Academic Positions België

Universiteit Antwerpen, België

PhD project on EU post-crisis legitimacy and the delegation of powers PLATO - ESR5

The Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Antwerp (Flanders, Belgium) is seeking to fill a full-time (100%) vacancy in the research group Antwerp Centre for Institutions and Multilevel Politics in the Department of Political Science for a PhD project on EU post-crisis legitimacy and the delegation of powers (PhD network PLATO – ESR5)

The successful applicant will conduct PhD research in the framework of the European Innovative Training Network (ITN) PLATO, an EU-funded PhD network coordinated by Prof. Chris Lord at ARENA Centre for European Studies, University of Oslo. It unites nine university partners across Europe in recruiting a group of 15 excellent young researchers to do a common multi-disciplinary investigation of the EU’s post-crisis legitimacy, together with leading senior researchers.

PLATO will be a fully integrated, thematic research school with its own research question. The aim is to go beyond the state-of-the-art by building a theory of legitimacy crisis in the EU from a uniquely interdisciplinary understanding of how democracy, power, law, economies and societies all fit together with institutions within and beyond the state to affect the legitimacy of contemporary political order. What you need to know about PLATO's research in preparing applications for a PhD position (pdf). PLATO will offer state-of-the-art academic training as well as training in core professional skills, research leadership and entrepreneurship, and dissemination; a quality framework of supervision; work experience from the policy-advice, consulting or civil society sectors at European level; and professional individual career development. For more on PLATO’s research and training programme as well as the common call for 15 PhD candidates (Early Stage Researchers, ESRs), please see:   

The ESR5 will conduct research on Legitimacy Crisis and the Delegation of Powers, i.e. on the legitimacy of crisis responses that delegate new powers to the European Union, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Dirk De Bièvre at the Antwerp research group ACIM.

This project will investigate institutional choice in the wake of the financial crisis. More in particular, it will seek to explain different forms of delegation to the European Union and in how far they are legitimate with different institutional stakeholders. It will cover several new delegations of power to the European Banking Authority, the European Central Bank, the European Commission and authorities created through new intergovernmental treaties. It will identify and seek to explain this variety of different forms of delegation of powers that have been made in extending fiscal coordination through the Six-pack and in conferring new responsibilities on the Union for supervising the stability of the European financial system through banking union. By employing process-tracing methods it will use publicly available documents and interviews with key decision-makers to identify the preferences, interests and compromises involved in making those delegations of power.

Job description

  • You prepare a doctoral thesis in the field of Political Science under the supervision of Prof. Dirk De Bièvre. Co-supervision will be offered by a senior scholar at another PLATO partner university, to be selected by the network based on the submitted proposal. A three-month academic secondment will be undertaken at this university to cooperate with co-supervisor and other PLATO ESRs. The PhD grant will also include a 4-week secondment to the economic think tank and training partner Bruegel in Brussels.
  • You publish scientific articles related to the research project and contribute to the research activities within ACIM and the PLATO network.

Profile and requirements

  • You hold a master degree in political science, political economy, or a related social science discipline.
  • You can submit outstanding academic results.
  • Students in the final year of their degree can also apply.
  • Your academic qualities comply with the requirements stipulated in the university’s policy.
  • You are quality-oriented, conscientious, creative and cooperative.
  • You conform to the following Mobility Rule to be eligible for recruitment in this European Training Network: You have not resided in Belgium for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment date and have not carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Belgium.
  • You conform to the following Career Stage rule: you are an ‘early stage researcher’, i.e. in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent) of your research career and you do not have a doctoral degree yet. This 4-year period is measured from the date of obtaining the degree which would formally entitle you to embark on a doctorate. 

We offer

  • a doctoral scholarship for 3 years, conditional on positive evaluation after the 1st year;
  • the start date of the scholarship: 1 Sept 2017;
  • a gross monthly grant ranging from € 2.280,27 - € 2.419,84;
  • a dynamic and stimulating work environment.

How to apply?

  • Applications may only be submitted online , and should include a copy of your CV, a cover letter with your motivation to apply, a project proposal of 2000 to max. 3000 words (incl. references and timeline), two letters of recommendation, and proof of your English proficiency (TOEFL test or equivalent, English-language MA or equivalent) until the closing date 31 January 2017. For more details, please see PLATO project proposal guidelines (  
  • A pre-selection will be made from amongst the submitted applications.
  • The remainder of the selection procedure will be conducted by Antwerp Faculty members in close consultation with scholars from the other PLATO partner institutions.
  • The interviews of the candidates, preselected by a selection panel, will take place in the period of 6 – 17 March 2017.
  • In assessing the candidates, particular emphasis will be placed on the quality and originality of the project proposal as well as the individual project’s fit within the overall research programme. Academic qualifications, writing skills, language proficiency and other qualifying experience will also be of key importance.
  • More information about the application form can be obtained by

For questions about the profile and the description of duties, please contact the Antwerp PLATO promotor and PhD supervisor Prof. Dr. Dirk De Bièvre,

University of Antwerp

De Universiteit Antwerpen is een jonge, dynamische en toekomstgerichte universiteit. Ze integreert de troeven van haar historische wortels in haar ambitie positief bij te dragen aan de samenleving.

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