Universiteit Leiden

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PhD candidate

Vacancy number
Job type
PhD positions
Hours (in fte)
External/ internal
Den Haag
Placed on
23 January 2024
Closing date
31 March 2024 Vacancy closed

The Institute of Public Administration at Leiden University is looking for a

PhD Candidate for the research project ‘Political Economy of the Green and Digital Transition between the Local, National and European Levels’

The Institute of Public Administration is looking for a PhD candidate to contribute to the project ‘Political Economy of the Green and Digital Transition between the Local, National and European Levels’. The PhD project will focus on how policymakers implement different industrial policy strategies at the European, national and/or local level, balancing the urgency of the green and/or digital transition with the need to maintain legitimacy vis-à-vis an increasingly critical electorate. The planned start is September 2024 or sooner.

In an era of climatic and geopolitical disruptions, health crises, soaring inflation, and eroding trust in democratic institutions, policymakers are caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, governments face growing pressure to design activist industrial policies to address pressing issues – such as completing the green and digital transitions and creating "good" knowledge-based jobs by attracting high-value-added investment – while limiting the negative welfare consequences of necessary reforms. These pressures have become particularly acute since the launch of the European Union’s Next Generation EU programme, as (national) governments are called upon to be the main catalysts for EU grants and loans. On the other hand, as the most visible "face of democracy", (local) governments are under pressure to reduce the perceived gap between politics, administration, and a disillusioned citizenry. This raises the question of how to achieve an industrial policy that is both responsible and accountable. To what extent do public authorities at the local, national, and European level design and implement public policies for digitalization and the green transition that are (perceived to be) both effective and legitimate?

Tasks and responsibilities
The PhD candidate is expected to:

  • write a doctoral dissertation (either a monograph or a set of articles) based on an independent scientific research project on green and/or digital industrial policies using qualitative or mixed methods, including case study research based on fieldwork.
  • disseminate research findings to academic audiences by publishing single and co-authored articles in international peer-reviewed journals and by presenting research at academic conferences.
  • communicate scientific findings to practitioners and the general public, for instance through publications in practitioner-oriented journals or websites, the development of trainings and/or interventions for practice, and participation in practice-oriented debates about how to design new forms of industrial policy.
  • participate in and support the research and dissemination activities of the broader Political Economy and Public Policy research group.
  • take part in training activities based on an individual training and supervision plan, in the area of transferable skills, in line with the PhD regulations of Leiden University (approximately 10% of the appointment).
  • contribute to the teaching programmes of the Institute of Public Administration (approximately 10% of the appointment), with the opportunity to obtain the Basic Teaching Qualification (BKO).

Selection criteria

  • A (research) master’s degree in social sciences with excellent study results in a relevant area, including political economy, political science, economic sociology, public administration, public policy or economics. Students who will obtain their master’s degree before or soon after the start date of September 2024 are also encouraged to apply;
  • Experience with qualitative or mixed-method research, including but not limited to single or multiple case studies (using process-tracing or comparative methods);
  • Interest in and affinity with communicating scientific insights to practice;
  • Excellent spoken and written proficiency in English (proficiency in one or more other EU languages is an advantage);
  • Experience with conducting semi-structured interviews, qualitative content analyses, or archival research (as well as with relevant software packages for these methods) or a strong interest in developing these skills;
  • The capacity to work both independently as well as collaboratively with the project team;
  • Good organizational and communicative skills;
  • The capacity to work in a creative and curiosity-driven way, with a good eye for detail.

The Faculty and Institute
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, organization 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 organization that is growing rapidly. The faculty has three scientific institutes, two centers, 3500 students and 330 staff members.

Within the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs, the Institute of Public Administration is one of the largest and oldest institutes of academic research and teaching in the field of public administration in the Netherlands and is located in The Hague. The institute combines a solid international academic reputation with a central positioning among the international, national, regional, and local governance institutions of The Hague. It employs around 80 people and provides education to 1200 students. The successful candidate will participate within the research programme Public Governance and Civil Society within the research group Democracy & Bureaucracy.

Terms and conditions
We offer a full-time appointment of initially one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the research, teaching evaluations (if applicable), personal capabilities and compatibility, the appointment will be extended for another three years. Salary range starts from € 2.770,- gross per month up to € 3.539,- 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 programme. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. For more information: Job application procedure and employment conditions.

Diversity and inclusion are core values 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.

For more information about this vacancy, please contact dr. Fabio Bulfone, f.bulfone@fgga.leidenuniv.nl or Sebastian Diessner (s.diessner@fgga.leidenuniv.nl).

Please submit online your application no later than March 31st via the blue button in our application system.
In order to apply for this position, applicants are asked to submit (1) a short motivation letter (incl. one or two paragraphs with a topic or idea they would be interested to research within the overall project), (2) a CV, (3) a list of grades of the master’s degree and (4) a recent writing sample (for instance a research paper, article, or thesis).
Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.

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