Universiteit Leiden

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PhD Candidate in 'EU Counter-terrorism, the United Nations and Local Peacekeeping' (1.0 FTE)

Vacancy number
Job type
PhD positions
Hours (in fte)
External/ internal
Den Haag
Placed on
21 May 2024
Closing date
1 June 2024 Vacancy closed

PhD Candidate in ‘EU Counter-terrorism, the United Nations and Local Peacekeeping’ (1.0 FTE) in the framework of the MSCA EU-GLOCTER Doctoral Network (EU Glocal Counter-Terrorism).

The Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) of the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs (FGGA) at Leiden University is recruiting, within the framework of the EU-funded MSCA EU-GLOCTER Doctoral network, a fully-funded PhD candidate on the topic of ‘EU Counter-terrorism, the United Nations and Local Peacekeeping’. This is a 100% research position for the first three years, but opportunities to develop teaching expertise and gain experience will be offered. The 4th year will include 50% teaching activities.

Project Description

The Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) seeks to appoint a full-time PhD candidate within the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Doctoral Network on EU Glocal Counter-Terrorism (EU-GLOCTER) to carry out research activities related to a topic at the intersection of EU Counter-terrorism, the United Nations and Local Peacekeeping. The successful candidate will carry out theory-driven and policy-oriented research on how the EU’s inter-organisational relations with the United Nations at the intersection of counter-terrorism and local peacebuilding. ‘Counter-terrorism’ is here broadly defined to include both state-sponsored and non-state groups’ terrorist activities. The successful candidate will join the War, Peace and Justice Research Group at ISGA. This is a 100% research position for the first three years, but opportunities to develop teaching expertise and gain experience will be offered during the 4th year (up to 50% can be dedicated to teaching in the final year). The research should lead the candidate to obtain a PhD within a four-year timeframe.

The PhD candidate’s project will be part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Doctoral Network on EU Glocal Counter-Terrorism (EU-GLOCTER).

The two main objectives of EU-GLOCTER are: (1) to provide world-class training to doctoral candidates (DCs) in EU ‘glocal’ counter-terrorism - thinking globally, responding locally; and (2) to generate scientific excellence and technological innovation in the area of counter-terrorism. Terrorism remains one of the main security threats facing the European Union (EU) and its Member States, with a considerable impact on European societies. There is therefore a strong need for knowledge and expertise that will enable the EU and its Member States to effectively address the contemporary terrorist threat. The EU-GLOCTER (EUropean GLOCal Counter-TERrorism) Doctoral Network will produce the expertise that the EU and its Member States require to effectively address this threat. The research programme is highly innovative in its emphasis on analysing EU counter-terrorism through the lenses of ‘glocalism’ at different levels, ranging from the local through the EU to the global level, and in the crossing of the public-private sector boundaries. EU-GLOCTER brings seven recruiting institutions with an excellent research track-record in counter-terrorism research together with Associated Partners from across the world in order to deliver a world-class PhD programme.
The EU-GLOCTER doctoral programme will be implemented through partnerships of organisations from different sectors across Europe and beyond to train highly skilled doctoral candidates, stimulate their creativity, enhance their innovation capacities and boost their employability in the long-term. Participating universities and research institutes are next to Leiden University, Dublin City University (DCU), Ireland (Coordinator), International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT), Netherlands, Jagiellonian University (JAG), Poland; Metropolitan University Prague (MUP), Czechia; Rey Juan Carlos University (URJC), Spain. In addition, there are 17 associate partners. For a full list, see https://euglocter.eu/about/#recruiting-partners

The doctoral programme comprises two periods of secondment as well as a range of network-wide training events and conferences. Those form an integral part of the doctoral programme for each Doctoral Candidate. All candidates must therefore be able and willing to travel to these training events and conferences and to complete two secondments.

All candidates must also comply with the following mobility requirement: in general, they must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting organisation for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before their recruitment date. For further information, please see https://www.dcu.ie/lawandgovernment/news/2024/may/vacancies-11-phd-positions-under-msca-eu-glocter-doctoral-network

The PhD candidate will be supervised by Professor Joachim Koops in cooperation with colleagues from the EU-GLOCTER network.

Key Responsibilities

  • Conduct collaborative and novel research at the intersection of EU approaches to counter-terrorism, the United Nations and local peacebuilding
  • Present their work to academic and professional audiences, both independently and with team members;
  • Submit independent/solo-authored manuscripts to internationally recognized peer-review academic journals, ideally also have manuscripts accepted for publication;
  • Write and submit team co-authored manuscripts to internationally recognized peer-review academic journals, ideally also have manuscripts accepted for publication;
  • Actively contribute to the international network EU-GLOCTER
  • Participate in the mobility requirements and EU-GLOCTER training activities
  • Actively participate in discussions at institute and research group level on research and teaching innovation;
  • Follow PhD courses based on an individual training and supervision plan, including through the Graduate School;
  • Teach in programmes at ISGA in the 4th year (50%)
  • Obtain a PhD by completing either an unpublished monograph (thesis) or publishing several articles in peer-reviewed academic journals on a topic related to the project outlined above within a four-year timeframe.

