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


The Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) of the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs at Leiden University is looking for a PhD candidate in the field of cybersecurity governance in organisations.


Project description

The Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) at Leiden University seeks to appoint a full-time PhD candidate to carry out research (80%) and teaching (20%) activities on cyber security. The position is a shared position between ISGA and The Hague University of Applied Sciences (Centre of Expertise Cyber Security). The PhD candidate will have a promotor at ISGA and daily guidance from The Hague University of Applied Sciences (Centre of Expertise Cyber Security).


Security of software systems has emerged as a critical societal need, yet too often we hear about failures in functioning, hacks or privacy-related problems. We think it is more sensible to understand and fix these issues during the development time and prevent problems, rather than later, when the system becomes accessible to the users and can cause real damage.


Security is not only a technical concept. It emerges from an interplay of many technical and non-technical factors, such as human behavior, privacy and organisational aspects. For that reason, we aim to create a methodology for developing secure systems in the Cyber Security by Integrated Design (C-SIDe) project. This methodology will allow organisations to have a better view on security of the products they create. To facilitate adoption of security-by-design, we will also work on identifying opportunities to improve the public cyber security policy aiming to support companies working on secure-by-design products. A multitude of stakeholders will work together in this project, including experts in psychology, privacy, and governance and risk management.


Key responsibilities

You will be conducting research in the field of cyber security, with a particular emphasis on governance in organisations. This should lead to obtaining a PhD by publishing a monograph or four articles in relevant journals on cyber security and governance within a four-year timeframe. For that purpose, you will be following PhD courses based on an individual training and supervision plan. You will be supporting the education activities in cyber security at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs, including lecturing, marking, and providing feedback to students, and potentially support other courses to a maximum of 20% of the appointment. You will be developing teaching-related skills by (co-)teaching courses and obtaining the partial university teaching qualification (BKO).You are expected to present your work to both academic and professional audiences and to contribute when applicable to the Dutch or international public debate on cyber security;


You should be able to work in an interdisciplinary team and in a highly self-supporting, organized and result-oriented fashion. You should demonstrate good time-management skills. You are expected to build an (inter)national network that spans both academics and policymakers/practitioners working on topics related to crisis research. You will also participate in discussions at the Institute, the research group Cyber Security Governance and its educational activities.


Selection criteria

Prospective candidates have a Master’s degree in Security, Organisational Studies, Law, Public Administration or another field with direct relevance for the interdisciplinary research carried out within the research group Cyber Security Governance. We expect candidates to have demonstrable ability and enthusiasm for research at the intersection of fundamental and policy-oriented research (e.g. high grade for Master’s thesis, publications and evidence of policy-oriented research) in the field of cyber security is considered an advantage. Excellent command of English is necessary.


Our organisation

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. For more information see the website of the Faculty Governance and Global Affairs.


The Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) is a scientific institute that focuses on multidisciplinary research and education within the international scientific field of security studies. ISGA analyses and studies issues in a coherent way from their local transnational and global impact. ISGA operates from The Hague, the third major city of the Netherlands, centre of national governance and International City of Peace, Justice and Security. 


The Centre of Expertise Cybersecurity (CoECS) of The Hague University of Applied Sciences is an institute for practice-oriented research in the wider field of cyber security within public and private organisations. It is a multidisciplinary knowledge centre consisting of 4 lectorates: Cyber Security & Safety, Cyber Security in SME’s, Network & Systems Engineering Cyber Security and Cyber Security & Risk Management.


Terms and conditions

We offer a PhD position for 4 years (fulltime, 38 hrs per week), leading to the successful completion of a PhD thesis. Initially you will receive a one-year contract, with extension for the following 3 years on condition of a positive evaluation of progress and skills development. The gross monthly salary is set on € 2.395,- in the first year, increasing to € 3.061,- gross per month in the final year in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement of the Dutch universities. The position is envisaged to commence in September 2021.


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. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. 



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



For more information please contact Els de Busser, email e.de.busser@fgga.leidenuniv.nl, PI on the C-SIDe project.



Please submit online your application no later than 6 July 2021 via the blue button in our application system on the website. Please ensure that you upload the following documents:

  • Motivation letter:
  • Curriculum vitae including a list of publications;
  • A sample publication;
  • The names and addresses of three potential referees (please do not submit reference letters at this stage).