Interdisciplinary PhD scholarship for the topic “International Sanctions”

Updated: about 6 hours ago
Deadline: 01 Sep 2022

Scholarship opportunities

As a result of an accelerated globalization process since the end of the Cold War, the twenty-first century has shown a stronger relation between economics and security. The deepening integration of several economic systems with world-wide supply chains makes the world economy susceptible to security threats such as terrorism, political instability and environmental crises. Conversely, the growing complexity of our societies requires ever more advanced knowledge and resources that can be provided only by market forces, such as technologies crucial to military operations. Phenomena like the weaponization of trade and finance, also known as sanctions, have become very frequent, but our understanding of their political and economic consequences is still limited.

When international diplomacy fails, governments may revert to the use of international sanctions to coerce, constrain or signal a foreign government, organization or person to change its behaviour and/or policies. Contemporary sanctions target a broader spectrum of international activities, including trade, financial transactions, military activity, and travel. Yet, albeit a general discussion on the effectiveness of sanctions exists, little is known about how effective these different types of sanctions are in actually changing economic outcomes or sanctioned targets’ behaviour and/or policies. The role of third parties in strengthening or weakening the effectiveness of these sanctions is also not yet well-understood. Therefore, the overall goal of this PhD project is to determine how sanctions impact states and non-state actors’ economic outcomes, strategic responses, and under which conditions sanctions can be considered (in)effective instruments in influencing state-level policy and non-state actors’ actions. The interdisciplinary nature of the project means that we aim to approach this topic from multiple perspectives.

The supervision team consists of Dr. Francesco Giumelli from the Department of International Relations and International Organization (Faculty of Arts) and Dr. Tristan Kohl at the Department of Global Economics and Management (Faculty of Economics and Business). The PhD student will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Economics & Business.


The PhD student is expected to:

  • have a relevant Master degree in the social sciences (e.g., economics, political economy, international relations, political science)
  • have strong quantitative and qualitative research skills
  • have a strong interest in government policy and its relation to the world economy
  • have an interdisciplinary background, or affinity with working in an interdisciplinary team
  • be able to show perseverance, flexibility, project management and collaboration skills
  • be fluent in English (both oral and written)
  • be able to finish the PhD thesis in four years
  • enjoy planning and taking initiatives
  • enjoy academic writing and have the desire to publish
  • be able and willing to work in Groningen, in an international and interdisciplinary environment
  • formulate a research proposal, eventually to be developed further together with the supervision team.


Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative centre of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the approximately 36,000 students and researchers to develop their own individual talents. Belonging to the best research universities in Europe and joining forces with prestigious partner universities and networks, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.

Faculty of Economics and Business and Faculty of Arts
The Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) has an inspiring study and working environment for students and employees. International accreditation enables the Faculty to assess performance against the highest international standards. It also creates an exciting environment of continuous improvement. FEB's programmes, academic staff and research do well on various excellence ranking lists.

The Faculty of Arts is building on a longstanding tradition of four centuries and its mission is to create positive societal and academic impact through relevant, high-quality teaching and research. The faculty strives to remain an ambitious top-ranking faculty with excellent education and state of the art research. The faculty offers a multidisciplinary environment and a wide range of degree programmes. Its research, which is internationally acclaimed, covers the fields of Archaeology, Cultural Studies, History, International Relations, Journalism, Language and Literary Studies, and Linguistics.

The graduate schools of both faculties have available: Interdisciplinary PhD scholarship for the topic “International Sanctions” (1.0 FTE


The University of Groningen offers scholarships for PhD students for a period of 4 years under the condition of a positive assessment at the end of the first year. The successful candidate will receive a gross scholarship of € 2,249 per month, of which wage tax and social insurance premiums will be deducted. For more information on the RUG PhD scholarship programme and its benefits please check the website at

Starting date: as soon as possible after September 1, 2022.

An assessment will be part of the procedure, consisting of psychological tests and an interview.


Do you meet our criteria? If yes, your application should include:

The application package consists of the following separate documents:

1. a motivation letter
2. a research proposal (max 2 pages)
3. your CV
4. a scan of your diploma including transcripts
5. proof of English proficiency
6. other relevant documents.

The documents 1-5 are compulsory and please note that incomplete application packages or applications sent by email will not be taken into account.

You may apply for this position until 31 August 11:59pm / before 1 September 2022 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage:
Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers:

We provide career services for partners of new faculty members moving to Groningen.

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


For information you can contact:

  • SOM, for general information on the application procedure,
  • Dr F. Giumelli,
  • Dr T. Kohl,

Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.


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