2 PhD positions at UNU-MERIT / Maastricht Graduate School of Governance of the School of Business and Economics

2 PhD positions at UNU-MERIT / Maastricht Graduate School of Governance of the School of Business and Economics

Published Deadline Location
23 Jun 8 Jul Maastricht

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Job description

We are inviting applications for 2 PhD Positions within the framework of the European Research Council project “Reintegrate: Reintegration Governance”. The Reintegrate project is funded for five years (2021-2026) through a 1.5 million euro ‘Starting Grant’ from the European Research Council. Funding from the European Research Council means that applicants of all nationalities are eligible for this project. We are looking for enthusiastic applicants willing to contribute to a dynamic research environment focused on academic, policy and societal impact. 

The PhD positions will be part of a research team led by Dr Katie Kuschminder. Under the supervision of Dr Katie Kuschminder, the PhD researchers will be responsible for developing and carrying out their own original project in one of the following countries: Ethiopia, Morocco, Nepal, or Serbia, within the overarching analytical and methodological frame of the project. The PhD researchers will also undertake collaborative work with other team members.

Project summary:

The Reintegrate project will study the governance of how return migrants are reintegrated into societies upon their return. The project will develop a conceptual understanding of what is reintegration governance, its implementation, and effectiveness and a new theoretical model of how different forms of reintegration governance shape returnee’s reintegration experiences and outcomes. Four types of reintegration governance are considered: 1) national reintegration governance (a nation states own legislation regarding reintegration); 2) supranational reintegration governance (includes assisted voluntary return programmes and readmission agreements); 3) high reintegration governance (including both the national and supranational); and 4) low reintegration governance (excluding both the national and supranational). The four country case studies to assess the different forms of reintegration governance are Ethiopia, Morocco, Nepal and Serbia.

The Reintegrate project uses a mixed methodology and interdisciplinary approach drawing from anthropology, geography, legal analysis, political science and international relations, and migration and development studies. The project will commence with a systematic mapping of global reintegration governance across countries. The second stage will be to conduct key stakeholder interviews to understand the policy and praxis of reintegration governance including how policies are developed and implemented and the gaps within this process. The third stage will be to conduct original field work (planned at six months) in each case study country with key stakeholder interviews and narrative interviews with return migrants. Each selected PhD researcher will be responsible for field work in one case study country. The final phase of the project will be a comparative assessment and synthesis of the findings that will provide systematic evidence of reintegration governance and its effectiveness.


Maastricht University (UM)


Candidates will be judged on the basis of the requirements outlined below. To be considered, candidates should make sure that their application letter demonstrates how they meet these requirements:

  • Successful completion of a Master’s degree (in Anthropology, Geography, Migration Studies, Sociology, or other relevant fields);
  • Advanced skills in research design and qualitative research analysis;
  • Knowledge of migration and working with vulnerable groups;
  • Strong analytical capacity;
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct independent field work;
  • Affinity with work in an interdisciplinary and international environment;
  • Excellent proficiency in English (working language);
  • Outstanding organizational, verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Knowledge of French, Arabic, Serbian, Nepali or Amharic is a benefit.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: We offer a full-time employment contract as a PhD candidate. The first employment contract will be for a period of 1,5 years and will be extended for another 2,5 years after positive evaluation.

Remuneration will be according to standard salary in scale PhD-candidate of the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (gross salary between € 2.395,- and € 3.061,- per month on a fulltime basis). Each year, the standard salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website http://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl > Support > UM employees.

You have to be willing to move to (the vicinity of) Maastricht. 


Maastricht University

Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 20,000 students and 4,700 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.


UNU-MERIT / Maastricht Graduate School of Governance

UNU-MERIT is a research and training institute of United Nations University (UNU) based in the south of the Netherlands, which collaborates closely with Maastricht University. The institute’s research mission is to provide new insights into the economic, social and political aspects of growth and development in local and international contexts. Its research and training programmes address a broad range of questions including the economics of technology and innovation, multi-level governance, intellectual property protection, social protection policy, knowledge creation and diffusion, and migration.

Researchers at UNU-MERIT are internationally recognized for their contributions to the understanding of the economic, political, social and philosophical foundations of the processes of technical change. The institute also has a history of project implementation for international institutions such as the World Bank, UNICEF, UNDP, IOM, ILO and national governments.


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2395—€3061 per month
  • University graduate
  • AT2021.251


Maastricht University (UM)

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