PhD-candidate Refugee Care (f/m, 1.0fte)

We are looking for a highly motivated PhD-candidate who considers it a challenge to conduct PhD research as part of the Erasmus Initiative Vital Cities and Citizens and the International Institute of Social Studies. As ...

24 dagen geleden


Burgemeester Oudlaan, Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
40 uur


We are looking for a highly motivated PhD-candidate who considers it a challenge to conduct PhD research as part of the Erasmus Initiative Vital Cities and Citizens and the International Institute of Social Studies. As a PhD-candidate, you will have ample opportunity to collaborate with renowned academics with an international focus and track record.

Project description

The PhD project will consist of a mixed method in-depth case study of refugee initiatives, governance and assistance in selected cities in Lebanon. Whereas refugees would until recently only be recognized when they resided in camps, Syrian refugees have massively opted to self-settle in cities. In Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, 90% of the refugees live outside the camps. The question is how bottom-up innovations of refugees with self-help groups, informal settlements and entrepreneurial activities affect refugee governance, refugee care, and the relation with the host-population?

With its focus on bottom-up innovation, this research aims to contribute to practical solutions to improve refugee assistance, advance theoretical tools to respectfully build aid on refugees’ own solutions, and provide food for thought to contribute to ongoing discussion on the governance of aid.

Research duties

  • Conducting PhD research within the framework of the Erasmus Initiative Vital Cities and Citizens, specifically the project “Refugee Care”.

  • Contributing to the data-collection and data-analysis; a period of 18 months fieldwork in Lebanon will be required.

  • Publishing and presenting research results in the form of articles in international peer reviewed journals and papers at international conferences;

  • Assisting in the organisation of workshops and other knowledge utilisation activities

  • Writing a dissertation and defending the dissertation to complete the doctoral degree;

  • Performing organizational tasks in the context of the Erasmus Initiative Vital Cities and Citizens and the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS);

  • Participating in project meetings, seminars, workshops, etc. that are organised by the Erasmus Initiative Vital Cities and Citizens and ISS as well as the research schools and scholarly associations of which ISS is part.


  • A master’s degree in one of the social sciences or humanities, preferably a research master’s degree;

  • Wide ranging knowledge of development and/ or refugee and/ or migration studies;

  • A solid background in both qualitative and quantitative research methods is required as evidenced by the master’s thesis, publications, research plans, and other projects;

  • Strong social skills including a profound willingness to collaborate and to take initiative;

  • Organisational experience and skills;

  • Proficiency in spoken and written English. Non-English speakers have to meet the C1-standards of the Common European Framework (CEF);

  • Preference will be given to researchers of Syrian nationality


Employment starts 1 November 2017. The contract will be a temporary contract for three years.

The conditions of employment correspond with the Dutch collective labour agreement for universities (CAO NU). For the job of PhD candidate, the salary ranges between to EUR 35 – 39 K gross per year on a 38 hour per week contract.

The International Institute of Social Studies is committed to building and sustaining a community based on inclusiveness, equity and diversity and believes this will contribute to our mission and vision of being the best institute in our field. ISS is an equal opportunities employer and encourages applications from candidates of all genders, ethnicities and nationalities. Given the mission of the institute, particularly candidates from non-Dutch background are stimulated to apply.

Additional information

Additional information can be obtained through one of the following links:
About the Erasmus University Rotterdam

About the Erasmus Initiative Vital Cities and Citizens

Additional information regarding the vacancy can be obtained from Prof. Thea Hilhorst:

How to apply

Next to your cover letter, resume, a publication list (if possible) and the name and contact details of two referees, ISS requires all PhD applicants to show they have done preparatory work on the above topic of study by way of a research proposal. Please submit a research proposal of approximately 2500 – 3000 words which incorporates:

  • a statement of the research issue, setting out the temporal, geographic and conceptual limits of the work
  • the potential contribution of the research to theory and/or policy making
  • a concise formulation of the research issues
  • a brief review of the theoretical background and the main analytical approaches to be followed
  • a specification of the main expected methods of data collection and processing
  • proposed table of contents for the thesis
  • references and bibliography

The selection committee will invite a small number of candidates for an interview. Please apply before 1 September 2017by e-mail to You should receive a confirmation mail within two weeks.


The expertise of Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) is concentrated in the fields of Business Administration, Economics, Medicine and Health Sciences, Law, Psychology, Pedagogical and Educational Sciences, Sociology, Public Administration, History, Arts and Culture, Media and Communication, Philosophy, and International Development Studies. In addition to the initial degree programmes and scientific research, the University offers specific postgraduate study programmes and courses. Erasmus University has around 25,000 students and some 2,500 staff members.

The Erasmus University has recently launched three so-called Erasmus Initiatives, through which academic excellence and multidisciplinary collaboration in research is stimulated. One of these is the Vital Cities and Citizens project which aims to (1) to advance our understanding of the ways in which social and cultural transformations affect urban life - and (2) by doing so – to help cities thrive as places of inclusion, tolerance and cohesion, and better articulate the aspirations of their diverse, resilient and creative citizens. The Erasmus Initiative Vital Cities and Citizens is a collaboration between the Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS), the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC), and the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS).

International Institute of Social Studies

The International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) is a leading academic centre for international

development studies in The Hague and is part of the Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR). It is a

post-graduate institute of policy-oriented critical social science, founded in 1952. The institute offers a PhD in Development Studies, a 15.5-month MA in Development studies with five Majors, and several post-graduate Diploma courses.


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