PhD Candidate in Political Science (1.0 FTE)

Updated: 14 days ago

  • Employment: 1.0 FTE
  • Maximum gross monthly salary: € 3,061
  • Nijmegen School of Management
  • Required background: Research University Degree
  • Application deadline: 30 May 2021


We are looking for

The Department of Political Science at the Nijmegen School of Management (Radboud University) invites applications for a PhD Candidate position on the research project REDRESS: Revitalised Democracy for Resilient Societies, funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) as part of the National Research Agenda's route 'Towards Resilient Societies' (for the full research proposal please contact Prof. van Ham). The REDRESS project investigates how hybrid democratic innovations can strengthen representative democracy. Hybrid democratic innovations combine instruments of plebiscitary democracy (e.g. referendums) with deliberative democracy (e.g. citizen assemblies). The REDRESS project combines international comparative research with learning from experiences with democratic innovations in the Netherlands. 


As a PhD candidate you will be part of a collaboration between four universities and several societal partners. The research consortium comprises several governmental and societal organisations (Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, ProDemos, Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG), Rathenau Institute, The Broker, LSA Bewoners, Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR)) and five research institutions: Radboud University, Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP), Tilburg University (coordinator; principal investigator: Prof. Frank Hendriks), University of Twente, and Utrecht University. You will be collaborating with three other PhD candidates and two postdoctoral researchers based at the partner universities.

You will be working on work package 4, 'The effects of participation in hybrid democratic innovations: experimental tests'. The main objective of this work package is to better understand how participating in different types of democratic innovations may affect citizens' trust and perceived responsiveness of the political system and its actors. This part of the research project will focus on experimental tests of the effects, both in a lab setting (to maximise the control over treatment and context) and in the form of survey experiments (to allow for randomised assignment of the treatment to reduce omitted variable bias). Furthermore, qualitative methods (focus groups and interviews) will allow to dig deeper into the causal mechanisms underlying the patterns observed in the experiments. The project will investigate both the effects of different designs of democratic innovations and the effects of individual differences between citizens. To benefit from their expertise with survey and qualitative methods, you will be positioned part-time at SCP. At Radboud University, you will be supervised by Prof. Carolien van Ham (PhD supervisor) and Dr Kristof Jacobs (daily supervisor).

You will be part of a collegial team at the Department of Public Administration and Political Science and enrol in the PhD programme at the Institute for Management Research (IMR).


We ask
  • A Master's degree in Political Science or a related field.
  • Academic excellence, as demonstrated by grade transcripts and CV.
  • A clear interest in research on democratic innovations (deliberation, referendums, electoral systems change, etc.) and citizen participation.
  • A solid understanding of both quantitative and qualitative methods.
  • Excellent command of written and spoken English.
  • The ability to communicate in Dutch with relevant stakeholders in the project.
  • The ability to work both independently and as a team player.
  • The ability to finish your PhD thesis in time, i.e. strong skills in project management, flexibility, proactive behaviour and excellent academic writing skills.
  • Experience with experimental methods and fluency in Dutch are an advantage (but not required).

We are

The Department of Political Science at Radboud University comprises five domains: Empirical Political Science, Political Theory, International Relations, Contesting Europeanisation, and Conflict Studies. Together these domains offer a Bachelor's programme in Political Science and six Master's tracks, each leading to a Master's degree in Political Science. The educational programme is characterised by small-scale teaching and provides a stimulating learning environment with an emphasis on the development of academic skills. Research activities fall under the responsibility of the interdisciplinary Institute for Management Research (IMR). Under the motto 'Creating knowledge for society', IMR focuses on academic research into the development, design and effectiveness of the public and private structures that regulate, govern or manage human interactions. Research in political science focuses on issues of legitimacy and institutional change and is organised around two themes: Conflict at the Crossroads of the Global and the National and Sustainable Democracy. Researchers of the Empirical Political Science Chair Group, of which this position will be a part, are leading scholars in research on democratic innovations and populism.


Radboud University

We want to get the best out of science, others and ourselves. Why? Because this is what the world around us desperately needs. Leading research and education make an indispensable contribution to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This is what unites the more than 22,000 students and 5,000 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!


We offer
  • Employment: 1.0 FTE.
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,395 per month based on a 38-hour working week, 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 (4 year contract).
  • The intended start date is 1 September 2021.
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services . Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment  and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
  • Radboud University offers a dynamic and attractive working environment. Have a look at our excellent employment conditions . They include a good work-life balance (among other things because of the excellent leave arrangements such as (partly paid) maternity leave), opportunities for development, a great pension scheme and financial childcare compensation.

Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, by which 30% of their salary is tax free.
Would you like more information?
For more information about this vacancy, please contact:
Prof. Dr. Carolien van Ham, Chair of Empirical Political Science
Tel.: +31 6 12 86 61 69
Email: C.vanHam@fm.ru.nl
Apply directly

Please address your application to Prof. Dr. Carolien van Ham and submit it, using the application button, no later than 30 May 2021, 23:59 Amsterdam Time Zone.   

Your application should include the following attachments:

  • Letter of motivation, explaining your motivation, your interest in the project, and your competences.
  • CV including qualifications, grades, a list of academic publications (if applicable), and an academic reference supporting your application.
The first round of interviews will take place on 8 June.
The second round of interviews will take place on 14 June.

We drafted this vacancy to find and hire our new colleague ourselves. Recruitment agencies are kindly requested to refrain from responding.


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