Universiteit Leiden

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PhD Positions on Political Impacts of Western Education

Vacancy number
22-138 11168
Job type
PhD positions
Hours (in fte)
External/ internal
Placed on
9 March 2022
Closing date
15 April 2022 Vacancy closed

Are you looking for a challenging intellectual job within a dynamic team studying one of the most pressing topics at the intersection of studies of democratization, migration, leadership, and governance? Are you interested in writing a PhD thesis that produces insights on the global transfers of political norms obtained through employing cutting-edge research methodologies?

Leiden University College is looking for two PhD researchers on the political impacts of Western education. The starting date is September 1, 2022.

Vacancy number
 22-138 11168 

What are you going to do?

The PhD research will be conducted within the project funded by a VIDI grant from the Dutch Research Council (NWO), supervised by Dr. Anar Ahmadov. Many governments, international organizations and private donors invest vast resources to enable developing country citizens to study in Western institutions. But while some beneficiaries later emerge as reformist democrats, others become reactionary autocrats. The project seeks to answer this overarching question: By educating their citizens, do Western institutions promote or preclude democracy in developing countries? It focuses its attention on post-Soviet republics.

Your key responsibilities include:

  • contributing to the conceptualization, methodology, data collection and management of the overall project;
  • developing, planning, and conducting your own research in the framework of the project and completing your PhD thesis within a four-year timeframe;
  • participating in project meetings and events;
  • contributing to team publications and reports, including articles in top international peer-reviewed journals;
  • supporting in the organization of team workshops and conferences;
  • in cooperation with team members, preparing and delivering presentations at national and international conferences and stakeholder meetings;
  • contributing to developing other deliverables (e.g. blogs, vlogs, infographics for the project website and other social media) for broader audiences;
  • mentoring of Bachelor and Master students who are affiliated with the project;
  • contributing to teaching within the institute if/when needed;
  • undertaking any other duties relevant to the research project.

Your experience and profile

  • A successfully completed master’s degree in political science, public administration, sociology, migration studies or a closely related social science field;
  • Knowledge of the history, politics and/or socio-economic issues in post-Soviet republics;
  • Knowledge and curiosity about political change, migration, or leadership studies;
  • Good training in social science research methods;
  • Strong quantitative research skills with proficiency in Stata or other statistical software packages, such as R, SAS, SPSS;
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English and Russian;
  • Good team-player;
  • Ability to present their work to both academic and professional audiences;
  • Ability to work in a highly independent, organized and result-oriented fashion;
  • Good familiarity or experience with qualitative research methods would be an advantage.

Our organisation

Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs 

The Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs is an internationally acclaimed academic knowledge hub that studies world-wide issues from the varied perspectives of governance, politics, law, sociology and economics. We contribute to far-reaching socio-cultural debate through our acquired knowledge. We aim to do this not only through education and research, but also by organizing lectures and debates to learn from.

The faculty’s scientific research is organized around a number of centers and institutes in The Hague, city of peace and justice. Staff members conduct research in fields such as global politics, public administration, security, and urban issues. Complex issues are examined from an interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary perspective. For more information, see here.

Leiden University College

Leiden University College The Hague (LUC) is the international Honors College of Leiden University, offering an innovative Liberal Arts & Sciences undergraduate program to highly talented and motivated students from all over the world. It has consistently ranked the top liberal arts and sciences’ college in the Netherlands with a strong track record on societally-relevant social science research.

Research at LUC fits within the general frame of global challenges that is central to our teaching program, covering major societal issues including Peace & Justice, Diversity, Prosperity, and Sustainability. Key research themes include international relations and conflict studies, international justice, governance and development, earth, energy, and sustainability, human diversity and belonging, and global public health.

Terms and conditions

The appointment as a PhD candidate will be for a period of four years. Initially for a period of one year with an extension of three years after positive evaluation of progress and skills development, leading to the successful completion of a PhD thesis.

The starting date is September 1, 2022. Salary ranges from  2.443,- to  3.122,- 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. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

All our PhD students are embedded in the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs (FGGA) Graduate School. Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.


Leiden University, Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs, and Leiden University College are strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcome applications from members of underrepresented groups.


Enquiries can be made to Dr. Anar Ahmadov, via a.k.o.ahmadov@luc.leidenuniv.nl.

Please submit online your application no later than April 15 2022 via the blue button in our application system. Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents in PDF format, quoting the vacancy number:

  • A one-page motivation letter;
  • Grade list/transcript from previous education programmes followed and completed;
  • Curriculum vitae;
  • A writing sample showcasing your research and writing skills (master’s thesis or other publication if applicable);
  • The names and contact details of three potential referees (no actual recommendation letters required at this stage).

Shortlisted candidates will likely be interviewed mid-April to early May. Interviews will take place at Leiden University’s Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs or online.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.

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