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2 PhD candidates for research project 'Prototyping Welfare

Vacancy number
22-574 12701
Job type
PhD positions
Hours (in fte)
External/ internal
Placed on
13 September 2022
Closing date
12 October 2022 Vacancy closed

The Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Developmental Sociology (CADS, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences) welcomes applicants for two PhD positions for the NWO-funded research project 'Prototyping Welfare in Europe: Experiments in State and Society’. Both positions start on 1 January or 1 February 2023.

2 PhD candidates (1.0 FTE)  
Vacancy number 22-574 12701

We are looking for 2 PhD candidates for the research project 'Prototyping Welfare in Europe: Experiments in State and Society' funded by a Vici grant (NWO). As a PhD candidate, you will conduct long-term ethnographic research in Athens/Thessaloniki (Greece) or Amsterdam (NL) on welfare experiments in these respective cities and contribute to a comparative analysis of welfare experiments in four European cities. (A postdoc and the PI will conduct research in two additional cities in France and the UK.)
The Prototyping Welfare project develops a comparative anthropological approach to welfare experiments in Europe, exploring what governmental and communal relations they craft, and what socio-political futures they prefigure. Across Europe, neighborhoods, schools and community centers are turned into living labs to experiment with doing welfare differently. These welfare experiments seek to craft models for future welfare arrangements, essentially prototyping welfare. This project examines such welfare prototyping in four European cities with distinct governmental traditions, welfare structures, social fault lines and political anxieties. The project is led by Principal Investigator Anouk de Koning, who will also act as the PhD candidates' primary supervisor.
Job Description
You will conduct long-term ethnographic research in either Athens or Thessaloniki, Greece, or in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, studying two to four welfare experiments. These experiments may be initiated by (semi-)state actors or by civil society organizations or citizen collectives. During your fieldwork, you will become part of the ‘crafting communities’ that you study. Throughout, you work closely with the other members of the research team in the comparative analysis, and in translating the research findings into a language and form relevant for social and policy professionals, citizens and a general audience.
Your research will contribute to three of the project’s four work packages:
Work package 1: Welfare Prototyping in Europe - For this work package, you will create an extended case study that seeks to document the collective arrangements prototyped by welfare experiments in Europe, and explore how they reconstitute state, civil society, community, and citizens. Your case study will also explore how these new collective arrangements articulate with racialized fault lines.
Work package 2: Comparing welfare worlds - In close collaboration with the postdoctoral researcher, PI, and other PhD candidate, you will combine the ethnographic findings of work package 1 in a comparative analysis to outline and theorize the distinct, historically sedimented nature of the welfare experiments, and by extension, the larger welfare worlds of which they are part.
Work package 3: Knowledge utilization and dissemination - For this work package, you will translate your research findings into accessible outputs suited to a range of audiences, including policy makers, social professionals and engaged citizens.
Your Profile
•    (Research) Master's degree in Cultural Anthropology or another relevant social science;
•    Demonstrated passion and aptitude for research;
•    Proven experience with ethnographic research and affinity with research on policy and welfare worlds;
•    Affinity with the lives and experiences of residents in a diverse and/or metropolitan environment;
•    Demonstrated interest in working with community partners, and in working for a general public;
•    Independent work attitude and demonstrable ability to work in a team.
•    Excellent written and oral communication skills in English and Greek (PhD Greece); or
•    Excellent written and oral communication skills in English and a working knowledge of Dutch (PhD NL).
For the Amsterdam position, we encourage people who are not native Dutch speakers to apply, as your perspective may offer unique insights into Dutch policy and welfare worlds. This means that for this position, fluent Dutch language skills are not required. If you do not speak Dutch fluently, the project can cover the costs of and will provide time for language courses.

Our Organisation
This project is embedded in the Institute for Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology. The Institute's research program Global vulnerabilities and social resilience addresses ‘Diversity’, ‘Sustainability’ and ‘Digitalization’ as intersecting areas of critical investigation. Information about the Institute for Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology can be found here: https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/social-behavioural-sciences/cultural-anthropology-and-development-sociology 

Terms and conditions
The appointment will initially be for 12 months and if evaluated positively, the contract will be extended with 3 years. The trajectory is expected to lead to the completion of a PhD thesis. The salary range for a PhD candidate is from €2,541 to €3,247 gross per month (pay-scale PhD candidates 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 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
In light of the Institute’s and PI’s commitment to diversity, and since diversity and inequality are key themes in the project, we strive for a research team that reflects society in all its facets. We therefore strongly encourage applications from people of color and/or with a migration background to apply.

For more information about the content of this position, please contact project manager Sarah Smith, email: s.e.c.smith@fsw.leidenuniv.nl.  She can answer your questions and share the project proposal with you.
For more information about PI Anouk de Koning: https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/staffmembers/anouk-de-koning 

You can apply exclusively through our online application system. Please use the blue button at the top of this page. We must receive your application no later than 12 October 2022.
Please send your application in two PDFs: your letter of motivation and a separate PDF with your resume (curriculum vitae), grade list, a short vision on the subproject (which you also connect to the own academic, professional, and/or personal experience, and commitment that you bring to the project - max. 500 words), two references (these may be from within the socials sciences or beyond - please only provide names and contact details), and your MSc/MA thesis or a comparable publication.
In the PDF, please use the name of the specific vacancy, as follows:
'PhD Prototyping Welfare NL + your name’
'PhD Prototyping Welfare Greece + your name' 
The selection procedure will take place on 13 and 14 October, followed by a first round of interviews on 24 and 25 October. Depending on the selected candidates, these initial interviews may be held in person or online. 
Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.

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