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Two PhD Candidates in Political Science, University of Leiden - Institute of Political Science

Publish Date: Mar 20, 2021

Deadline: Apr 01, 2021

The Institute of Political Science of Leiden University's Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences invites applicants for the position of

Two Ph.D. Candidates in Political Science 

Project description
The Ph.D. researchers will be part of the project “Downsize My Democracy? The Democratic Consequences of Decentralization”, which is financed by an NWO Vidi grant, hosted by the Institute of Political Science, and led by Wouter Veenendaal. This project analyses the democratic consequences of increasing decentralization and regionalization in European countries. It studies the effects of scale on the functioning of democracy in subnational units and investigates the ever more complex relations between various administrative layers. The project explicitly foregrounds informal political dynamics and investigates their interaction with formal political institutions. The analysis focuses on the country cases of Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.

One Ph.D. researcher will work on the sub-project ‘Who votes? Political participation in subnational communities’, which involves the organization of an opinion survey as well as participatory fieldwork in the four-country cases. This researcher will be supervised by the project leader, Wouter Veenendaal, and Professor Petr Kopecký.

The other Ph.D. researcher will work on the sub-project ‘Who runs for office? Political competition and governance in subnational communities’, which involves a combination of elite interviews, a qualitative network analysis, and participatory fieldwork in the four-country cases. This researcher will be supervised by the project leader, Wouter Veenendaal, and professor Ingrid van Biezen.

Candidates are asked to specify and motivate whether they are applying for both projects, or have a preference for one of the two. As part of the position of Ph.D. researcher, candidates will receive Ph.D. research training. Candidates are also expected to teach two courses per year, usually as a tutorial instructor.

Selection criteria

  • Candidates must hold (or be near completing) a (research) master’s degree in political science, public administration, or another relevant discipline;
  • Applicants must have prior training in and a good command of both qualitative and quantitative research methods;
  • Applicants should have a strong affinity with the project theme, and should be motivated to do political science research;
  • Applicants should be able to work both independently and as part of a team;
  • Applicants must have a good command of English. A working understanding of Dutch, French, German, Icelandic, and/or Italian is an advantage.

Our organization
The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences comprises five institutes: Education and Child Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Cultural Anthropology & Development Sociology, and the Centre for Science and Technology Studies. The Faculty is home to 7,000 students and 850 members of staff. Our teaching and research programs cover diverse topics varying from adoption to political behavior. For more information, https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/social-behavioural-sciences, see the website.

The Ph.D. Candidates will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, which offers Ph.D. support and training - https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/social-behavioural-sciences/graduate-school-of-socialand-behavioural-sciences.

The Institute of Political Science has a strong research tradition in various areas of comparative, Dutch, and international politics, as well as political theory. The Institute has around 80 academic staff, including many non-Dutch scholars, and houses a number of editorships of international refereed journals and book series. Members of the institute are also involved in a number of the university’s multidisciplinary research centers, including Central and East European Studies, International Relations, Political Parties and Representation, and Political Philosophy. The Institute is based in both Leiden and The Hague.

Terms and conditions
The positions preferably start on 1 January 2022. We offer full-time positions for initially one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities, and compatibility the appointment will be extended by a further three years. Salaries range from € 2,395.- to € 3,061.- gross per month (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %) and
 training and career development. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. For international spouses, we have set up a dual career program. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. For more information - https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at/job-application-procedure-and-employment-conditions, see the website.

Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.

If you wish to inquire about the position(s), please directly contact Wouter Veenendaal, project leader and chair of the selection committee, email 

Please submit your online application no later than 1 April 2021 via the blue button of our application system. Applicants should submit a letter of interest, a full CV, and a list of completed Bachelor and Master courses (including grades). Applicants should also provide the names of two people who may be contacted to provide a reference on their behalf.

The selection procedure will take place in April and May 2021.

This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here:


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