Post-doctoral Research Position at Leiden University

Leiden University / Institute of Political Science
Opportunity Type
Leiden/The Hague, Netherlands
June 30, 2020
Link to Post


The Institute of Political Sciences of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences is looking for a Post-Doctoral Researcher in Political Science

The post-doctoral researcher will be part of the international and inter-disciplinary project “EUINACTION: Willingness and Capacity for EU Policy Action in Turbulent Times: Conflicts, Positions and Outcomes” led by Dr. Nikoleta Yordanova and hosted at the Institute of Political Science at Leiden University. The project is funded by the NORFACE Network and partners with computer scientists at the University of Mannheim and political scientists at the University of Strathclyde.

The project offers a unique opportunity to work in an international team on a topic of high current salience, learn new tools and methods from colleagues from other disciplines and conduct high impact research. The post-doctoral researcher will work in close collaboration with the PI and project partners to compile an innovative legislative dataset using cutting edge methodology for legislative text analysis and utilize this dataset to study questions of policy responsiveness and policy-making efficiency in the European Union. The job offers ample opportunities for co-authored publications and participation in national and international conferences.

The project seeks to explain and facilitate responsive and effective European Union (EU) policy reforms by increasing knowledge about the willingness and capacity for European integration in specific policy areas. It will investigate under what conditions politicians and institutions in the EU seek to increase or decrease specific policy competencies of the EU; when these actors and institutions manage to assert their positions in the policy-making processes; and to what extent their positions respond to public demands across and within member states. Methodologically, the inter-disciplinary project will apply state-of-the-art methods of automated text analysis to various sources of political text (manifestos of political parties, transcripts of speeches from the European and national parliaments, and EU legislative proposals) to establish and analyze the policy goals and policy-making influence of different EU legislative institutions (European Commission, European Parliament and the Council of Ministers). This will enable explaining the mechanisms that drive or obstruct policy change at the European level in different policy areas (e.g., common currency, internal market, environment, public health, consumer protection, immigration, or security).

Key responsibilities

- Work in a team and independently to develop and test theories of legislative politics and policy responsiveness to study policy-making in the EU.
- Apply innovative tools of automated text analysis to estimate the positions of legislative proposals and institutional actors using text as data.
- Write research papers and present them at research at national and international conferences in accordance with project timetable.
- Conduct interviews with policy-makers in Brussels.
- Help with mentoring the project’s PhD student.
- Assist the PI in the project implementation, including the timely delivery and reporting of all project commitments, quality assurance of project deliverables, communication with team members and dissemination.

- A PhD in political science or a relevant discipline, or be near completing one.
- Very strong background in quantitative methods.
- Experience with automated text analysis.
- Substantive interest in legislative politics, political representation or EU politics.
- Proven ability to work independently and in a team.
- Aptitude for project management is desirable.
- Excellent command of English.

We offer a full-time position for initially one year and upon satisfactory performance to be extended with a further two years. The position preferably starts on 1 September 2020. Salary range from €3,637 to €4,978 gross per month on a full-time basis (pay scale 11 in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %) and training and career development. 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 information at the website.

Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.

Leiden University
The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences comprises five institutes: Education and Child Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Cultural Anthropology & Development Sociology and the Centre for Science and Technology Studies. The Faculty is home to 5,000 students and 600 members of staff. Our teaching and research programmes cover diverse topics varying from adoption to political behaviour. For more information, see the website.

The Institute of Political Science has a strong research tradition in various areas of comparative, Dutch and international politics, as well as political theory. The Institute has around 80 academic staff, including many non-Dutch scholars, and houses a number of editorships of international refereed journals and book series. Members of the institute are also involved in a number of the university’s multi-disciplinary research centres, including Central and East European Studies, International Relations, Political Parties and Representation, and Political Philosophy. The Institute is based in Leiden but a large and growing part of the teaching is done nearby in The Hague (12-minutes away).

If you wish to further inquire about the position, please make direct contact with Nikoleta Yordanova, project leader and chair of the selection committee, email

How to Apply

Application procedure
Please submit online your application no later than 30 June 2020 via the blue button in our application system:

Applicants should submit online:

- letter of interest;
- CV (with a list of publications);
- a sample paper or article;
- the names and contact details of two people who may be contacted to provide a reference on behalf of the candidate.

The selection procedure will take place in July. Selected candidates will be invited to online interviews, some may be invited to Leiden for an in-person interview, depending on the health context. You are kindly requested to be available during this period.

Inquiries from agencies are not appreciated.