PhD position in Japan Studies

Faculty of Humanities, Leiden Institute for Area Studies is looking for a: PhD position in Japan Studies (1,0 fte) Vacancy number: 14540
  • WO
  • Tijdelijk
Leiden University


The Faculty of Humanities at Leiden University invites applications for a PhD fellowship, funded by the Isaac Alfred Ailion Foundation (IAAF) in the field of Japan Studies. Japan Studies is understood here as a division of area studies involved in social sciences and humanities research on Japan, and includes projects related to the Japanese language, culture, history, literature, art, music, politics, economy and science. The fellowship will be for four fulltime years, starting September 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter. Only holders of BA and/or MA degree from Japan Studies at Leiden University are eligible to apply. Especially candidates with an interest in social sciences are encouraged to apply.

IAAF was founded in 1983 by Leiden University after a generous bequest by Ms Mabel Ailion, in memory of her father Isaac Alfred Ailion. The Foundation has as one of its aims to further the field of Japan studies at Leiden University.

Key responsibilities
  • Conduct original research and disseminate preliminary results through appropriate channels (conferences, journals, project website, etc.);
  • Undertake relevant coursework and other training;
  • Write a PhD dissertation;
  • Contribute to teaching for up to 15% of overall work time, probably concentrated in years 2-3, and including the (supervised) design of minimally one BA course in one’s broader area of specialization;
  • Participate in LIAS PhD program activities.


Selection Criteria
  • Only holders of BA and/or MA degree at Leiden University, with a proven Japan interest, are eligible to apply;
  • A Master’s degree (candidates near completion of the degree will be considered) or equivalent in Japanese Studies or a Master’s degree in other disciplines with a Japan specialization;
  • Advanced language skills in Japanese comparable to JLPT level 1-2 (J);
  • An excellent command of English;
  • Excellent academic skills, visible in the MA thesis or other written work;
  • The ability to work independently, and as part of a team.


Terms and conditions
We offer a full-time position for 38 hours per week. The initial appointment will be for one year, with extension for the remaining three years conditional upon good progress. Upon consultation with the board of IAAF it is possible to take up the position as a 0.8 fte position for five years.

Salary range, depending on education and work experience, from € 2,770.-- to € 3,539.-- (pay scale PhD in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities) gross per month, based on a full-time appointment.

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 https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at/job-application-procedure-and-employment-conditions.

Fostering an inclusive community is a central element of the values and vision of Leiden University. Leiden University is committed to becoming an inclusive community which enables all students and staff to feel valued and respected and to develop their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High quality teaching and research is inclusive.

Meer informatie

Queries can be directed to the Secretary of IAAF (iaaf@hum.leidenuniv.nl).