Temporary employment
Den Haag
Doctorate/PhD (EQF 8), Master (EQF 7)
Apply before:
Hours p/wk:


The Institute of Security and Global Affairs seeks to expand its academic staff by appointing an Assistant Professor with a specialisation in contemporary armed conflict. Over the past two decades, Western states have faced a variety of interrelated security threats. Domestically, terrorism, and violent extremism more broadly, not only continue to threaten citizens’ physical safety, but the polarizing nature of these forms of political violence can afford them a negative impact beyond the immediate harm caused. Internationally, insurgencies led by the jihadist-extremists in places like Afghanistan, Syria, the Sahel and Somalia have not only tied down Western-led military interventions with serious local and regional repercussions, but fanned extremism beyond their borders, as was dramatically illustrated by the wave of ‘foreign fighters’ who travelled to Syria and Iraq in the mid-2010s. Whereas insurgency and terrorism were arguably the primary threats facing Western nations for most of the 2000s and 2010s, the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine has brought ‘conventional’ interstate war back on the political agenda as well.


Our organisation
This position is situated within Leiden University’s Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA), part of the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs (FGGA). ISGA is a scientific institute that focuses on multidisciplinary research and education within the international field of security studies. ISGA operates from The Hague, the third largest city of the Netherlands, centre of national governance and International City of Peace, Justice and Security.


Research groups War, Peace and Justice & Terrorism and Political Violence
The appointment bridges the research groups ‘War, Peace and Justice’ (WPJ) and ‘Terrorism and Political Violence’ (TPV). The WPJ research group brings together scholars, researchers as well as current and former practitioners to explore issues related to the drivers, nature and (new) dynamics of armed conflict. TPV is among the few dedicated European centres for research on terrorism and related subjects such as radicalization, (online) extremism and political violence more broadly. Both research groups aim to continue conducting internationally recognized research and high-quality teaching. Science for and about society is the domain of the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs (FGGA). FGGA provides high-quality interdisciplinary education and research on social and governance issues such as terrorism, organisation of public administration, climate change and economic crises. Contemporary issues are approached from an administrative, political, economic, legal and sociological perspective. This interdisciplinary approach gives the faculty's education and research a cross-border character. The Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs (FGGA) is one of the seven faculties of Leiden University and is based in The Hague. The FGGA is a young, enterprising and innovative organisation that is growing rapidly. The faculty has three scientific institutes, two centres, 3500 students and 330 staff members.


Key responsibilities
To strengthen ISGA’s ability to conduct research and teaching on contemporary armed conflict in all its variety, the WPS and TPV research groups are looking for candidates with a strong theoretical and conceptual grounding in contemporary strategic studies / war studies, specifically those who can apply their knowledge to both interstate warfare as well as ‘asymmetric’ approaches embodied by terrorism and insurgency.


The successful applicant will be expected to:

  • Develop and teach courses on contemporary armed conflict, strategy and security policies, specifically including insurgency and terrorism;
  • Be able to develop and present courses to students from a variety of academic backgrounds;
  • Conduct high-quality independent academic research on topics related to contemporary armed conflict, insurgency or terrorism and support the ongoing development and implementation of the research strategy of the Institute;
  • Build and maintain a strong track-record of academic publications in leading peer-reviewed journals;
  • Acquire and manage research funding and/or training projects from third-party sources, such as the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) or the European Union;
  • Participate in professional-learning courses to maximize the societal impact of academic research and ensure its relevance beyond the academy;
  • Engage in the public debate on topics related to contemporary armed conflict;
  • Continue to build an (inter)national network that includes academics as well as policymakers and practitioners working on topics related to contemporary armed conflict;
  • Supervisethesis and capstone projects;
  • Tutor students by providing mentoring and advice;
  • Actively contribute to the renewal and ongoing improvement of educational practices at Bachelor’s and Master’s level.

Selection Criteria

  • PhD degree in a relevant discipline, e.g., war studies, international relations, security studies;
  • Strong conceptual, theoretical and historical grounding in strategic studies / war studies, with an emphasis on contemporary armed conflict;
  • Specific expertise on asymmetric forms of armed conflict (e.g., insurgency, counterinsurgency, terrorism, counterterrorism);
  • Knowledge of Western security and defence policies and their development;
  • Relevant network among military and defence-oriented policymakers and professionals, both governmental and non-governmental;
  • Relevant academic network along similar lines;
  • Outstanding research qualities demonstrated through an established publication record;
  • Experience with writing and acquiring research funding from national and (or) international funding bodies;
  • Experience in research-led teaching;
  • Demonstrable passion for education, in and out of the classroom;
  • Excellent command of English;
  • Command of Dutch is not a requirement but will be seen as a benefit;
  • Leiden University requires teaching staff to obtain the University Teaching Qualifications (UTQ). If the successful applicant does not already possess this qualification or its equivalent, (s)he must be willing to obtain this Qualification within two years.

Terms and conditions
The position startsas soon as possible, preferably before 15 August 2023. The appointment will be made on a temporary contract of up to 3 years depending upon prior experience. A permanent appointment may be possible during or after the term of the initial contract, depending upon performance (including teaching, research and administration) and the budgetary situation of the Institute.The salary rangesfrom € 3,746to € 5,127gross per month (pay scale 11 in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).


Excellent benefits
Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. 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 programme.Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

Leiden University requires teaching staff to obtain the University Teaching Qualification (UTQ). If the successful applicant does not alreadypossess this qualification or its equivalent, he/ she must be willing to obtain this Qualification within two years.

Diversity and inclusion are core values of Leiden University. Leiden University is committed to becoming an inclusive community which enables all students and staff to feel valued and respected and to develop their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High quality teaching and research is inclusive.



Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents in PDF format, quoting the vacancy number:

  • Motivation letter;
  • Curriculum vitae including a list of publications;
  • A sample publication;
  • The names and addresses of three potential referees.