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  3. PhD Candidate: Chefsache, Coping with the European Council at the EU and national levels

PhD Candidate: Chefsache, Coping with the European Council at the EU and national levels

We invite applications for a PhD position on the research project 'Chefsache, Coping with the European Council at the EU and national levels', which is …

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Houtlaan, Nijmegen, Gelderland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
40 uur
€ 3061 - € 3061 per maand


We invite applications for a PhD position on the research project 'Chefsache, Coping with the European Council at the EU and national levels', which is supervised by Dr Sandrino Smeets. This is an interdisciplinary project based on a cooperation between the departments of Public Administration and Research Methodology of the Faculty of Management Sciences and the Centre for Migration Law of the Faculty of Law.

The project studies the increased role and influence of the European Council in shaping and steering EU decision- and policy-making on the major issues or challenges of today: migration and climate. Instead of focusing on the political leaders themselves and their summits, the project will provide in-depth process level reconstructions and analyses of the decision- and policy-making dynamics of the European Council and at the lower levels. The project will be based on intensive cooperation with insiders from EU institutions and national ministries, so as to create a valid, insider reconstruction of these processes and mechanisms. For more details see the project outline.

The empirical research will be conducted in close cooperation with the daily supervisor, Sandrino Smeets, and with other members of the research team. You will make use of a variety of primarily qualitative, but preferable also quantitative methods: case studies, process tracing, content analysis, policy analysis, interviews, participatory modelling and research. The substantive focus is on the reform of the Common European Asylum System and on EU policies to combat Climate Change in relation to the European Green Deal.

Your tasks will be to develop your own research project, within the parameters of the project, to set up and perform data collection (including through extensive fieldwork in Brussels and The Hague), conduct sound scientific analyses, write peer-review articles and complete your PhD thesis in time. You will participate in conferences, organise and facilitate academic and non-academic workshops and seminars, and contribute to teaching at the Nijmegen School of Management.


  • A Master's degree in Political Science, Public Administration or a related field, preferably with a focus on European Union (EU) politics and/or EU law.
  • Excellent knowledge of advanced qualitative and quantitative research methods, as well as an eagerness to further develop this knowledge.
  • Academic excellence, as demonstrate by grade transcripts and CV.
  • Excellent command of written and spoken Dutch and English.
  • A willingness and capacity to conduct extensive fieldwork in Brussels and/or The Hague or other national capitals.
  • The ability to work independently, but also in close cooperation with the daily supervisor and other members of the research project or research group.
  • The ability to finish the PhD project in time: i.e. strong skills in project management, flexibility, a proactive approach and excellent academic writing skills.
  • Professional and scientific integrity and excellent social skills are required for (embedded) fieldwork and interviews.


  • Employment: 40 hours per week.
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,395 per month, and will increase to €3,061 in the fourth year (salary scale P).
  • In addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • Duration of the contract: you will be appointed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years.
  • The intended start date is 1 February 2021.
  • You will be able to make use of our Dual Career Service: our Dual Career Officer will assist with family-related support, such as child care, and help your partner prepare for the local labour market and with finding an occupation.
  • Are you interested in our excellent employment conditions?

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact:
Dr. Sandrino Smeets, Assistant Professor Methods
Email: s.smeets@fm.ru.nl

Prof. dr. Ellen Mastenbroek, Full Professor Public Administration
Email: e.mastenbroek@fm.ru.nl
Prof. dr. Tesseltje de Lange, Full Professor Migration Law
Email: tesseltje.delange@jur.ru.nl


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