PhD Candidate in Standards for Quantum Applications in Finance (0,8 - 1,0 fte)

Updated: 6 months ago
Deadline: 26 Sep 2023

5 Sep 2023
Job Information

Leiden University
Research Field

Juridical sciences
Researcher Profile

First Stage Researcher (R1)

Application Deadline

26 Sep 2023 - 21:59 (UTC)
Type of Contract

Job Status

Not Applicable
Hours Per Week

Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description

Research project
The proposed project aims to develop a better understanding of lawmaking processes surrounding quantum technologies, focusing on the regulation of quantum applications in finance as a key example of transnational lawmaking processes. Applications in finance may include trading algorithms, anti-money laundering techniques, FinTech and decentralized finance, or other areas where technological advancements are applied.

Scientific background
The project will examine the role of private rulemaking, in particular through standardization, as an instrument for ‘lawmaking beyond the state’. Characteristic of lawmaking in relation to new technologies that can be applied globally is that private regulators, rather than state legislators, are often the first to introduce new rules. ‘Private rulemaking’ here includes rulemaking by dedicated standardization bodies such as ISO, CEN, CENELEC, and private standard-setting bodies such as ISDA, ICMA and the UK Financial Market Standards Board (FMSB); but also rulemaking by means of contractual agreements between producers of technological applications, users, and third parties. These lawmakers can be faster as they are closer to the market and therefore have specific expertise and an awareness of when new regulation is needed. Also, their regulatory procedures are faster as they do not have to comply with the legislative procedures required for public lawmaking by the state.

Although private regulation has the advantage of expertise and expedition, it also has pitfalls. For example, standardization has been criticized for reinforcing extant interests of producers, as the power relations between representatives on standard-setting bodies are often not equal. Producers will often have more lobbying power than other stakeholders, such as consumer organizations. It is important, therefore, in situations where standardization is used as a regulatory instrument to determine the conditions that it would need to fulfil in order to obtain legitimacy. One aspect of legitimacy could be the voluntary adoption and use of standards by its addressees. Besides that, the substance of standards can be subject to checks and balances in the form of interaction with other sources of law that either directly or indirectly affect their content. In relation to ‘lawmaking beyond the state’ those checks and balances would consist of an interaction between state law, European and international legislation, and rule of private regulation. That has in recent years increasingly been conceptualized as a legal pluralist constellation of lawmaking (albeit that legal pluralism itself has various forms and theoretical definitions).

Research objectives
The proposed project will aim to answer the question: In which ways can standardization contribute to designing a regulatory framework that facilitates the introduction of quantum applications in finance, with safeguards for the protection of investors, financial market stability, and individual privacy rights?

The outcomes of the project can potentially be generalized to other areas in which quantum applications are being developed, in particular to fields in which private actors tend to be at the forefront of rulemaking. The project is intended to be based at Leiden Law School (as a collaboration between the departments of Civil Law, Financial Law and eLaw) and will be connected to other projects in the Quantum Delta NL network.

Supervision of the project will be undertaken by Prof. Gerrit-Jan Zwenne, Prof. Vanessa Mak and Dr. Ebbe Rogge. The PhD-researcher will be based at Leiden Law School and will benefit from being part of the private law research group ‘Coherent Private Law’, as well as the support and training offered through the graduate school and PhD Dean’s office.

Key Responsibilities

Specific Requirements

Your profile

  • A completed master degree in the field of law, with a specialization in private law;
  • Affinity with or an interest in financial law and/or law & technology;
  • Excellent research qualities, demonstrated for example by written work such as a master thesis or research paper;
  • Excellent command of English (other languages, especially Dutch are an asset);
  • Excellent communication and personal skills, and enthusiasm for working in a team;
  • Organisational skills and an ability for time-management, enabling timely completion of the PhD thesis.

Additional Information

The PhD candidate will be embedded in the Institute for Private Law, and supervised by researchers within Civil Law, Financial Law and eLaw. This will provide the unique opportunity to directly gain from the expertise within these departments. Also, it is possible to work together with other junior and senior researchers from these departments who are working on closely related projects. All the departments have outstanding reputations and extensive networks in their fields. This position is just one of the examples of how Leiden University fosters interdisciplinarity within its faculty to perform groundbreaking research on law and new technologies. Moreover, a good work-life balance is important, whereby there is flexibility to combine work with other responsibilities.
The project is part of the Quantum Delta NL network.

Our faculty
With over 6500 students and 650 members of staff, Leiden Law School is one of the largest faculties in The Netherlands. Yet, in all its diversity, it is still known for its ability to provide education on a small scale. The Faculty focuses on multi-faceted and high-level teaching and research, both nationally and internationally. It does so by working with talented people, and stimulating and supporting them in their professional and personal ambitions. The Faculty is housed in the beautifully restored Kamerlingh Onnes Building on the Steenschuur in Leiden. Working for the Leiden Law School means working in an inspiring scientific environment.

We offer
This is for a full-time position initially for one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities and compatibility, the appointment will be extended by a further three years. The salary range is from € 2770 to € 3539 gross per month (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). As a result of the current Collective Labour Agreement negotiations the salary will very likely be increased considerably in the near future.

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 .

Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity and inclusion are core values 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. We therefore especially welcome applications from members of underrepresented groups.

Selection process

Applications for this vacancy can only be made through our applications portal.
Applications should be submitted in English and include the following components:

  • Cover Letter (maximum one (1) page);
  • Curriculum Vitae (including publications, if applicable);
  • Research Proposal (maximum two (2) A4 pages), which clearly states how you would approach the themes of the project and how your experience will help you to do research in this direction;
  • Copy of Written Work (e.g. published article or master thesis);
  • Transcripts of bachelor and master results;
  • The names and contact addresses of two (2) (academic) referees.

Applications should be submitted no later than 26 September 2023 via the blue button in the applications portal. Please quote the vacancy number in your application. All requested documents should be sent in PDF format.
An interview with the search committee is part of the procedure.

Acquisition following this advertisement is not appreciated

Additional comments

Enquiries specific to this opportunity can be made to Prof. Vanessa Mak at [email protected] .
Information about Leiden Law School can be found at and about Leiden University at .
Information on the advanced research qualification and research programmes of the Graduate School of Legal Studies can be found on:

Website for additional job details

Work Location(s)
Number of offers available
Universiteit Leiden
Postal Code
Rapenburg 70

Where to apply



Rapenburg 70
Postal Code

2311 EZ


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