PhD Researcher in Socio-Legal Studies

PhD Researcher in Socio-Legal Studies

Published Deadline Location
26 Oct 11 Dec Maastricht

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We are looking for an aspiring researcher in law with an interest in sociological jurisprudence and experience in theoretical and empirical socio-legal research for participation in an ERC-funded research project on global value chains.

Job description

The selected candidate will join the team of the CHAINLAW project led by Prof. Dr. Anna Beckers and write their PhD thesis in this context.

CHAINLAW – Responsive Law for Global Value Chains – is a five-year project running 2023-2028 that is funded as an ERC Starting Grant. The project team will consist of five researchers, the Principal Investigator Anna Beckers, 2 postdocs and 2 PhD researchers. The core aim of CHAINLAW is to develop a novel conceptual and normative legal language for Global Value Chains (GVCs). It will do so by a combination of theoretical, doctrinal, empirical, technical, and normative analysis on the law of GVCs. Methodologically, the project works with the ideas of sociological jurisprudence and it focuses on three categories of rules, namely formal rules, private regulation and technical systems (doctrine, documents, and data). The theoretical perspective taken is grounded in the concept of socio-legal institutions. More information on the project can be found here.

The recruited PhD researcher should have a background in law or sociology with a profile in socio-legal studies/legal sociology, preferably with experience in empirical and theoretical research in the social sciences. The PhD candidate is expected to conduct research in relation to “documents” and private regulation. This entails empirical research on supply-chain documents, such as corporate due diligence reports, order sheets and contract terms to obtain a conceptual understanding how these private documents structure global value chains for various policy objectives (such as sustainability, product safety, security of supply).

The position is a full-time research position dedicated to the CHAINLAW project. The position includes the writing of a PhD thesis. The expectation towards the successful candidates is to complete a high-quality PhD thesis or a dissertation based on high-quality papers during the four years of employment. Moreover, the PhD will be involved in project management and conference organisation related to CHAINLAW. The PhD project will be supervised by a team of two senior academics. The position does not comprise teaching duties but allows for teaching if substantively related to the CHAINLAW project.


Maastricht University (UM)


The ideal candidate should:
  • Hold a masters’ degree in law or the social sciences, in case of the latter, they should have a specialization or documented interest in law;
  • Have an interest in sociological approaches to legal research, socio-legal studies and social theory;
  • Have methodological expertise and, ideally, experience with conducting empirical research;
  • Show an affinity with the project topic and have the ambition to conduct innovative and thorough research, and to earn a PhD based on that research within four years;
  • Document a high-level command of English, knowledge of Dutch is welcome, but not required;
  • Have an ability to work independently and as part of a team;
  • Have excellent verbal and written communication and organizational skills.

Conditions of employment

As PhD Researcher at Faculty of Law, you will be employed by the most international university in the Netherlands, located in the beautiful city of Maastricht. In addition, we offer you:
  • Good employment conditions. The position is graded in scale 7 according to UFO profile Promovendus, with corresponding salary based on experience ranging from €2770,- and €3539,- gross per month (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 10 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.


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.


The Faculty of Law at Maastricht University is a top-quality provider of challenging and rewarding Dutch and European legal education at bachelor’s, masters and PhD-level. A true pioneer in small-scale education and the teaching of legal skills for a broad range of future legal professionals.

The clear research focus on European and international aspects of law and technology. On the empirical dimension of law provides both students and staff with a stimulating work environment. The faculty values its open and inclusive community, which contributes to creating a productive and pleasant place for work and study.

The Faculty of Law offers a wide range of bachelor and master's programs. Would you like to learn more about our programs? Visit our website for more information on the courses, career perspectives, and admission requirements of our programs.


  • PhD
  • Law
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 356


Maastricht University (UM)

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