Selection Criteria

  • Eligibility requirements of the EU-GLOCTER MSCA Doctoral Network (for more information, see https://www.dcu.ie/lawandgovernment/news/2024/may/vacancies-11-phd-positions-under-msca-eu-glocter-doctoral-network)
  • Master’s degree completed by the time of the appointment, ideally in political science, international relations, security studies or international law. A research master degree is considered an asset;
  • Demonstrable ability and enthusiasm for research at the intersection of conceptual and policy-oriented research;
  • Availability to travel outside the Netherlands
  • Demonstrable good time-management skills;
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team in an organized and results-oriented fashion;
  • The PhD thesis and/or journal articles will be written in English and therefore excellent command of English is required. Dutch language skills are not a requirement.

Our organisation
Leiden University is one of Europe's foremost research universities. It is the oldest university in the Netherlands, founded in February 1575, and currently ranks in the top 100 of most international rankings. The University has approximately 34,000 students and 7,500 staff members.

The Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs, located in The Hague – the International City of Peace and Justice – offers a range of other programs focused on international relations, security, international law and international organization. It also hosts the Leiden University College (LUC), an international honors college of Leiden University situated The Hague. Firmly rooted in the academic tradition, the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs provides an inspiring and challenging education and research environment, with a strong interdisciplinary character and international orientation; it is a meeting place for students, scholars and professionals, a platform for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Institute of Security and Global Affairs
The Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) is a leading research and education institute, focusing on the most pressing local, national, European and global security issues from an interdisciplinary perspective. It currently hosts more than 120 academic and support staff members and offers the BA in Security Studies, the MSc in Crisis and Security Management, the Advanced MSc in International Relations and Diplomacy, the executive MSc in Cyber Security as well as a variety of innovative teaching offerings in the professional and MOOC fields. In addition, ISGA runs popular Minor Programmes in Global Affairs, Security, Safety and Justice and Intelligence Studies as well as the Faculty’s Honour Programme in Security and Global Affairs.

ISGA operates from The Hague, the third major city of the Netherlands, center of national governance and International City of Peace and Justice and advances both theory-informed and policy-oriented research. For further information, visit

Research Group: War, Peace and Justice
The PhD candidate will join the War, Peace and Justice (WPJ) Group at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA). Our research group is comprised of a number of academic researchers and practitioners who share a research interest core aspects related to war, peace and justice. Our core teaching activities within ISGA focus on the specialization track in War and Peace Studies in the Crisis and Security Management (CSM) MSc programme. We also contribute to other teaching programmes within ISGA. You can find more information about the research group on the website.

Terms and conditions
The successful candidate will be part of an ambitious and dynamic team and part of an exciting international doctoral network. He or she will be appointed for 3+1 years. The first three years will be dedicated entirely to research and the Doctoral Training activities. The 4th year will include at least 0.5 FTE teaching activities. The gross monthly salary is set on € 2.770,- in the first year, increasing to €3.539,- gross per month in the final year, in accordance with the Collective Labor 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.

All our PhD students are embedded in the Graduate School of Governance and Global Affairs. Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness.

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. High quality teaching and research is inclusive.

Enquiries can be made to Professor Joachim Koops, email: j.a.koops@fgga.leidenuniv.nl

Please submit online your application no later than 1 June 2024 via the blue button in our application system. In parallel please also submit your application via the EU-GLOCTER application process to be found at https://www.dcu.ie/lawandgovernment/news/2024/may/vacancies-11-phd-positions-under-msca-eu-glocter-doctoral-network. The position is envisaged to commence no later than October 2024.

Please ensure that you upload the following documents in one merged PDF file, quoting the vacancy number, including the following parts:

  • Completed EU-GLOCTER application form (which can be downloaded here)
  • Motivation letter, including your relevant interest and experience in the subject matter and in doing advanced research (max 2 pages)
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of any publications
  • A writing sample (postgraduate thesis or publication)
  • A research statement, where you will pitch your specific ideas on how you would approach the project. This should include: clearly stating which of the project’s themes you would focus on; your research question(s); how you would approach answering these questions (i.e. a preliminary research design, appropriate data, and analysis methodologies); and what you consider to be the academic (empirical and/or conceptual) and non-academic contributions and relevance of the research (max 1000 words);
  • Scanned copy of a valid ID (national ID or passport);
  • Scanned copies of your official academic transcripts;
  • Scanned copy of the certificate proving your English proficiency (unless your native language is English or you have obtained an academic qualification for a degree taught in the English language);
  • The names and addresses of two referees (no actual recommendation letters required at this stage).

Shortlisted candidates may be interviewed in May or June. Interviews may be held through an online platform.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.

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