2 PhD Candidates on EU lobbying | Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences | Dept. of Political Science

2 PhD Candidates on EU lobbying | Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences | Dept. of Political Science

Published Deadline Location
22 Mar 22 Apr Maastricht
You are invited to apply for a PhD position within the project 'ACCESS4ALL - Why is access to policymakers (not) equal for all lobbyists?'

Job description

Research project
The project’s objective is to understand how EU policy access is biased towards lobbyists from privileged socio-demographic backgrounds and why. Interest groups, including NGOs, business associations and labour unions, are key channels of policy representation. Nevertheless, interest groups’ democratic credentials are contested, and their representatives, so-called lobbyists, tend to have a negative reputation. In reality, we know very little about the people involved in lobbying—and even less about how lobbyists’ backgrounds affect their chances of securing access to policymakers. To study this, the project implements desk research, surveys and vignette experiments with EU lobbyists and policymakers.

Your contribution will be to undertake the core research activities of the project, in close consultation with the other PhD candidate, postdoc, a research assistant and the project leader. You will conduct extensive desk research and manage and implement a survey with EU lobbyists and policymakers. You will conduct original research on the relationship between lobbyists’ socio-demographic characteristics and their access to EU policymakers and institutions.

Your research will be located in the Politics and Culture in Europe research programme at FASoS. (see: https://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/research/fasos-research-institute/research-programmes/politics-and-culture-europe).

Job description
You will:
  • Develop a doctoral dissertation in Political Science in the field of interest group politics under the supervision of the Principle Investigator and a co-promotor;
  • Write academic publications, and co-author with other members of the team in the field of interest group politics. Individual papers may form part of the dissertation;
  • Play a significant role in the data collection process. This will involve designing and conducting desk research, designing and coordinating survey and vignette research, establishing, updating, and merging datasets, organize focus groups, and other relevant research activities;
  • Learn and apply (quantitative) methodological techniques relevant to the project, both for data gathering/processing and analysis. You will participate in appropriate methodological training to acquire the necessary skills for conducting statistical analysis;
  • Work closely with other members of the project and participate in team meetings;
  • Actively engage as a member of the faculty and the broader academic community. You will present your work to academic audiences and interact with a wider audience of citizens, journalists and stakeholders through outreach activities;
  • Take part in training by the Graduate School of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences;
  • You will engage in a limited amount of teaching activities, such as tutoring courses or supervising BA theses.


Maastricht University (UM)


  • You hold an MA/MSc degree in Political Science, European Studies, Communication or a related discipline (or are expected to obtain such a degree before 1 September 2024).
  • You have received excellent grades and you have an obvious interest in academic research.
  • You possess a good foundation in quantitative methodology and/or a positivist mindset and willingness to learn quantitative methods.
  • You possess a keen interest in the fields of lobbying, interest group politics, civil society organizations, and/or social movement organizations.
  • You can manage your time and your research activities well.
  • You are capable of autonomously conducting original research as well as working in a team.
  • You are flexible, open-minded, growth-oriented, and eager to learn.
  • You are a highly motivated individual who possesses a proven track record of success through perseverance and tenacity.
  • You are fluent in English (Cambridge English Proficiency, level C2, orally and written).
  • You are willing to relocate to (the vicinity of) Maastricht and/or to be present at the FASoS campus three days per week.

Conditions of employment

What we offer

As PhD Candidate at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, you will be employed by the most international university in the Netherlands, located in the beautiful city of Maastricht. In addition, we offer you:
  • a dynamic and challenging position in an internationally-focused organization dedicated to providing advanced education to young people and fostering groundbreaking research. You will be an integral part of a global network of top universities and renowned experts in your field.
  • Good employment conditions. The position is graded to UFO profile PhD, with corresponding salary based on experience ranging from €2,770 in the first year and €3,539 gross per month in the fourth year (based on a full-time employment of 38 hours per week). In addition to the monthly salary, an 8.0% holiday allowance and an 8.3% year-end bonus apply.
  • An employment contract for a period of 12 months with a scope of 1.0 FTE. Upon a positive evaluation, an extension of 3 years will follow.
  • At Maastricht University, the well-being of our employees is of utmost importance, we offer flexible working hours and the possibility to work partly from home if the nature of your position allows it. You will receive a monthly commuting and internet allowance for this. If you work full-time, you will be entitled to 29 vacation days and 4 additional public holidays per year, namely carnival Monday, carnival Tuesday, Good Friday, and Liberation Day. If you choose to accumulate compensation hours, an additional 12 days will be added. Furthermore, you can personalize your employment conditions through a collective labor agreement (CAO) choice model.
  • As Maastricht University, we offer various other excellent secondary employment conditions. These include a good pension scheme with the ABP and the opportunity for UM employees to participate in company fitness and make use of the extensive sports facilities that we also offer to our students.
  • Last but certainly not least, we provide the space and facilities for your personal and professional development. We facilitate this by offering a wide range of training programs and supporting various well-established initiatives such as 'acknowledge and appreciate'.

