PhD Candidate on civil society and military transparency at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of political Science, Maastricht University 1.0fte, 4 years

PhD Candidate on civil society and military transparency at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of political Science, Maastricht University 1.0fte, 4 years

Published Deadline Location
4 May 2 Jun Maastricht

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You are invited to apply for a PhD position within the project ‘A coalition of hawks and doves? Explaining military receptiveness to civil society calls for transparency around the use of force’. The project is funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS) of Maastricht University (UM). This project is led by two principal investigators of FASoS: dr. F. Colli and dr. Y. Reykers, who will both act as co-promotor, the promotor will be dr. G. Bosse.

Job description

Research project
The project’s objective is to understand under which conditions military officials are prepared to collaborate with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to foster transparency around the use of force and its consequences. NGOs have repeatedly led concerted campaigns calling for more transparency around civilian casualties during airstrikes by countries participating in the air campaign by the Global Coalition against Daesh, with mixed results. This project seeks to offer insights into the potential for genuine civil-military collaboration for the sake of transparency around the use of force and civilian harm. For this purpose, we conduct comparative case studies in a selected set of European countries (Belgium, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom).

Your contribution will be to undertake the core research activities of the project, in close consultation with the project leaders. You will conduct desk research on NGO campaigns about transparency around the use of force and civilian harm and interviews with NGO representatives, members of parliament and military officials in two country cases. 

Your research will be located in the Politics and Culture in Europe research programme at FASoS. (see:

Job description
You will:

  • Analyse parliamentary debates and media coverage to evaluate politicisation of military transparency.
  • Collaborate with a research assistant on mapping transparency practices in the country cases.
  • Carry out interviews with defence administration officials, military officials and members of parliament in several countries. For this, travel will be required.
  • Write academic publications, and co-author with other members of the team.
  • Learn and apply some basic methodological techniques relevant to your project, both for data gathering/processing and analysis.
  • Work closely with other members of the project and participate in team meetings.
  • Take part in training by the Graduate School of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
  • Write and defend your PhD, either on the basis of publications or as a dissertation.

The position is 0,9 fte research and 0,1 fte teaching. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences offers BA programmes in Arts & Culture, European Studies, Digital Society, and Global Studies. Information on those and other FASoS teaching programmes can be found on our website.


Maastricht University (UM)


You hold an MA/MSc degree in European Studies, Political Science, International Relations or a related discipline (or are expected to obtain such a degree before 1 September 2022).

You have received excellent grades and you have an obvious interest in academic research, including a willingness to diversify your research methods skills. 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 write and communicate fluently in English. Knowledge of Dutch or French is an asset.

Conditions of employment

We offer a dynamic and challenging job in an internationally-oriented organisation where young people receive an advanced education and scholars conduct exciting research. You will be part of an international network of top universities and renowned scholars within the field.

During the first two years of the project, you will receive a scholarship from the Gerda Henkel Foundation and you will be registered in the Personnel Administration System of Maastricht University.
Thereafter, on the condition of good performance, we offer a 2-year full-time appointment as PhD candidate at FASoS UM.

The first year will be a probation period; after a positive assessment by the Gerda Henkel Foundation and FASoS UM, your position in the project will be extended with another 3 years.

During the first two years, remuneration of the scholarship of the Gerda Henkel Foundation will be € 1.600, per month.
During the last two years, remuneration will be according to standard salary levels for PhD-candidates at UM, starting with a salary of € 2.968,- (in year three) and a salary of € 3.111,- (in year four) gross a month (based on a full-time appointment).

During the period of appointment at FASoS UM, each year the standard salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%.

You have to be willing to move to (the vicinity of) Maastricht.

You will be provided with shared office space and a PC. 

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website > About UM > Working at UM.

Starting date: preferably 1 September 2022.


Maastricht University

Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 22,000 students and about 5,000 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.


Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS) has about 250 staff members, and about 1,730 students. More than 77% of the students are non-Dutch (65 different nationalities). All programmes are offered in English and some are also offered in Dutch. FASoS offers four 3-year bachelor’s programmes: Arts and Culture, European Studies, Digital Society and Global Studies. It also offers eight different 1-year Master’s programmes and two 2-year research master’s programmes.

Research is organised around four programmes: Politics and Culture in Europe; Science, Technology and Society Studies; Arts, Media and Culture; and Globalisation, Transnationalism and Development. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is housed in the historic city centre of Maastricht.

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:


  • PhD
  • AT2022.194


Maastricht University (UM)

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