PhD Researcher in the field of Law and Security

PhD Researcher in the field of Law and Security

Published Deadline Location
21 Nov 12 Mar Tilburg

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Tilburg University | Tilburg Law School is looking for a PhD Researcher in the field of Law and Security (1.0 FTE) for the Tilburg Graduate Law School, location: Tilburg, scientific discipline: Law.

Job description

Tilburg Graduate Law School is looking for an ambitious PhD researcher in the field of Law and Security within our research program ‘Crime and Criminal Justice in the Age of Globalization and Digitalization’. 

The research mission of Tilburg Law School (TLS) is to understand and improve the role of law in tackling societal problems now and in the future, particularly those connected with globalization and rapid economic, social, cultural and technological change. The research of Tilburg Law School is conducted in an organization that fosters diversity. Internationalization and interdisciplinarity have become core characteristics of Tilburg Law School’s research. The TLS-research is organized in four signature plans: Connecting Organizations, Global Law & Governance, Regulating Socio-Technical Change, and Law and Security. 

Law and Security
Today’s ever-changing and globalizing societies are faced with new challenges that undermine democratic values, the rule of law and the functioning of societal institutions and bodies. In this era of globalization and digitalization, criminal justice responses must change. With the rise of powerful new actors (e.g., big tech) as well as new configurations of traditional governance actors (municipalities, cities, the EU, international criminal courts) we witness new approaches to combat crime. State and non-state entities collaborate to fight transnational and international crime while the digitalization of crime has led to changes in techniques of prevention, detection, and criminal investigation. This can be challenging; in the area of criminal justice, there is a tendency to adhere to sovereignty and parochial practices. Moreover, crime of a global and digital nature requires crossdisciplinary research to regulate and counter it.

The changes to crime, how these materialize and the responses to them, are studied in this program from three perspectives: (i) their impact on the rule of law and security, and (ii) how they manifest themselves on multiple levels: local, regional, national, European, transnational, and global levels (iii) which actors and institutions on local, national, regional and international levels are or should be involved in addressing these crimes and in what way. In this broader context, the overall aim of the signature plan Law and Security is to identify, evaluate and develop legal avenues that address challenges to Crime and Criminal Justice in the Age of Globalization and Digitalization.

In addition to the three perspectives, the signature plan addresses the following five underlying questions are: (i) How should we understand crime and behaviour ‘undermining’ the rule of law and security in the current societal context? What are its manifestations, context and causes? (ii) How to strengthen legal avenues to cope with these challenges undermining the rule of law and security within complex and globalized societies? (iii) How should we understand and assess the multiple and changing governance levels (including its different actors) – beyond the role of the state – at which crime and behaviour are addressed? (iv) How are emerging technologies and digitalisation related to crime and behaviour undermining the rule of law and security – as challenges and as potential solutions? (v) How can we counter global crime at a domestic level and strengthen transnational and international collaboration to respond to international crimes and ensure respect for the rule of law and security?

We invite candidates with an interdisciplinary socio-legal background as well as researchers who prefer a more doctrinal approach to submit a research proposal on one or more of these underlying questions. Candidates with proposals that focus on Dutch law are encouraged to apply. Research proposals could target the need for criminalization as a result of emerging crime related to digitalization/globalisation undermining the rule of law. Alternatively, proposals could be developed on targeting challenges faced by the criminal justice system of the Netherlands as a result of digitalisation and/or emerging new technologies.

We invite candidates to write an open research proposal within the context of this signature plan. More information and examples of research topics that are covered in this Signature Plan can be found here.

On the webpage of the department that hosts the signature plan, the department of Criminal Law, you will be able to find researchers who might be willing to act as supervisors of the PhD research you propose. You need at least a senior research (either an associate professor or a full professor) to support your application with a letter of support. This person might also give you feedback on a draft proposal. However, if you find another researcher whose work interests you, you might reach out to them first. Please do inform yourself well about the person you contact and make sure you know what you would want to research, but do not wait too long either, as the process of developing a proposal and receiving feedback needs time. The deadline for reaching out to a (potential) supervisor is January 21st, 2023.


