Vacancy: Postdoctoral researcher in the field of Migration Studies (RIGHTS project)

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG) of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is the largest educational and research institution in the social sciences in the Netherlands, and one of the highest-ranked such institutions in Europe. The Faculty serves 7,500 students in numerous Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes in Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology, Communication Science, Psychology, Social Geography, Planning and International Development Studies, and Educational Sciences. The academic staff is employed in education as well as research. There are over 1,100 employees at the Faculty, which resides in a number of buildings in the centre of Amsterdam.

The Department of Political Science is one of the departments of the FMG. The College of Social Sciences (CSW) and the Graduate School of Social Sciences (GSSS) are responsible for the under-graduate and graduate teaching programmes in Political Science. The research within the Department is conducted in research programmes of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR). The AISSR unites the social science research of the UvA, and is one of the largest research institutes in Europe. The RIGHTS project is part of the programme group ‘Transnational Configurations, Conflict and Governance’.

Project description

The Department of Political Science and the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR) are seeking a postdoctoral researcher to work on the project RIGHTS: The bargaining power of sending countries in influencing the rights of their low skilled migrant workers. The RIGHTS project (2018-2023) is funded by a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) and is led by Dr Evelyn Ersanilli.

The RIGHTS project examines the influence of governments of migrant origin countries on the rights of their low skilled migrant workers in destination countries. The project approaches this question from both the origin and the destination country side; looking at factors that determine why and how origin states try to intervene and what determines the responses of destination countries.

A survey of policy makers in origin countries will generate an overview of interventions by origin country governments. The project’s core is a systematic comparative case study of six origin countries with partly overlapping destination countries and three of these destination countries. The tentative case selection includes the Philippines, Morocco, Senegal, India, Ecuador, and Vietnam on the origin country side and South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Italy on the destination country side.

Working closely together with the PI and other team members, the postdoctoral researcher will be responsible for the survey of origin country policy makers and fieldwork (interviews and archival research) in three of the country cases. The postdoctoral researcher is expected to write 4-5 co-authored and/or single authored articles in peer reviewed journals on the project findings and contribute to the conceptual papers.


  • Fully participate in RIGHTS project activities in collaboration with other team members;
  • contribute to writing joint publications with a focus to be defined in collaboration with the RIGHTS team;
  • contribute to the drafting of RIGHTS project reports, project updates, research briefings and policy briefs;
  • contribute to the theoretical framework of the project;
  • conduct a survey on origin country policy makers;
  • conduct archival research and interviews with policy-makers, staff of (i)NGOs, embassy staff and other stakeholders for three of the country cases;
  • conduct qualitative analysis and submit 4-5 (single and/or co-authored) papers to peer reviewed journals;
  • contribute to the research culture of the wider research environment and the Transnational Configurations research group;
  • teach modules to and supervise BSc and MSc students in political science (0.2fte).


  • A PhD in political science or a related discipline such as sociology or anthropology;
  • knowledge of Migration Studies (with an emphasis on policies) and/or International Relations, in particular relations between developing and developed countries;
  • experience with qualitative fieldwork , in particular elite interviews;
  • experience with analysing qualitative data;
  • a willingness to spend several months abroad for project fieldwork;
  • excellent organizational skills;
  • a good publication record relative to career stage;
  • ability to provide excellent and inspiring teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels;
  • excellent oral and written communication skills in English.

Desirable are:

  • experience with archival research;
  • experience with fieldwork or other insider knowledge in one or more of the tentative country cases;
  • experience with comparative qualitative research;
  • fluency in French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, Korean, and/or Vietnamese.

Further information

For further information, please contact:


For this position the University Job Classification System ’Researcher-3/ Onderzoeker-3’ applies.

The appointment will be on a temporary basis for the duration of 2 years, with the possibility of an extension for another two years. The position is full-time (38 hours per week) of which 0.8 fte for the RIGHTS project, and 0.2 fte for teaching.

The position will start on 1 March 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The gross monthly salary for this position will be €3,475 to €4,757 gross per month; this is based on a full-time position of 38 hours per week, plus 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% end-of- year allowance. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch universities is applicable.

Job application

Applications must contain:

  • a motivation letter;
  • a full CV including publication list;
  • proof of your PhD degree. If you have not completed your degree at the time of application, please provide a statement from your supervisor confirming the expected date of completion of your degree;
  • an academic writing sample in English (e.g., journal article, PhD dissertation);
  • two names of referees who may be contacted for a letter of reference.

The deadline for the applications is 8 December 2017. Please send your application to with vacancy number 17-555 as subject and as an attachment (in one single pdf-file).

Interviews will be held on 22 January 2018. #LI-DNP
Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered.

No agencies please

Apply now