PhD opportunity on the influence of human rights NGOs on the EU’s policy towards post-Soviet space

Country: Belgium;

Deadline: 11.01.2018



Last application date

Jan 11, 2018 23:59


PS03 - Department of Political Sciences


Limited duration


Master's in Political Science or EU Studies or equivalent

Occupancy rate


Vacancy Type

Research staff

Job description

Applications are invited for a full-time, fully-funded PhD scholarship at the Centre for EU Studies, Department of Political Science, Ghent University. The envisaged starting date is 1 March 2018.

The successful candidate will conduct doctoral research on the influence of human rights NGOs on the European Union’s (EU) human rights promotion in the post-Soviet space. The PhD will be situated within the framework of a larger project on the same topic under the supervision of Prof. dr. Fabienne Bossuyt. In challenging the predominant contention that EU foreign policy remains an ‘insulated sector’ predominantly driven by state actors and EU institutions, the project will analyse whether and to what extent human rights NGOs influence the EU’s promotion of human rights in its diplomatic activities, and will assess what factors explain that influence. You will prepare a PhD on the subject and participate as a member in the activities of the Centre for EU Studies and the Department of Political Science.

The scholarship is offered for a period of two years, extendable for another two years after positive evaluation.

Profile of the candidate

  • • You have obtained a Master’s degree in Political Science or EU Studies, or an equivalent qualification in a relevant field, such as International Relations.
  • • You are interested in EU foreign policy, human rights promotion and the EU’s policies towards the post-Soviet space, and are highly motivated to conduct academic research on these topics.
  • • You have knowledge of and/or are interested in qualitative and quantitative research methods.
  • • You have excellent oral and written communication skills in English.
  • • You have an outstanding academic record, as exemplified, among other things, by excellent study results.
  • • You are able to work well independently and as part of a team.

How to apply

You can apply for this position until 11 January 2018.

Applications should include:

  • • a cover letter, in which you specify why you are interested in the position and why you consider yourself a suitable candidate
  • • a short essay (ca. 1,000 words, excluding references) on (an aspect of) the theme of this research (e.g. it can be about EU human rights promotion, the role of human rights NGOs in EU policy-making, or the EU’s policies towards the post-Soviet space).
  • • a CV
  • • transcripts of your qualifications to date (degrees and grade lists)
  • • names and contact information of two references

Submit your application in a single PDF (not exceeding 5MB) via e-mail to Please put “PhD application on human rights NGOs” in the subject line of your email.

Ghent University maintains an equal opportunities and diversity policy. Everyone with the required qualifications is encouraged to apply for this position.

For more information on this vacancy or the research, you can contact Prof. dr. Fabienne Bossuyt. A short list of potential candidates will be contacted by mid-January 2018 and interviews will be held in the third/fourth week of January 2018. Your appointment is expected to start on 1 March 2018.