-design products. A multitude of stakeholders will work together in this project, including experts in psychology, privacy, and governance and risk management.

Key responsibilities
You will be conducting research in the field of organizational studies with a particular focus on cyber security. This should lead to obtaining a PhD by publishing a monograph or four articles in relevant journals on organizational studies and/or cyber security within a four-year timeframe. For that purpose, you will be following PhD courses based on an individual training and supervision plan.

You will be supporting the education activities in cyber security at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs, including lecturing, marking, and providing feedback to students, and potentially support other courses to a maximum of 20% of the appointment. You will be developing teaching-related skills by (co-)teaching courses and obtaining the partial university teaching qualification (BKO).

You are expected to present your work to both academic and professional audiences and to contribute when applicable to the Dutch or international public debate on cyber security.

You should be able to work in an interdisciplinary team and in a highly self-supporting, organized and result-oriented fashion. You should demonstrate good time-management skills.

You are expected to build an (inter)national network that spans both academics and policymakers/practitioners working on topics related to crisis research. You will also participate in discussions at the Institute, the research group Cyber Security Governance and its educational activities.

Selection criteria
Prospective candidates have a Master’s degree in Organizational Studies, Business, Management, Law, or another field with direct relevance for the interdisciplinary research carried out within the research group Cyber Security Governance. We expect candidates to have demonstrable ability and enthusiasm for research at the intersection of fundamental and policy-oriented research (e.g. high grade for Master’s thesis, publications and evidence of policy-oriented research). A background in the field of cyber security is not required but it is considered an advantage. Excellent command of English is necessary.

Our organisation
Science for and about society is the domain of the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs (FGGA). FGGA provides high-quality interdisciplinary education and research on social and governance issues such as terrorism, organisation of public administration, climate change and economic crises. Contemporary issues are approached from an administrative, political, economic, legal and sociological perspective. This interdisciplinary approach gives the faculty's education and research a cross-border character. The Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs (FGGA) is one of the seven faculties of Leiden University and is based in The Hague. The FGGA is a young, enterprising and innovative organisation that is growing rapidly. The faculty has three scientific institutes, two centres, 3500 students and 330 staff members. For more information about the Faculty, see the website.

The Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) is a scientific institute that focuses on multidisciplinary research and education within the international field of security studies. ISGA operates from The Hague, centre of national and international governance and City of Peace, Justice and Security.

The Centre of Expertise Cybersecurity (CoECS) of The Hague University of Applied Sciences is an institute for practice-oriented research in the wider field of cyber security within public and private organisations. It is a multidisciplinary knowledge centre consisting of 4 lectorates: Cyber Security & Safety, Cyber Security in SME’s, Network & Systems Engineering Cyber Security and Cyber Security & Risk Management.

Terms and conditions
We offer a PhD position for 4 years (1.0 FTE, 38 hrs per week), leading to the successful completion of a PhD thesis. Initially you will receive a one-year contract, with extension for the following 3 years on condition of a positive evaluation of progress and skills development. The gross monthly salary is set on € 2.434,- in the first year, increasing to € 3.111,- gross per month in the final year in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement of the Dutch universities. The position is envisaged to commence in November 2021.

Leiden University offers an attractive package of employment conditions with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonus (8.3%), and training and career development.. Our terms of employment selection model gives you some freedom to compose your own set of terms and conditions. For more information, see the website.

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

Enquiries can be made to dr. Els De Busser, email e.de.busser@fgga.leidenuniv.nl.

Please submit online your application no later than 5 October 2021 via the blue button in our application system. Please note that the job interviews will be planned on 6 and 7 October 2021. Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents in PDF format, quoting the vacancy number:

  • Motivation letter;
  • Grade list from previous education programmes followed and completed;
  • Curriculum vitae including a list of publications;
  • A sample publication (MA Thesis or other publication if applicable);
  • The names and contact details of three potential referees (no actual recommendation letters required at this stage).

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.

This website uses cookies.  More information.