PhD Researcher in Transnational Environmental Litigation

PhD Researcher in Transnational Environmental Litigation

Published Deadline Location
20 Jan 28 Feb Tilburg

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Tilburg University | Tilburg Law School is looking for a PhD Researcher in Transnational Environmental Litigation (1.0 FTE), for the Department of Public Law and Governance, location: Tilburg, scientific area: Law. Duration of employment contract: 4 years

Job description

Job opportunity for a PhD Researcher working on transnational environmental litigation, in the department of Public Law and Governance (PLG). The position is attached to the TransLitigate Project headed by Dr. Phillip Paiement and funded by an ERC Starting Grant. PLG is a large, diverse and interdisciplinary department, home to nearly 100 academic staff and a range of legal and social science disciplines. You will develop and grow in teaching as well as research, both individually and as part of a team of ambitious scholars.

Tilburg Law School is interested in hiring a PhD Researcher in Transnational Environmental Litigation to collaborate on the TransLitigate Project led by Dr. Phillip Paiement. The project focuses on analyzing the agency of transnational strategic litigators in various fields of environmental governance, including climate change, large-scale land transitions, pollution related to extractives industries, and biodiversity conservation. The project combines doctrinal, comparative and socio-legal methods to study forms and patterns of collaboration among strategic litigators in these fields. It studies transnational litigation networks across multitudes of jurisdictions in diverse socio-economic and political contexts.  

Candidates for this vacancy should be interested in conducting a project in one of the following case studies: large-scale land transitions, pollution related to extractives industries, and biodiversity conservation. They should have a graduate law degree with specialization in international or comparative environmental law or, alternatively, a graduate degree with specialization on qualitative socio-legal studies. Due to the comparative, multi-jurisdictional nature of the project, candidates with research backgrounds or familiarity in multiple jurisdictions are preferred. Candidates with regional specialization in sub-Saharan Africa, West Asia, the Caribbean, or East Asia are particularly encouraged to apply. 

As part of this position, you will be a member of the Constitutionalizing in the Anthropocene research community at Tilburg Law School. This research community, founded in 2019, includes researchers from diverse disciplinary backgrounds – legal theory, environmental law, political science, socio-legal studies – who are concerned with the evolving role of law in the Anthropocene. It includes research on issues of legal and political representation of Nature and future generations, the regulation of emergent technologies, and institutional questions about law’s historic and contemporary role in facilitating the conditions of the Anthropocene. Likewise, you will be welcome to join in a newly emerging research community focused on ‘Global Legal Professionals.’ Both research communities are members of PLG’s Global Law and Governance research program at Tilburg Law School.

This position consists predominantly of research (0,8 fte), with limited opportunities for education (0,2 fte) in the the Global Law LLB, Rechtsgeleerdheid LLB, International Law and Global Governance LLM and/or the European Law and Global Risk LLM.

Key responsibilities

  • Writing a PhD thesis within 4 years
  • Submitting research results for publication in peer-reviewed academic journals
  • Presenting papers at conferences, in the Netherlands and/or internationally
  • Conducting team research with the other researchers working on TransLitigate
  • Actively participating in the CtA research group (e.g. organizing seminars and workshops) as well as within the Department of Public Law & Governance
  • Some teaching may be required (0,2 fte), preferably in International and/or EU (Environmental) Law


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:

  • LLM degree in EU Law, (International) Environmental Law, or a comparable degree; 
  • You are fluent in English, and preferably also a second language; 
  • You have a demonstrable interest in legal research, preferably with experience working on the editorial team of a law journal, or experience in a research master programme, or experience as a research assistant; 
  • You have scientific integrity and will contribute to an open and diversified culture of excellence;
  • You are interested in teaching courses in (international) Environmental Law or related fields;
  • You are interested in working with a broader research team oriented on questions about law, constitutionalization and governance in the Anthropocene.  
  • You demonstrate personal leadership: you take responsibility for your work and career and possess a good level of self-knowledge.  
  • You have team spirit: you feel part of a team and express this through collaboration, sharing knowledge and experiences, and contributing to an open and inclusive work environment.

To maintain a vibrant and active university community, it is important that 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

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

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 vibrant 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 per week);
  • It is a vacancy for 4 years. You will initially be appointed for a fixed period of 16 months with a statutory probationary period of two months. After 12 months, an evaluation will take place. If the performance evaluation is positive, your employment agreement will be extended for the remaining period of 32 months.
  • A starting salary of €2,541 gross per month for full time employment, based on UFO profile PhD Candidate and salary scale P of the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. Tilburg University uses a neutral remuneration system for salary scaling that is based on relevant education and work experience;
  • Vacation allowance (8%) and a year-end bonus (8.3%);
  • Vacation days (41 days for a 40-hour work week);
  • Full reimbursement of commuting expenses for sustainable travel: walking, biking and public transportation
  • 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;

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 almost 2,800 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 Public Law and Governance

The Department of Public Law & Governance (PLG) is a unique collaboration of researchers in the fields of International Law, European law, Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, Environmental Law, Public Administration, Legal Philosophy, Political Science, Legal History, and Jurisprudence. Collaboration within the Department is very much inspired by joint research interests.


  • PhD
  • Law
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • 21272



Warandelaan 2, 5037 AB, Tilburg

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