Data analysis, Criminology
Permanent employment
Master (EQF 7)
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The Institute of Security and Global Affairs of the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs is looking for a PhD candidate on Gun Violence.


Project description 
The position is part of an EU-funded research program on gun violence. The program is embedded in the Research Group Physical Violence and Public Order, as part of the Institute of Security and Global Affairs at Leiden University.

Firearms are an enabler of various kinds of violence – ranging from criminal, domestic, inter-personal to politically – motivated violence. Yet, rather little is known about the specific scope, dynamics and evolution of this impact, partly because detailed quantitative data on the nature and context of gun violence is still missing throughout Europe. What, for example, is the scope and nature of gun violence in Europe? To what extent is gun violence associated with lethal violence? What are the characteristics of the perpetrators and victims of various types of gun violence? Is there a difference in context and lethality between acts of gun violence and violence perpetrated with other weapons? In collaboration with international partners, this project aims to address these questions. This PhD project, as part of the larger research program, seeks to improve our understanding of various types of gun violence, the types of firearms used in these acts of violence, and the dynamics in which such violence takes place.


The project operates on the interface of criminology and sociology. You will have the opportunity to develop as an academic, to hone your research and methods skills, as part of an enthusiastic, multi-disciplinary team, within a thriving research institute and faculty.



Key responsibilities

  • Conduct original research and completing a PhD-thesis within the framework of the program;
  • Participate in the program’s academic research network, as well as in other Dutch and international research networks;
  • Analyse data using state-of-the-art (statistical and qualitative) techniques;
  • Publish in international academic journals, both individually and together with the wider project team;
  • Present research results at (inter)national conferences and meetings and actively disseminating research findings to key stakeholders;
  • Contribute to the organization of meetings and conferences for/with the program;
  • Co-supervise MSc students’ thesis research;
  • Co-teach (max. 25% of the appointment) research methods courses on the bachelor level;
  • Contribute to existing educational programs within the institute.


Selection criteria

  • MSc (preferably 2-years Research Master) in criminology, sociology psychology, political science or another relevant discipline;
  • Strong (statistical and qualitative) research skills;
  • Excellent English, both in written and oral form. Command of the Dutch language is not a prerequisite for applying;
  • Strong skills in presenting research findings both orally and in writing;
  • Interest and enthusiasm for research in the field of firearm trafficking, organized crime, interventions, and violence.


Our organisation
The Faculty Governance and Global Affairs offers academic education in the field of Public Administration and international relations, as well as in-depth post-academic programmes for professionals. In addition, the FGGA is also home to a number of education and research centres in the field of governance, global affairs, international law, and (inter) national security, as well as the Leiden University College. More information: Faculty of 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. More information: Institute of Security and Global Affairs.


Physical Violence and Public Order is an academic research program that seeks to provide evidence-based knowledge on topics such as the social factors that foster violence, effective violence prevention, and setting rational punishment for violent offenders. See our website for a more detailed impression.

Terms and conditions
The successful candidate will be part of an ambitious and dynamic research team. We offer a full-time, fixed-term post for a period of one year with an extension of three years after positive evaluation of capabilities and compatibility. Ultimately, the appointment must lead to the completion of a PhD thesis. The salary ranges from € 2.325,- in the first year, up to € 2.972,- in year four gross per month, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. Starting date: 1 January 2020.


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 program. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. More information: 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 Dr. Marieke Liem, Associate Professor, via:


Please submit online your application no later than 15 October 2019. Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents in PDF format:

  • Motivation letter;
  • Curriculum Vitae including a list of publications;
  • MSc thesis or an equivalent writing example. 

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.