Universiteit Leiden

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PhD Position in Law & Finance (1.0 fte)

Omvang (fte)
Geplaatst op
25 juni 2024
12 augustus 2024 Nog 21 dagen om te solliciteren

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Research project: Banks as promotors of social change: contractual, regulatory and liability aspects

The Department of Financial Law (Hazelhoff Centre for Financial Law) and the Department of Company Law at Leiden University have an open PhD position in Law & Finance.

The influence of the European financial sector on the world economy, along with its direct and indirect impact on human rights and the environment, cannot be overstated. Financial institutions, such as banks, finance enterprises and projects in the real economy and promote economic growth in the jurisdictions of the Global South. However, they can also cause, contribute to, or be directly linked to various adverse environmental and human rights impacts.

Considering the significant role played by banks in ensuring respect for human rights and promoting environmental sustainability, they are increasingly subject to litigation, regulatory enforcement, and other legal action. They also fall under an expanding network of international (soft law), regional and national legal frameworks.

Banks can use various contractual and other tools to steer their borrowers or prospective borrowers to act sustainably (pre-contractual due diligence and disclosure, sustainability-linked loans with ESG-related performance targets, loan acceleration upon specific events of default, etc.). At the same time, a failure to conduct proper due diligence and engagement with clients that contribute significantly to climate change or cause environmental damage and human rights violations substantially increase the risk of civil and administrative liability and could result in reputation harm.

The PhD researcher should contribute to the research in this field, with the freedom to design specific research projects. The overall aim of the project is to contribute to the study of the role of banks in promoting sustainable development and adequately responding to relevant ESG risks (including liability risks), taking into account existing commercial practices and the changing regulatory environment.

PhD supervisors: Dr. Ilya Kokorin (Hazelhoff Centre for Financial Law), Dr. Chris van Oostrum (Department of Company Law).

What does this job entail?

  • Being part of a vibrant, diverse, and international research community.
  • Conducting cutting-edge research in a promising and socially relevant field, with the potential for significant impact on society.
  • Writing research papers to be published as peer-reviewed articles and PhD dissertation.
  • Presenting research results at various national and international conferences and workshops.
  • Participating in courses and training activities agreed upon with the supervisors.
  • Participating in the academic activities of the Departments of Financial and Company Law of Leiden University.
  • Engaging in limited teaching and coordination activities.


  • You have a master’s degree in law or are in the process of obtaining one.
  • You have a demonstrable interest in the field of financial, company or civil law.
  • You can demonstrate scientific research skills or willingness to acquire them.
  • You have an ambition to conduct innovative and thorough research in the fields of financial, company and civil law.
  • You have excellent oral and written command of English.
  • You work well with others in teams.

Approximately 15% of working time is reserved for providing educational support. The remaining time is reserved for research, which must culminate in a PhD dissertation by the end of the appointment period. Participation in the PhD training course is part of the position, as is obtaining the University Teaching Qualification (BKO).

Our faculty

The Departments of Financial Law and Company Law are part of the Leiden Law School (ranked #1 in the Netherlands for the subject of law and #21 in the 2022 QS World University Rankings by Subject). 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. The Faculty is housed in the beautifully restored Kamerlingh Onnes Building on the Steenschuur in Leiden. Working for the Leiden Law School means working in a welcoming and inspiring scientific environment.

Terms and conditions

  • We offer a stimulating and intellectually challenging work environment that fosters personal development and is determined to make a difference when it comes to key societal challenges.
  • The PhD position is for 1.0 fte.
  • The appointment as a PhD student 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 appointment will be under the terms of the cao (Collective Labour Agreement) of Dutch Universities.
  • Starting date: September-October 2024 (some flexibility is possible).
  • The employment contract is for 38 hours a week. Your salary ranges from €2.770 (in year 1) to €3.539 (in year 4) gross per month on the basis of a full working week of 38 hours. This sum does not include the 8% holiday allowance and the 8.3% year-end allowance. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU) is applicable.
  • Leiden University offers excellent employment conditions, including an attractive benefits package with training and career development (including, for example, language courses, teaching courses and project management courses), support from the PhD dean, and we facilitate a good work-life balance via flexible working hours and various leave arrangements. Our individual choices model also 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.

Diversity and inclusion

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. We therefore especially welcome applications from members of underrepresented groups.


Enquiries can be made to Dr. Ilya Kokorin (i.kokorin@law.leidenuniv.nl). Information about the Hazelhoff Centre for Financial Law can be found here. Information about the Department of Company Law can be found here.

For more information about the application procedure, please contact Ms. Jacqueline Wessel, Institute Coordinator of the Institute of Private Law, tel. +31715271326; email: j.e.wessel@law.leidenuniv.nl.


Applications for this vacancy can be submitted via the blue button of our online system. Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number:

  • A cover letter stating your motivation for applying to this position;
  • A curriculum vitae;
  • A one-page draft research proposal on the subject of the research project.

At this stage, it is not necessary to submit references or recommendation letters.
Only applications received before Monday, 12 August 2024, will be considered. The selection procedure will take place in late August 2024 – early September 2024.

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