PhD Candidate Data Protection and Privacy law

PhD Candidate Data Protection and Privacy law

Published Deadline Location
2 May 23 May Heerlen

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Job description

Your task is to carry out a research project in the field of data protection law under the supervision of prof. mr. Anna Berlee. Depending on the topic and/or method of research, a co-supervisor will be chosen.

The candidate is requested to already reflect on the research topic, by having her/his application accompanied by a possible research question and research plan, on maximum one A4.

The candidate will work in the Data Protection and Privacy Law section. This section is part of the Private Law department of the faculty of Law. We are looking for and enthusiastic colleague who wants to help build a research group and an educational program in the field of the dynamic and socially important privacy and data protection law. In doing so, we will collaborate with colleagues from different areas of law and from other faculties, such as specialists in artificial intelligence or data science from the Faculty of Science. The candidate can be involved in teaching (part of) a course in the new master Data Protection and Privacy Law, that is related to the topic of the dissertation. 




The Open Universiteit (OU)


You have graduated with excellent results with a master's degree in the field of law (regular or research master's). For the purposes of research and (limited) use in teaching, a specialization in the field of data protection law or adjacent areas of law is desirable. You have a demonstrable scientific interest and research qualities, preferably demonstrated by a scientific publication. You are enthusiastic and ambitious in the area of scientific research. Furthermore, you can work both in a team and independently and you have very good communication skills. You also have good ICT skills and are result-oriented with a proactive attitude.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: temporary position for 4 years.

The PhD candidate will be appointed for a period of 12 months. The appointment will be extended to four years  when progress and performance are good. The salary is € 2.443,= gross per month in the first year and is expected to increase to € 3.122,= in the fourth year, for a full time appointment, contingent on satisfactory performance.

The OU offers good secondary and flexible employment conditions in areas such as training and mobility, working part-time, hybrid working, and paid parental leave.

In good consultation, you are expected to be present in Heerlen on a regular basis (in the case of a full-time appointment 2 days a week).


The Open Universiteit

Flexible studying anywhere in the Netherlands and (Belgium) Flanders
At the Open Universiteit (OU) in the Netherlands, students follow personalised and activating academic distance education and disciplinary research is carried out within the various fields of science. Students can complete bachelor and master programmes in seven fields of study. The characteristics of education are openness, flexibility and quality (see Much attention is paid to improving the study success of students. The OU has over 18,000 students and more than 750 employees. The OU has branches in the Netherlands and Belgium (see The main office is located in Heerlen, the Netherlands.

The latest technologies and educational insights are applied both in the bachelor's and master's programmes and courses and in projects and programmes with partners. Nationally and internationally, the OU plays an important role in the innovation of higher education. Education is interwoven with research, which also ensures that the current state of science is incorporated. The OU invests not only in disciplinary research in eight scientific fields, but also in research in a multidisciplinary programme: Innovating for resilience.


Faculty of Law

The faculty of Law has approximately ninety employees and is currently undergoing major renewal. The lines are short, initiative and boldness are appreciated and there is plenty of room for the realization of good ideas. The faculty has two departments: the department of Private Law and the department of Public Law. The section Privacy and Data Protection Law is part of the department Private Law. Education and research are supported by the Education and Research Office.

The core of legal education consists of the Bachelor's degree program in Law (LL.B) and the Master's degree program in Law (LL.M) with five graduate programs (private law, criminal law, administrative law, constitutional law & legal theory and European & international law). The faculty is currently developing a master's program in Data Protection and Privacy Law (LL.M). In addition, there are switching programs. The faculty also provides several courses in the bachelor's, master's and PhD programs in collaboration with foreign partners (including FernUni in Hagen, Germany and UNED in Madrid, Spain) in the strategic partnership EDELNet. Faculty staff participate in other OU master's degree programs such as Health Sciences.

The faculty considers educational innovation important and is at the forefront within the OU with the development of serious games, podcasts and other innovative forms of online guidance. However, F2F education is certainly not forgotten: the study centers are well used for different types of education. In educational development and innovation, faculty teachers work closely with colleagues from the OU's educational expertise center, the ECO. The education is well appreciated by students: the faculty of Law is in first place in the National Student Survey 2021 and in joint first place in the Dutch university guide ‘Keuzegids Masters’.

The faculty of Law has a field-wide research program 'Law in an individualized network society'. The emphasis of the research is on positive law, but the faculty also has a strong group of Empirical Legal Studies (with professors in ELS, criminology and legal anthropology) and legal theory. There are ten full-time PhD students and eight postdocs working at the faculty. In addition, there are many external PhD students. Like its sister faculties, the OU has been participating in the Law Sector Plan since July 2019, in particular the spearhead of Transformative Effects of Globalization in Law in the Netherlands (with the UvA, Tilburg University and Maastricht University). We also work together with other faculties and institutions in research and valorisation, for example with the NSCR and with Tilburg University at, and various employees are very active in valorisation and science communication



  • PhD
  • Law
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • AC/ FAC/RW/22055


The Open Universiteit (OU)

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Postbus 2960, 6401 DL, Heerlen

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