Gepubliceerd op 12-08-2020

Post-doc Maastricht, Working on Europe: Democracy, Politics, Security and Rule of Law (0.8-1.0 fte)

Maastricht, Working on Europe aims to encourage multi-disciplinary Europe-focused research with societal impact. Apply and join the research of Europe!

Job description

The successful candidate is a talented early-career researcher with proven interest in European affairs. They will be a member of the core research team Maastricht, Working on Europe (MWoE) of Maastricht University for a two-year appointment and will hold office at Studio Europa Maastricht (SEM). They will work closely with the SEM team and senior researchers in the different faculties of Maastricht University. The post-doc is expected to devote 60% of the position to academic research and 40% to outreach activities, emphasizing the societal impact of the post-doc’s running research. This includes the following output:

  • The post-doc carries out internationally competitive research and produces high-quality publications in the area of Democracy, Politics, Security and Rule of Law (MWoE research theme 1), with a clear link to European issues. Research and publications are of a multi- or interdisciplinary nature, fitting the research agenda of ‘Maastricht, Working on Europe’, which reflects the UM wide priority ‘Europe in a globalising world’;
  • The post-doc writes and submits at least one relevant individual grant proposal (such as within NWO, ERC, or within any other leading national or international funding scheme for academic research);
  • The post-doc engages in outreach activities, including the dissemination of personal research in forms that make it accessible beyond academia or even for the general public (e.g. in the form of open access source collections or databases, popularised publications, policy briefs for societal stakeholders in European affairs, presentations at public events, creation of a service/product developed in collaboration with external partners, etc.);
  • The post-doc acts as an active and visible ambassador of the MWoE research agenda within the UM-community and beyond;
  • The post-doc contributes to the general promotion and communication regarding MWoE activities and events calendar, coordinated from SEM.

Research theme 1: Democracy, Politics, Security and Rule of Law

Sixty years after its inception, the European Union is still grappling with the key issues of national sovereignty and democratic legitimacy. Who calls the shots and at what level of government? The EU has spawned several supranational institutions including a parliament and a court, but how should these interact with their national counterparts? And where do regional and local authorities come in? What kind of reforms are needed to safeguard democracy and ensure that citizens get more involved in the European project instead of falling prey to Euroscepticism? These are only a few of the questions that will need to be analysed and researched.

Equally high on the research agenda will be the internal and external threats facing the European project. How do we foster European integration and strengthen the rule of law? Do we need new forms of collaboration to tackle urgent global issues such as climate change, migration, cyber security and terrorism? And how do we reduce tensions on Europe’s periphery and make neighbouring regions more stable and secure?


Applicants are expected to:

  • hold a recent (< 5 years) doctorate, or are very close to acquiring a PhD, in Life Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities, Law, Economics, Data Science or any other relevant field concerning MWoE research theme 1: Democracy, Politics, Security and Rule of Law;
  • have interest in and (proven) experience with a multidisciplinary approach to societal, institutional and political themes and topics related to European affairs;
  • have an excellent track record in research, preferably with a focus on European affairs. A strong profile in publication of peer-reviewed journal articles or book chapters edited is considered a plus;
  • have knowledge of and experience in different research fields/methods;
  • have excellent communication and coordination skills;
  • have affinity with realizing societal impact through research and/or familiarity with citizen science;
  • have the potential to generate research funds from national and international funding agencies;
  • be able and willing to be part of an interdisciplinary team;
  • have an excellent command of spoken and written English.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 2 years.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website http://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl > Support > UM employees.


Maastricht University

Based in Europe, focused on the world. Maastricht University is a stimulating environment. Where research and teaching are complementary. Where innovation is our focus. Where talent can flourish. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 18,000 students and 4,400 employees. Reflecting the university’s strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts six faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.


Studio Europa Maastricht

SEM aims to position Maastricht as a meeting place for citizen dialogue and debate and establish a Centre of Excellence for research on Europe and European integration. In short: a workplace for a better Europe. For everyone. Our mission is to stimulate active, critical debate with citizen engagement at its core.

Our organisation consists of three branches:

  • The research of Europe: we are a leading Centre of Excellence for multi-disciplinary Europe-focused research with societal impact;
  • The stories of Europe: we stimulate active, critical debate with citizen engagement at its core and capture and share the stories of Europe;
  • The heritage of Europe: the Maastricht Treaty is the proud holder of the European Heritage Label since 2018 and we bring its history to life.

We are supported by the partners of the Maastricht, Working on Europe programme: the Province of Limburg, the City of Maastricht and Maastricht University.

Please visit www.maastrichteurope.nl for more information on Studio Europa Maastricht.

Additional information

This vacancy is part of MWoE’s second round of research call 1 for five post-docs for the four interdisciplinary research themes of its research agenda.

Inquiries on the content of the application and inquiries on the procedure and working conditions can, under strict confidentiality, be directed at Dr Gonny Willems, info@maastrichteurope.nl.

The application procedure opens Wednesday, 1 July and will close Sunday, 13 September 2020, midnight CET.

The application should include:

  • motivation letter;
  • complete and up-to-date curriculum vitae;
  • evidence of research output (job market paper, selected publications or working papers);
  • names and contact details of two referees;
  • two page proposal of the intended research and a clear description on how it relates to the selected theme (please clearly mention the vacancy number and selected theme).
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