Urban, Academic Research
Temporary employment
Master (EQF 7)
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The Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society of Leiden Law School and the Institute of Public Administration of the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs, have a vacancy for a PhD candidate for the research programme Governance of Social Citizenship and Migration.


Project description
In the period 2019-2023, Leiden University’s Executive Board (CvB) will invest 3.5 million euros in the inter-disciplinary focus area ‘Citizenship, Migration and Global Transformations.’ Within this initiative, funding for the pillar on ‘Social Citizenship and Migration’ allows the Van Vollenhoven Institute and the Institute of Public Administration to jointly appoint a PhD Candidate.

Many European countries face a wide variety of challenges resulting from old and new migrations, which raise questions regarding perceived threats and opportunities transpiring from ethnic diversity, integration and social participation, racism, and the need for (re-)defining national identity, belonging, civic responsibilities and the sustainability of national social welfare regimes. These challenges test the limits of cross-national and cross-generational solidarities, addressing the very foundation of governance and society. Solutions that have been formulated range from policies and regulations for immigration, to education and stimulating social participation to restructuring the welfare state. Importantly, challenges are not only related to migrants but pertain to all social groups, who, in varying degrees, are faced with questions regarding identity, solidarity, belonging, hospitality and compassion, as well as participation in politics and society. These questions all refer to what we call social citizenship, which is not about nationalities recorded in a passport, but about feelings and practices of belonging, responsibilities and loyalties.


The overall aim of this programme is to analyze how developments in immigration and social citizenship provide and provided challenges and opportunities for the governance of societies and to inform theory and practice. Several societal and governance issues related to citizenship (e.g. housing, social conflict over ideology, moral values, exercising of rights) have become even more complex due to recent developments in immigration. These themes have been studied before, but not sufficiently in conjunction and not from multiple, integrated, perspectives.


The PhD candidate will work in an interdisciplinary sub-project that is embedded in the Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society and in the Institute of Public Administration. By drawing from the growing scholarship on immigration, the merger of crime control and migration control, we invite the PhD candidate to look more closely into the relationship between membership and citizenship. Who are seen as those who belong and therefore worthy of receiving certain rights and benefits and who are not? From a governance perspective, law and policies play an important role in socialization of immigrants. By using a combination of legal and social research methods, the (socio)legal and governance perspective provides necessary insights into both the law in the books and the law in action and hence in the hegemonic nature of the law.


Key responsibilities

  • Conduct innovative research within the framework of the programme Social Citizenship and Migration;
  • Write a PhD thesis;
  • Submit research results for publication in academic journals;
  • Present papers at international conferences;
  • Actively disseminate the research findings;
  • Organise and participate in seminars, workshops and conferences of the programme;
  • Teach in the programmes of the Van Vollenhoven Institute and the Institute of Public Administration;
  • Follow PhD courses based on an individual training plan.


Selection criteria

  • A Master’s degree in law, public administration and/or sociology;
  • An explicit interest in social citizenship and migration;
  • Keen interest in interdisciplinary research methods and approaches;
  • Excellent empirical research skills, demonstrated by a master’s thesis and/or publications;
  • Teaching experience is not a requirement, but is considered an advantage;
  • An excellent command of the English language, knowledge of the Dutch language is considered an advantage;
  • You are a team player;
  • Available as of 1 January 2020.


Our organisation
The post-doctoral researcher will be appointed at both the Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society (50%) and the Institute of Public Administration (50%). The Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society is part of Leiden Law School. The Institute of Public Administration is part of the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs.   

The Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society (VVI) is part of the Leiden Law School. The VVI seeks to develop and disseminate socio-legal knowledge and theory regarding the interaction between law, governance and society. More specifically, the institute studies the emergence, functioning, and evolution of legal institutions. The VVI combines a top-down with a bottom-up approach; it considers perspectives of both state agents, citizens and other non-state actors. More information about the Van Vollenhoven Institute can be found here.


With over 5,000 students and 450 members of staff, the Leiden Law School is one of the largest law faculties in the Netherlands. Yet, in all its diversity, it is still known for its ability to provide education on a small scale. The faculty focuses on multi-faceted high-level teaching and research, both nationally and internationally. It does so by working with talented people and stimulating and supporting them in their professional and personal ambitions. The faculty is housed in the beautifully restored Kamerlingh Onnes Building on the Steenschuur in Leiden. Working for the Leiden Law School means working in an inspiring scientific environment.


The Institute of Public Administration  is one of the largest and oldest institutes of academic research and teaching in the field of public administration in the Netherlands. The institute combines a solid international academic reputation with a central positioning among the international, national, regional and local governance institutions of The Hague. The Institute of Public Administration has consistently received high ratings in peer reviews of both its teaching and research programmes. More Information about the Institute of Public Administration can be found here.

The Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs is one of the seven faculties of Leiden University. Firmly rooted in the academic tradition, our students and researchers work together with national and international partners on new insights and solutions to current issues at the crossroads of politics, public administration and international law. The Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs offers academic education in the field of Public Administration, Safety and Security, and International Relations, as well as in-depth post-academic programmes for professionals. We are a mere five minutes’ walk from The Hague Central Station and a 20-minute bike/tram ride to the beach.

Terms and conditions
The appointment as a PhD student will be for a period of four years (initially for a period of one year with an extension of three years after positive evaluation of progress and skills development) leading to the successful completion of a PhD thesisSalary range from €2,325.- to €2,972.- gross per month (pay scale P). The appointment and salary scale are in line with the Collective Labour agreement of Dutch Universities.

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. More at: Job application procedure and employment conditions.

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


Enquiries can be made to prof. mr. dr. Maartje van der Woude, email:, tel. +31 71 527 7552, and to prof. dr. Olaf van Vliet, email:, tel. +31 71 527 8551.


Submit online your application no later than 15 October 2019. Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number:

  • A cover letter stating your motivation for this position;
  • A curriculum vitae;
  • Your master thesis or other major writing sample;
  • A research proposal on crimmigration and social citizenship in which legal and social-scientific research methods are combined;
  • Copies of your academic transcripts;
  • At this stage, it is not necessary to submit references or recommendation letters.


The selection procedure will take place in October - November 2019.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.