Universiteit Leiden
Permanent employment
Den Haag
Master (EQF 7)
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The Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) of the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs is looking for a PhD candidate in the field of Security and Global Affairs


Project description 
The Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) at Leiden University seeks to appoint a full-time PhD candidate in the field of Security and Global Affairs with a particular emphasis on topics at the intersection of ‘European approaches to global security governance’ and ‘war studies and global affairs’.


The PhD candidate has to carry out research (70%) and teaching (30%) activities at the thematic intersection of security and global affairs. Particular emphasis should be placed on a proposed PhD topic that focuses on research in the broad thematic areas of “European approaches to global security governance” and “the changing nature of warfare/ technology and warfare”. PhD topics proposed by the candidate should thus focus, for example, on the impact that the changing regional and global security environment has on organisations (European Union, NATO, OSCE) and core European member states and on different tools and policies for countering traditional and emerging security threats. Projects may examine the role of bilateral or multilateral responses and policy initiatives in the fields of, inter alia, hybrid warfare, technology and warfare, strategic communications and hybrid warfare peacebuilding and peacekeeping, conflict prevention and conflict resolution, protection of civilians, integrated approach to conflict, inter-organizational approaches to European security governance (e.g. EU-NATO, EU-UN or EU-OSCE cooperation).


The PhD candidate will be supervised by Professor Joachim Koops in cooperation with Dr Ernst Dijxhoorn, assistant professor and coordinator of the minor in Global Affairs, and Professor Frans Osinga. In addition to research activities, the PhD candidate will contribute to educational activities in the minor of Global Affairs under the coordination of Dr Dijxhoorn.


Key responsibilities

  • Conduct research in the field of European security at the intersection of European approaches to security governance and the changing nature of war and warfare;
  • Obtain a PhD by publishing a monograph or four articles in leading journals on security and global affairs within a four-year timeframe;
  • Support the education activities of the minor in Global Affairs, including administrative duties, curriculum design, marking, and providing feedback to students; 
  • Develop teaching-related skills by (co-) teaching courses, engaging in thesis supervision and obtaining the basic teaching qualification (BKO);
  • Present their work to both academic and professional audiences;
  • Contribute when applicable to the public debate on European security and global affairs;
  • Be able to work in a highly independent, organized and result-oriented fashion;
  • Demonstrate good time-management skills;
  • Build an (inter)national network that spans both academics and policymakers/practitioners working on topics related to European security and War Studies;
  • Actively participate in discussions at the institute and minor level on research and teaching innovation;
  • Follow PhD courses based on an individual training and supervision plan.


Selection criteria

  • Master’s degree in political science, international relations, European studies, war studies, international law, sociology, history, public administration or another field with direct relevance for the interdisciplinary research carried out within the field of security and global affairs;
  • Demonstrable ability and enthusiasm for research at the intersection of conceptual and policy-oriented research (e.g. high grade for Master’s thesis, publications and evidence of policy-oriented research) in the field of security and global affairs;
  • Excellent command of English;
  • Teaching experience is not a requirement but is considered an advantage.


Our organisation
The Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs (FGGA) 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. In addition, the faculty is also home to Leiden University College.


The Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) is a scientific institute that focuses on multidisciplinary research and education within the international field of security studies. ISGA operates from The Hague, centre of national and international governance and city of peace, justice and security.

Terms and conditions
The appointment is 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 thesis. The start date is 1 August 2020. Salary range from €2.325,- to €2.972,- gross per month based on a full-time position (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%), 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 requires teaching staff to obtain the University Teaching Qualification (UTQ). If the successful applicant does not already possess this qualification or its equivalent, he/ she must be willing to obtain this Qualification within two years.

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


Enquiries can be made to Joachim Koops, email:, and Ernst Dijxhoorn, email:


Please submit online your application no later than 1 February 2020. Applicants should submit online. Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents:

  • Motivation letter;
  • Curriculum Vitae including a list of publications;
  • A sample publication (MA Thesis or other publication if applicable);
  • The names and contact details of three potential referees (no actual recommendation letters required at this stage);
  • Research idea that clearly states the topic, question academic and societal relevance as well as a timetable (max 2.500 words total, excluding references).


The following points should be reflected in the research proposal as part of the application dossier:

  • A clear description of the topic’s academic merit and how it will move the state of the art forward in terms of theories and conceptual analyses;
  • A clear articulation of the topic’s broader societal relevance. How can your proposed study help (non-)governmental agencies to address major policy issues in a changing regional security and global affairs context? How will it inform the broader debates on these issues in relation to European and global security governance?
  • Concrete ideas on how to present research outcomes to a diverse range of audiences including students as well as policymakers and professionals and the broader public;
  • An initial timeline for the project that demonstrates its feasibility and leads to either a monograph or four publications in recognized academic journals related to (European) security and global affairs within a four-year timeframe.


Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.