PhD candidate in urban and regional studies

PhD candidate in urban and regional studies

Published Deadline Location
31 Mar 22 Apr Tilburg

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Tilburg University | Tilburg Law School is looking for a PhD candidate in urban and regional studies for the Department of Public Law and Governance (0.8 - 1.0 FTE), scientific discipline is Social science.

Job description

Do you have a keen interest in the politics of the European Green Deal (EGD)? The department of Public Law and Governance at Tilburg University is looking for two PhD candidates. The candidates will study how different European regions envision to achieve a just transition towards a carbon neutral society. The position is part of the Horizon Europe funded project BOLSTER, a consortium of twelve European organizations who will study ten European regions. 

BOLSTER investigates how the EGD stimulates the design of regional transition strategies, guided by the principle of leaving no one behind. The principle of leaving no one behind implies that no European should be put at a disadvantage because of the European Green Deal. 

Regions across Europe are now designing and implementing just transition plans. While the commitment to achieving a just transition is strong, a key question is how marginalized communities are affected by, and involved in, just transition plans. 

To address this question, our research team will map differences among regions. We will focus on how actors define the concept of a just transition and the principle of leaving no one behind. Moreover we aim to understand how marginalized communities make sense of EGD related strategies. We will use literature on climate justice, social theory and governance studies to guide our research.

We will employ comparative (action) research in ten European regions (Southeast Brabant NL, Hainaut BE, Halle DE, Upper Silesia PL, Cluj RO, Prahova RO, Stara Zagora BU, Istria HR, Leon, ES, Coimbra PT). Next, we will work with marginalized communities to create a toolkit with governance models and policy guidelines that will help to foster a just transition. 

Job description
The candidate will function in an international and interdisciplinary research consortium. In Tilburg the candidate will be part of a research team consisting of Michiel Stapper, Martijn Groenleer, Asel Doranova, two PhDs and one Post-doc. The direction of the research will be collaboratively decided in the early stages of the project, but the focus should be on how transition plans are designed in ten European regions that function as case studies for BOLSTER.  The goal is to understand how actors (such as policy makers and marginalized communities) in different regions make sense of the principle of leave no one behind.

Our team in Tilburg will study how three European regions (Southeast Brabant NL, Cluj RO and Coimbra PT) achieved economic transitions in the past. This will be used to draw lessons for regions that are currently designing transition plans. Moreover, we will study how marginalized communities make sense of current EGD-related policies in these regions. 

Next, together with the consortium we will build a database with information on how different regions and cities conceptualize the principle of leaving no one behind. With our team in Tilburg we will conduct a discourse analysis of how EGD-related policies and strategies are justified. 

The candidate is expected to contribute to our collective research goals, but has the opportunity to pursue his, her or their own research interests. 

Principally, you contribute to teaching in the department of Public Law and Governance (PLG), with a focus on the bachelor Public Administration / Public Governance (in Dutch) and master Public Governance (in English) at Tilburg University. These specific degree programs include courses in the field of politics, public administration and governance, as well as in research methodology (qualitative and quantitative).

The ratio between Ph.D. research and teaching is 80%-20%.

There is the opportunity to take part in the Constitutionalizing the Anthropocene group (, Public Law and Governance research seminars and the energy transition & climate community at Tilburg University.  


Tilburg University


Qualifications and personal qualities
Tilburg University believes that academic excellence is achieved through the combination of outstanding research and education in which social impact is made by sharing knowledge. In doing so, we recognize that excellence is not only achieved through individual performance but mostly through team effort in which each team member acts as a leader, connecting people. The candidate we are looking for possesses the following qualifications and qualities:

  • You have a master degree in social sciences (sociology, political science, public administration, planning, geography or a related study)
  • You have a proven interest in urban and regional studies
  • You have knowledge of, or are willing to get familiar with, the literature on social theory, climate justice and governance studies 
  • You have excellent oral and written communication skills in English
  • Oral and written communication skills in Portuguese, Romanian and/or Dutch are an asset (but not a requirement)
  • You have a good command of qualitative research methods
  • You have the ability to collaborate in an international and interdisciplinary team
  • You are willing to contribute to an open and inclusive working culture in the BOLSTER project and at the department of public law and governance at Tilburg University

