Universiteit Leiden

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Vacancy

PhD Researchers in European Consumer Law (1,0 fte)

Vacancy number
22-350 11863
Job type
Academic staff
Hours (in fte)
1
External/ internal
External
Location
Leiden
Placed on
31 May 2022
Closing date
26 June 2022 Vacancy closed

The Civil Law department at Leiden Law School is looking for: 

Three PhD Researchers in European Consumer Law (1,0 fte)
Vacancy number 22-350 11863

Research Project
“These Shoes Don’t Fit! – How can consumer interests be protected when consumer identities are increasingly diffuse?”
The project is led by Prof. Vanessa Mak as principal investigator and is funded by a NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) Vici grant.

Project Description
The project breaks new ground by deconstructing the notion of the consumer as a weaker party, and by providing a basis for reconstructing consumer laws along the lines of a contextual approach to consumer protection. While the existing framework served consumer protection goals well, the complexities of modern consumer markets influenced by digitalization, platformisation and sustainability demand a reassessment of existing regulation.
This project aims to test three related hypotheses: 1. that a consumer of digital services may require a different level of protection than a consumer in a physical store, 2. that the regulation of the platform economy requires the introduction of a ‘prosumer’ category and rules tailored to it, and 3. that consumers should be jointly responsible alongside businesses and governments for the pursuit of ecological sustainability and that in this role, as consumer-citizens, they may have to give up some consumer protection.  Focusing on three ideal types of consumers – the digital consumer, the prosumer and the consumer-citizen – the project will examine whether existing consumer laws can sufficiently protect the interests of consumers in these different contexts, and whether tailormade rules should also be developed to accommodate consumers who move to the supply side as ‘prosumers’. 
The project will be conducted by a team consisting of the PI, two postdocs, three PhD candidates, and a research assistant. It will combine comparative legal research, philosophy, insights from behavioural studies, and empirical research through stakeholder surveys and interviews. The project focuses on consumer laws in Europe, using Germany, France, Poland, the Netherlands, and Sweden as representative systems in the EU. Findings may be transposed to other parts of the world.
The project aims to be not just about consumers, but also to involve consumers directly through online surveys, blogs, and participation in project events. The outcomes of the project will be relevant to policymakers, academics in various disciplines (law, philosophy, economics), and to consumers and businesses.
 
Key Responsibilities

•    Publish academic papers and present at academic conferences;
•    Participate in project workshops and engage with other researchers in the field;
•    Communicate closely with other members of the research team;
•    Teach and/or supervise students in courses offered by the Civil Law department (max. 10% of appointment);
•    Complete a PhD thesis within four years (1,0 fte).

Selection Criteria
•    A completed master degree in the field of law;
•    Affinity with or an interest in empirical research methods; experience with conducting empirical legal research is an advantage;
•    Excellent research qualities, demonstrated for example by written work such as a master thesis or research paper; 
•    An excellent command of the English language; knowledge of the Dutch language or of other European languages is considered an advantage;
•    Excellent communication and personal skills, and enthusiasm for working in a team;
•    Organisational skills and an ability for time-management, enabling timely completion of the PhD thesis. 

Our faculty
Leiden Law School is located in Leiden and The Hague. With more than 6500 students and around 1000 staff, it is one of the largest university faculties in the Netherlands. The faculty focuses on innovative multidisciplinary research and educational programmes that are constantly renewed in response to issues in society. Our faculty is large enough to make a difference nationally and internationally, yet small enough to offer personalised education. This is how we contribute to a safe and sustainable world, each and every day. For more information: Leiden Law School - Leiden University.

Terms and conditions
•    We offer a full-time 4 year position. An appointment is initially for a period of one year, after which an assessment will take place. The appointment will be extended to a total of four years if the outcome of the evaluation is positive. 
•    Starting date 1 January 2023.
•    Salary range from € 2443.- to € 3122.- gross per month on a full-time basis (pay scale P, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). Salary scale depends on education and experience.
•    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 programme. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. More at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at/job-application-procedure-and-employment-conditions

Diversity and inclusion
Fostering an inclusive community is a central element of the values and vision of Leiden University. Leiden University is committed to becoming an inclusive community which enables all students and staff to feel valued and respected and to develop their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High quality teaching and research is inclusive.

Information
Enquiries can be made to Prof. Vanessa Mak, email: v.mak@law.leidenuniv.nl 
Information about Leiden Law School can be found at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/law and about Leiden University at https://www.leiden.edu 
Information on the advanced research qualification and research programmes of the Graduate School of Legal Studies can be found on: https://law.leiden.edu/research-leiden-law-school/graduate-school-of-legal-studies.htm

Applications
Applications for this vacancy can only be made through our applications portal. To apply, please use the blue button at the top of this page. Please ensure that you upload the following documents:
•    A cover letter stating your motivation for this position;
•    A short research proposal of up to three pages in which you explain how you would research one of the project’s hypotheses in a PhD project. The full project proposal can be obtained by writing an email to Prof. Vanessa Mak, email: v.mak@law.leidenuniv.nl
•    A curriculum vitae; 
•    A digital copy of your master thesis or another major writing sample; 
•    Copies of your academic transcripts;
•    The names and contact addresses of two academic referees.
 
Only applications received before 26 June 2022 can be considered.
 
The selection procedure will take place in June/July 2022, and selected candidates will be invited for an interview in early July. You are kindly requested to be available in this period.
 
Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.

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