Assistant professor in humanitarian studies (1fte)

Assistant professor in humanitarian studies (1fte)

Published Deadline Location
1 Dec 4 Jan The Hague

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The ISS Strategic Plan 2019-24 pursues developing ISS further into a research-intensive university institute in The Hague, focusing on academic excellence and high societal relevance of its research and teaching. ISS considers engagement that is linking research and teaching to society, to be an important task of the university.

Consistent with our strategy and with an eye to current and future developments in the area of development studies, ISS is looking for one Assistant lecturer. Starting in 2021, Dorothea Hilhorst, professor of humanitarian studies of ISS will implement a 5 year research project ‘Humanitarian governance: accountability, advocacy alternatives’, financed by an advanced grant of the European Research Council. The project aims to develop a localized humanitarian studies program to understand ongoing changes in humanitarian governance and to explore and advance the spaces and strategies that have opened up for reform ‘from below’. As part of this research project, ISS is looking for a Assistant lecturer.

Job description

What do we offer to inspire you?

For many years, humanitarian organizations have responded to crisis by delivering services to save lives, prevent and alleviate suffering and protect life and health of people affected by natural hazards, conflict, political collapse, forced displacement, among others. In recent years, through a multitude of factors and trends, the centralist and exceptionalist approach to humanitarian action is giving way to more localized responses that seek to bridge humanitarian action with development, peacebuilding and disaster risk reduction. Whereas this leads to increasing variations in humanitarian governance, important questions remain about the ways in which affected population seek a voice in the response through accountability and advocacy. Other questions concern how humanitarian action deals with the blurred boundaries between people affected by crisis and those in otherwise extreme vulnerable conditions, and how to deal with the growing numbers people whose displacement is climate-related.

The Humanitarian Governance research project, and the researchers that are part of this team, will contribute to understanding the way humanitarian governance is developing, with a special eye for the views and influence of affected populations and civil society actors.

As a secondary objective, the project aims to contribute to a transformation of humanitarian studies towards more equal partnership and by employing more participatory research methodologies. The project will contribute in building a methodological repertoire of interactive research ‘from below’ in rapidly changing risky and unstable contexts.

The position

The successful candidate will have a broad interdisciplinary academic training and experience, with a focus on humanitarian action or a related field, such as disaster studies, conflict studies or development studies.

The candidate will play a key role in the implementation of the Humanitarian Governance project to develop analytical guidelines and join the project leader in supervising 5 PhD candidates, coordinating with country teams and contributing to research uptake. The candidate will have a special responsibility in coordinating the research in Colombia.

The candidate will further contribute to education in the Social Justice Progamme of the Master of Development studies and the further development of an educational course on humanitarian studies. The candidate will also contribute to strengthen the domain of humanitarian studies in ISS and expand the research networks in this field.

The candidates’ research base will be the Civic Innovation research group, which is one of the four groups comprising ISS’s overall focus on Global Development and Social Justice.


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)


  • A PhD in a relevant field of social sciences;
  • A track record of research in humanitarian studies, and experience with research in conflict-affected areas;
  • Expertise on issues of safety and security and other ethical aspects of fieldwork with vulnerable populations in crisis-affected areas;
  • Publication skills and a publication strategy;
  • The ability to embed and link research and teaching activities to societal developments, in (responding to) humanitarian crises;
  • The ability to attract and manage research grants is expected;
  • Research uptake: contributions to public debate and capacity building projects are part of the engagement tasks to which the candidates will be expected to contribute;
  • Ability to teach in humanitarian studies and fieldwork in conflict-affected areas;
  • Strong social capacities to work in a multicultural team and willingness to provide support to colleagues and the institute;
  • Fluency in English and Spanish.

Conditions of employment

An internationally oriented and varied job in an enthusiastic team, with good working conditions in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU).

The start date of this position is as soon as possible, and you will be based at The International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague. The successful candidate will be offered a temporary fulltime contract, at the level of Assistant professor with Erasmus University Rotterdam.

In accordance with the conditions applied at Erasmus University Rotterdam as indicated in the Collective Labour Agreement (CAO NU) of the Dutch universities, the salary is dependent on the candidate’s experience and is set at a maximum of CAO NU scale 11 with a minimum of  € 3.746,- and a maximum of € 5.127,- gross per month, on a fulltime basis. In addition, EUR pays an 8% holiday allowance and an end-of-year payment of 8.3% and offers excellent secondary benefits, like a very generous leave scheme. Furthermore, EUR is affiliated with ABP for the pension provision and we offer partially paid parental leave. Employees can also use EUR facilities, such as the Erasmus sports center and the University library.

EUR offers a Dual Career Programme (DCP) to assist the life partners of new academic staff (on pay-roll) in finding employment in The Netherlands. The programme is offered in close cooperation with nearby universities of Delft and Leiden.

The International Institute of Social Studies is committed to building and sustaining a community based on inclusiveness, equity and diversity and believes this will contribute to our mission and vision of being the best institute in our field. ISS is an equal opportunities employer and encourages applications from candidates of all genders, ethnicities and nationalities. Given the current composition of the ISS academic staff and priorities relating to staff diversity, the Institute has a preference for applicants originating from the Global South and also encourages applications from minority candidates.


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) is an internationally oriented university with a strong social orientation in its education and research. Inspired by the dynamic and cosmopolitan city of Rotterdam, our scientists and students work in close collaboration with internal and external parties to solve global social challenges. Our mission is therefore "Creating positive societal impact". Our academic education is intensive, active and application oriented. Our research increasingly takes place in multidisciplinary teams, which are strongly intertwined with international networks. With our research impact and thanks to the high quality of education, EUR ranks amongst the top European universities. Erasmian values ​​function as our internal compass and make Erasmus University recognizable to the outside world: engaged with society, world citizen, connecting, entrepreneurial and open-minded.


The International Institute of Social Studies (ISS)

The International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) is a leading academic center for international development studies. While based in The Hague, the ISS is part of Erasmus University Rotterdam. ISS was established in 1952 as a post-graduate institute of policy-oriented critical social science and development-oriented research. ISS offers a PhD in Development Studies, a 15.5 month MA in Development Studies, a joint MA in Public Policy (Mundus MAPP), a MPA in Governance delivered in Suriname, and post-graduate Diploma courses.

ISS brings together a highly diverse international community of scholars and students from both the global South and the global North, on average, originating from over 50 different countries. The Institute brings together people, ideas and insights in a multi-disciplinary setting which nurtures, fosters and promotes critical thinking and innovative research on fundamental social problems. The strong partnerships with organizations and individuals in developing countries make up a vibrant network where we co-create knowledge so that teaching and research remain socially relevant. Key to the ISS philosophy and practices is the wish to contribute to achieving social justice and equity on a global level.


  • Assistant professor
  • 30—40 hours per week
  • €3746—€5127 per month
  • Doctorate
  • ISS/10122020


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

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