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19 juli 2018

Vacature / VACANCY: PhD candidate in the field of Migration Studies and International Relations

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences – Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research

Publication date
17 July 2018
Level of education
Master's degree
Salary indication
€2,266 to €2,897 gross per month
Closing date
7 September 2018
38 hours per week
Vacancy number
The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG) of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is the largest educational and research institution in the social sciences in the Netherlands, and one of the highest-ranked such institutions in Europe. The Faculty serves 7,500 students in numerous Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes in Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology, Communication Science, Psychology, Social Geography, Planning and International Development Studies, and Educational Sciences. The academic staff is employed in education as well as research. There are over 1,100 employees at the Faculty, which resides in a number of buildings in the centre of Amsterdam.
The Department of Political Sciences is one of the departments of the FMG. The College of Social Sciences (CSW) and the Graduate School of Social Sciences (GSSS) are responsible for the undergraduate and graduate teaching programmes in Political Science. The research within the Department is conducted in research programmes of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR). The AISSR unites the social science research of the UvA, and is one of the largest research institutes in Europe. The RIGHTS project is part of the programme group ‘Transnational Configurations, Conflict and Governance’ and is looking for a PhD candidate in the field of Migration Studies and International Relations.

Project description

You will be working on the RIGHTS project. The rights of low skilled migrant workers are usually analysed from the destination country perspective, ignoring the role of origin countries in protecting the rights or their citizens abroad. The RIGHTS project examines how the rights of low skilled migrant workers are shaped by origin and destination states, interstate dialogues, and the involvement of civil society and international organisations. It looks at the factors that determine why and how origin states intervene and how destination countries respond. The project’s core is a systematic comparative case study of six origin countries with partly overlapping destination countries and three of these destination countries. The tentative case selection includes the Philippines, Morocco, Senegal, India, Ecuador, and Vietnam on the origin country side and South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Italy on the destination country side.
RIGHTS (2018-2023) is funded by a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) and is led by Dr Evelyn Ersanilli.
Working closely together with the PI and Dr Liberty Chee, the PhD candidate will be responsible for fieldwork (interviews and archival research) in three of the country cases. Data collected will be used to write a PhD dissertation. The candidate will receive training at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research and can attend additional courses relevant to the project. Teaching is optional, but encouraged.


  • Fully participate in RIGHTS project activities in collaboration with other team members;
  • contribute to writing joint publications with a focus to be defined in collaboration with the RIGHTS team;
  • contribute to the drafting of RIGHTS project reports, project updates, research briefings and policy briefs;
  • conduct archival research and interviews with policy-makers, staff of (i)NGOs, embassy staff and other stakeholders for three of the country cases;
  • regularly present intermediate research results at the UvA and at international workshops and conferences;
  • conduct qualitative analysis and submit 1 or 2 (single and/or co-authored) papers to peer reviewed journals;
  • write a PhD dissertation (monograph or by articles, in consultation);
  • contribute to the research culture of the wider research environment and the Transnational Configurations research group.


  • Master’s degree in Political Science or a related discipline such as Sociology or Anthropology;
  • knowledge of Migration Studies (with an emphasis on policies) and/or International Relations, in particular relations between developing and developed countries;
  • experience with qualitative fieldwork, in particular elite interviews;
  • a willingness to spend several months abroad for project fieldwork;
  • excellent organizational skills;
  • excellent oral and written communication skills in English.
Desirable are:
  • experience with analysing qualitative data;
  • experience with archival research;
  • experience with fieldwork or other insider knowledge in one or more of the tentative country cases;
  • fluency in French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, Korean, and/or Vietnamese.

Further information

For more information please contact:


The appointment will be on a temporary basis for a period of 4 years (initial appointment will be for a period of 12 months and after satisfactory evaluation this can be extended to a total duration of 4 years) and should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). The position is fulltime (38 hours per week).
The position will start on 1 November 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter.
The gross monthly salary for this position will be €2,266 to €2,897 gross per month; this is based on a full-time position of 38 hours per week, plus 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% end-of-year allowance, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

Job application

The UvA is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We value a spirit of enquiry and endurance, provide the space to keep asking questions and cherish a diverse atmosphere of curiosity and creativity.
Applications must contain:
  • a motivation letter;
  • a full CV including publication list;
  • proof of your Master degree;
  • an academic writing sample in English (e.g. essay or Master thesis);
  • two names of referees who may be contacted for a letter of reference.
The deadline for the applications is 7 September 2018. Please send your application to as an attachment (in one single pdf-file) with vacancy number 18-431 as subject.
Interviews will be held on 2 October 2018.
Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered. #LI-DNP
No agencies please


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