Tilburg University


What do we ask? 
Tilburg University is curious about how you can contribute to our research, education, impact, and to the team you will be part of. Therefore, we would like to get the best possible picture of your knowledge, insight, skills, and personality. Below you can find the qualifications we consider important for the position.


  • Are an outstanding student with an excellent command of English or Dutch, depending on the language in which the dissertation will be written. 
  • Have completed (or will complete by the end of August 2023) a Master in Law and/or a Master in adjacent fields such as Law and Economics, Law and Technology or Politics and Public Administration.
  • Have a strong interest in doing research and are able to clearly formulate views, ideas and concepts based upon complex information, as well as construct conceptual frameworks or models.
  • Have excellent writing and presentation skills, you can easily transfer your conducted knowledge to different target groups.
  • Have good planning and organizing skills and are able to plan activities and set goals and priorities.
  • Are flexible, proactive, and able to work both independently and as part of a team. You are enthusiastic about studying crime and criminal justice and willing to contribute to the research community within our Law School.
  • Finally PhD researchers at TLS generally work four days per week (0.8 fte) on their research, while one day a week (0.2 fte) is dedicated to education or other tasks for the department. 

To maintain a vibrant and active university community, it is important that researchers we meet each other regularly and that the connection between us remains good. Therefore, the premise is that all staff members carry out their work in the Netherlands and that lecturing is done physically.

Conditions of employment

What do we offer?
Tilburg University offers excellent terms of employment with attention to flexibility and room for (personal) development. We recognize and reward our employees and encourage the use of talents and strengths.

Tilburg University is committed to an open and inclusive culture, embracing diversity, and encouraging the mutual integration of groups of staff and students. We create equal opportunities for all our staff and students so that everyone feels at home in our university community. 

We work in a pleasant and lively (work) environment on our beautiful campus, close to the forest and easily accessible by public transport. We are committed to a sustainable society and challenge you to make an active contribution to this. 

For this position, we offer:

  • A position based on 1.0 FTE (40 hours a week);
  • A salary of €2,541 gross per month for full time employment, based on UFO profile PhD Researcher and salary scale P of the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. Tilburg University uses a neutral remuneration system for salary scaling.
  • Vacation allowance (8%) and a year-end bonus (8.3%);
  • Vacation days (41 days for a 40-hour work week);
  • Options Model for benefits and reimbursement of moving expenses;
  • Employees from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a tax-free allowance of 30% of their taxable wages. We will apply for this reimbursement for you;
  • You will be enrolled in the General Pension Fund for Public Employers (ABP) through us;
  • Various training courses, for example in leadership skills, personal effectiveness, and career development;
  • A wide range of amenities and facilities and various arrangements to create an optimal work-life balance;

The total duration of the PhD trajectory is four years (48 months). The candidate will initially be appointed for a fixed period of 16 months. After 12 months, an evaluation will take place. If the performance evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended for the remaining period of 32 months.

Visit working at Tilburg University for more information on our terms of employment.


Tilburg University

Tilburg University's motto is Understanding Society. Based on this vision, our more than 1,500 employees conduct research, inspire more than 19,000 students of 110 nationalities, and bring people from different disciplines and organizations together to learn from each other. In this way, we want to contribute to solving complex social issues. In doing so, we work from the fields of economics, business and entrepreneurship, social and behavioral sciences, law and public administration, humanities and digital sciences, and theology. We seek the connection between the various disciplines to find solutions to the major issues we face as a society. Our students are educated to become 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 level.

Since its founding in 1963, Tilburg Law School has become one of the leading law schools in Europe. Through top 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; Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, Markets and Society; Private, Business and Labour Law; the Fiscal Institute Tilburg; 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, skills, 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 Criminal Law

The Department of Criminal Law has a multidisciplinary composition in which both criminal (procedural) law and social science approaches to crime and victimization have a place, and it provides education and research in the field of criminal law, criminology, victimology, and forensic psychiatry. Currently, the Department has about 30 permanent staff members. Particular value is placed on collaboration, both within the Department and with colleagues within Tilburg Law School and other Schools. The Department has an informal culture, where equality and providing an inspiring and safe working environment are paramount. Providing excellent education and conducting challenging research are seen as two main tasks that can only be accomplished together. 


  • PhD
  • Law
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • 21174



Warandelaan 2, 5037 AB, Tilburg

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