PhD Candidate in Political Science, focus on EU agencies

PhD Candidate in Political Science, focus on EU agencies

Published Deadline Location
13 Feb 22 Mar Leiden

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The Institute of Political Science of Leiden University's Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences invites applicants for two positions of

PhD Candidate in Political Science, focus on EU agencies (1.0 FTE)
Vacancy number 14572

Job description

Key responsibilities
The PhD researchers will be part of the project ‘EUROTYPES: The Impact of Cultural Stereotypes in European Multi-Level Policy Enforcement’, funded by the European Research Council (2024-2028) and led by Dr Adina Akbik. Cultural stereotypes are often present in the political and media discourse on EU governance, e.g. ‘the lazy Greeks’, ‘the tax-dodging Italians’, ‘the stingy Dutch’, and so forth. Yet despite their frequency in public rhetoric, there is limited research on how stereotypes affect the behaviour of civil servants working in EU institutions. The project aims to explore the role of cultural stereotypes among people involved in the direct implementation of EU policy (‘multi-level policy enforcement’) via EU agencies. More information about the project is available at

The ideal candidates will have strong qualitative and solid quantitative methods skills, a familiarity with EU agencies, and a keen interest in the topic of the project. Together with the project team, they will be expected to investigate the prevalence of cultural stereotypes in selected EU agencies (see below), as well as their potential impact on the way in which civil servants make decisions. The two positions have different foci:
  • PhD researcher #1 will focus on EU agencies working in areas of core state powers such as migration (Frontex, the EU agency for Asylum), law enforcement cooperation (Europol, Eurojust, the European Public Prosecutor's Office), or defence policy (the European Defence Agency).
  • PhD researcher #2 will focus on EU agencies working in regulatory areas such as financial supervision (the European Securities and Markets Authority, the European Banking Authority), health policy (the European Medicines Agency), or product safety (the European Food Safety Authority).

In addition to completing a PhD thesis on a topic related to the aims of the project, the candidates will be expected to participate actively in the research, publication, and communication activities of the EUROTYPES project; to collect, clean, analyse, and interpret observational and/or experimental data required for the project; to present research output in internal university seminars and at international conferences; to collaborate with other members of the research team; and to support the administration and organization of project-related events.

As part of the position, candidates will receive research training in EU studies and experimental methods required to analyse the role of stereotypes on behaviour.


Leiden University


Selection criteria
  • Applicants must hold (or be near completing) a (research) master’s degree in political science, international relations, public administration/public policy, or EU studies with excellent grades. They have written (or are near completing) a master’s thesis.
  • Applicants have extensive background knowledge of EU institutions and decision-making as demonstrated by a minor in EU studies, the completion of a bachelor or master thesis on the topic, or relevant work experience in the field.
  • Applicants must have prior training in and a good command of qualitative methods (especially content analysis) and quantitative methods and have experience or an interest in working with experimental methods.
  • Applicants are passionate about political science research and have a strong affiliation with the project theme.
  • Applicants meet the English language requirements of the Graduate School of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. A working understanding of other EU languages is an advantage.

Conditions of employment

Research at our Faculty/Institute
Leiden University’s Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences comprises five institutes: Political Science, Psychology, Education and Child Studies, Cultural Anthropology & Development Sociology and the Centre for Science and Technology Studies. The Faculty is home to 7,000 students and 1000 members of staff. Its teaching and research programmes cover diverse topics varying from adoption to political behaviour. For more information, see

The Institute of Political Science has a strong research tradition in various areas of comparative, Dutch and international politics, as well as political theory. The Institute has around 85 academic staff, including many non-Dutch scholars, and houses a number of editorships of international refereed journals and book series. Members of the institute are also involved in a number of the university’s multi-disciplinary research centres, including the Europe Hub, Central and East European Studies, International Relations, Parties and Representation, Political Philosophy, Centrum voor Nederlandse Politiek en Bestuur and ReCNTR. The Institute is based in Leiden and in The Hague, where a large part of the teaching is done.

The Institute offers a range of programmes at the Bachelor and Master levels and also trains PhD students in political science. The BSc programmes include general Political Science (in Dutch & English, in Leiden), International Politics (in Dutch & English, in Leiden), and International Relations and Organisations (in English, in The Hague). The one-year MSc programme (taught mostly in English) includes five specialisations in Leiden and one in The Hague.

Terms and conditions
The positions start on 1 September 2024. We offer full-time PhD positions. The salary is € 2,770.- to
€ 3,539.- gross per month (pay scale P, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).
Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with an additional holiday bonus (8% of annual salary) and end-of-year bonus (8.3% of annual salary), training and career development. Our individual choices model 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. More at

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.


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 14572



Rapenburg 70, 2311EZ, Leiden

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