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PhD Position in European Studies - The Politics of EU Climate Policies

Posted 4 Feb 2024
Work experience
1 to 3 years
Full-time / part-time
Job function
€2,770 - €3,539 per month
Degree level
Required languages
English (Fluent)
Dutch (Fluent)
31 Mar 2024 00:00

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The Amsterdam School for Regional and Transnational and European Studies (ARTES) invites applications for a fully-funded 4-year PhD position in European studies. The position is funded by a starting grant from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands led by Dr Andrew Telford, of which the PhD position is a part.

The PhD fellow will be part of ARTES, one of the five Research Schools within the Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR), and the European Studies research cluster. ARTES combines humanities and social science-based approaches to the study of Europe and other world regions, and the relations between them. The PhD fellow will also be a part of the Sustainability and Disruption transversal research cluster in ARTES which brings together researchers to work on interdisciplinary questions concerned with imaginaries and materialities of (un)sustainability.

What are you going to do?

You will be working on a research project which explores the ways in which the EU’s climate policies, especially policies that are a part of the EU Green Deal introduced in 2019, are politically contested in subnational regional contexts in the European Union. In particular, the project will investigate the ways in which EU climate policy is contested at local, subnational levels: which political narratives are constructed and contested in debates about EU climate policy at subnational local scales? How do these contestations tie into debates about green ‘backlash’ and right-wing ‘populist’ responses to EU climate policy? You will formulate your own research proposal as part of your application for the PhD fellowship and this must focus on one particular EU policy area and its local contestation in one or two subnational regional contexts. Potential policy areas include, but are not limited to: phase-out of coal and other fossil fuels in the EU, just transition policies in the EU, EU agricultural and food security policy reforms, and EU energy and heating policies.

During the PhD research you will conduct extensive research on the context of contemporary climate change politics in the EU and the contestation of EU climate policies at different scales. This will involve critical reviews and analysis of academic, policy-based and non-governmental sources (particularly in the first year of the project), as well as in-depth fieldwork in your chosen subnational regional context(s) (particularly in the second and third years of the project). We are open to candidates with experience in a range of types of fieldwork methods, but are particularly interested in those with experience in qualitative research methods (in-depth interviews and participant observation) and online research methods (online interviews, analysis of social media sources, digital ethnography, etc.). The third and fourth years of the project will be spent completing fieldwork and writing your doctoral thesis ahead of its eventual defence.

Tasks and responsibilities:

  • submission of a PhD thesis on local contestations of EU climate policies within a 4-year period;
  • participating in meetings in the ARTES (including the Sustainability and Disruption transversal cluster) and European Studies research groups;
  • publication of outputs derived from your doctoral research, including peer-reviewed academic articles;
  • presenting intermediate research results at workshops and conferences, including at least one international conference outside of the Netherlands;
  • organising knowledge dissemination activities, including in collaboration with political actors involved in your area of EU climate policy and your case study context(s);
  • participation in ARTES and Faculty of Humanities PhD training programmes;
  • co-teach courses at the BA level and MA level in the second and third year of the appointment (max. 0,2 fte per year).

What do you have to offer?

First and foremost we are looking for candidates who are passionate about climate change politics and the implications of EU climate policies in particular. You will be intellectually curious and politically driven in the context of climate politics in Europe, particularly the ways in which climate policies are contested at different geographical scales (from the local to the international)

Your experience and profile

  • a completed Master's (research) degree in human/social geography, anthropology, sociology, environmental studies or a related discipline. You may apply if you have not yet completed your Master's degree only if you provide a signed letter from your supervisor stating that you will graduate before 01 September 2024;
  • excellent research skills demonstrated by an outstanding Master's thesis and a demonstrable capacity to develop an extended PhD research project and publishable research outputs;
  • language skills at the required proficiency (B2 in speaking, listening and reading) to complete in-depth qualitative fieldwork (online and in-person) in your chosen field location(s)/case study context(s) within the EU;
  • experience with qualitative research methods and qualitative data analysis, particularly in-depth interviews and online qualitative research (social media analysis, online interviews, digital ethnography);
  • a strong cooperative attitude and willingness to engage in collaborative research;
  • enthusiasm for communicating academic research to non-academic audiences;
  • excellent command of English.

Please note that if you already hold a doctorate/PhD or are working towards obtaining a similar degree elsewhere, you will not be admitted to a doctoral programme at the UvA.

What can we offer you?

We offer a temporary employment contract for the period of 48 months. The first contract will be for 16 months, with an extension for the following 32 months, contingent on a positive performance evaluation within the first 12 months. The employment contract is for 38 hours a week. The preferred starting date is 1 September 2024.

The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week and relevant experience, ranges from € 2,770 up to a maximum of € 3,539. This sum does not include the 8% holiday allowance and the 8,3% year-end allowance. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

What else do we offer?

  • PhD candidates receive a tuition fee waiver;
  • PhD candidates have free access to courses offered by the Graduate School of Humanities and the Dutch National Research Schools;
  • excellent possibilities for further professional development and education;
  • an enthusiastic, inspiring and professional academic team.

The University of Amsterdam is one of the largest comprehensive universities in Europe. With some 40,000 students, 6,000 staff, 3,000 PhD candidates, and an annual budget of more than 850 million euros, it is also one of Amsterdam’s biggest employers.
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