Conditions of employment

Tilburg University offers excellent terms of employment. We believe flexibility, development, and good employee benefits are very important. We make clear agreements on career paths and offer several facilities and schemes to maintain an optimum balance between work and private life. Tilburg University fosters diversity and inclusion; that is why we pursue an active policy for inclusive teams where diverse talents can flourish.

The starting gross salary varies between €2,443 and €3,122 gross per month (full time) based on scale P of the Collective Labour Agreement Universities ( Tilburg University actively promotes equal and transparent salary between men and women by strictly applying predetermined parameters based on the candidate’s experience. Employees recruited from abroad may be eligible for the 30% tax facility—this means that 30% of your salary will be paid as a tax-free reimbursement.

Tilburg University offers you an employment agreement for a fixed period of 48 months or 4 years and 1,0 FTE (40 hours per week). 

You are entitled to a holiday allowance amounting to 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% of your gross yearly income. If you work 40 hours per week, you receive 41 days of paid recreational leave per year.

Please visit Working at Tilburg University | Tilburg University for more information on our employment conditions. 


Tilburg University

Under the motto “Understanding society”, Tilburg University’s more than 1,500 employees develop knowledge, transfer it to over 19.000 students of 110 nationalities, and bring people from various disciplines and organizations together to learn from each other. In this way, we want to contribute to solving complex social issues. Our focus areas are economics, business and entrepreneurship, social and behavioral sciences, law and public administration, the humanities and digital sciences, and theology. We seek the connection between different disciplines in order to find solutions to the major issues we face as a society. Our students are trained to be responsible and entrepreneurial thinkers, driven by solidarity, a sense of responsibility and empathy, who are able to influence and give direction to a rapidly changing society in an innovative way. Tilburg University has a culture of collaboration and co-creation, at local, regional, national, and international levels.

Since its founding in 1963, Tilburg Law School has become one of the leading law schools in Europe.  Through top-level research and the provision of high-quality university education, the School contributes to society. Tilburg Law School is organized into five Departments: Public Law and Governance (PLG); Law, Technology and Society (TILT); Private, Business and Labour Law (PBLL); the Fiscal Institute Tilburg (FIT) and Criminal Law. The mission of the School is to understand and improve the role of law and public administration in addressing the social problems of today and tomorrow. Through research and education, our scholars contribute to that mission. 

More than 4,000 students pursue a Bachelor's, pre-Master's or Master's degree at Tilburg Law School. Through this education, we train students in law, public administration, and data science. The Tilburg Educational Profile (TEP) is unique in the Netherlands. Central to it are three core concepts: knowledge, skill and character. A university education provides students with the latest substantive knowledge and trains them to be critical thinkers and resilient professionals. In addition, the School is committed to innovative educational concepts and, partly in response to the coronavirus crisis, has invested heavily in the quality of online education and in innovative didactic tools to make and keep students inquisitive. 

Tilburg Law School's research is highly regarded nationally and internationally. The Tilburg Law School Departments work closely together in their research in four signature research programs: 1) Global Law and Governance; 2) Law and Security; 3) Connecting Organizations; and 4) Regulating Socio-Technical Change. 


Department of Public Law & Governance

The Department of Public Law & Governance (PLG) is a unique collaboration of researchers in the fields of International Law, European law, Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, Environmental Law, Public Administration, Legal Philosophy, Political Science, Legal History, and Jurisprudence. Collaboration within the Department is very much inspired by joint research interests.


  • PhD
  • Law; Behaviour and society
  • 32—40 hours per week
  • €2443—€3122 per month
  • University graduate
  • 19923



Warandelaan 2, 5037 AB, Tilburg

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