The terms of employment at Maastricht University are largely set out in the collective labor agreement of Dutch Universities. In addition, local provisions specific to UM apply. For more information, click here.

Starting date: preferably 1 September 2024.


Maastricht University

Maastricht University

Why work at Maastricht University?
At Maastricht University (UM), everything revolves around the future. The future of our students, as we work to equip them with a solid, broad-based foundation for the rest of their lives. And the future of society, as we seek solutions through our research to issues from all around the world. Our six faculties combined provide a comprehensive package of study programmes and research.

In our teaching, we use the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) method. Students work in small groups, looking for solutions to problems themselves. By discussing issues and working together to draw conclusions, formulate answers and present them to their peers, students develop essential skills for their future careers.

With over 22,300 students and more than 5,000 employees from all over the world, UM is home to a vibrant and inspiring international community.

Are you drawn to an international setting focused on education, science and scholarship? Are you keen to contribute however your skills and qualities allow? Our door is open to you! As a young European university, we value your talent and look forward to creating the future together.

Click here for more information about UM.


Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences FASoS is a close-knit community of approximately 250 staff members and 2100 students. During breaks and before meetings, you can often find us at our favourite local coffee spot Bandito Espresso.

Communication lines within our faculty are short and colleagues are always ready to assist each other. FASoS consists of a highly international student population and a significant part of our staff comes from abroad. Our faculty offers four bachelor programs, eight masters programs and two research master programs that are all characterized by their interdisciplinary approach.

Our research institute studies societies and cultures as they have developed in the modern and contemporary periods. We adopt a radically interdisciplinary approach, analysing the interconnections between Europeanization, globalization, scientific and technological advancement, political change, and cultural innovation.

In addition to teaching and research, our colleagues enjoy expressing themselves creatively. They create podcasts, write poetry as well as fiction.

Working at FASoS means working in a challenging yet informal environment. We believe in crafting your own career path and are always ready to help you in making the most of your job. For more information about FASoS, you can visit our website FASoS

Graduate School
Our Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences offers the opportunity to pursue a PhD in the interdisciplinary field of arts and social sciences. You receive a coherent program of introductory courses, intensive supervision and frequent discussion with the senior researchers inside and outside the Faculty. The Programme can be characterized by its international and interdisciplinary nature and the emphasis on cultural and societal issues of the modern world.
The School focuses on four themes:
  1. Politics and Culture in Europe.
  2. Maastricht University Science, Technology and Society Studies.
  3. Globalisation, Transnationalism and Development.
  4. Arts, Media and Culture.

Further information on the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and its Graduate School may be accessed on: http://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/fasos

Additional information


Are you interested in this exciting position but still have questions? Feel free to contact Dr. Iskander De Bruycker via i.debruycker@maastrichtuniversity.nl for more information.

Or are you already convinced and ready to become our new PhD Candidate? Apply now, no later than April 22, for this position.

You are invited to submit:
  1. A letter of motivation stating your qualifications and reasons for interest in the position;
  2. Your CV;
  3. Diploma and grade transcripts of previous education at MA/MSc level and undergraduate level;
  4. Two academic papers (course papers; theses; academic publications);
  5. The contact information of two references (including e-mail; phone number, mailing address, and relationship to the applicant).

The first interviews will take place on May 16-17.

The vacancy is open for internal and external candidates. In case of equal qualifications, internal candidates will be prioritized.

Maastricht University is committed to promoting and nurturing a diverse and inclusive community. We believe that diversity in our staff and student population contributes to the quality of research and education at UM, and strive to enable this through inclusive policies and innovative projects led by teams of staff and students. We encourage you to apply for this position.


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 772


Maastricht University (UM)

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Grote Gracht 90-92, 6211SZ, Maastricht

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 22 Apr 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).