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Omvang (fte)
Den Haag, Leiden
Geplaatst op
21 april 2020
19 mei 2020
The Institute of Security and Global Affairs of the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs is looking for a

Post-Doctoral researcher in the field of Terrorism and Political Violence 

Project description
Leiden University’s Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) is looking for a post-doctoral researcher to join the research group ‘Terrorism and Political Violence’ (TPV) for a period of two-and-a-half years at 1.0 FTE. This position is made possible by a grant from the Canadian government’s Community Resilience Fund (CRF) and is tied to the project ‘Understanding non-involvement in terrorism: why most radicals never become terrorists’. The project is led by dr. Bart Schuurman and seeks to better understand the differences between people who radicalize and become involved in terrorist violence, and those who radicalize but do not engage in or directly support the use of terrorist violence. The project focuses on jihadist and right-wing extremist individuals active in the post-9/11 period.

Using insights from terrorism studies, criminology and other related fields, the project seeks to build a dataset on violent and non-violent extremists that enables distinctions to be drawn across a range of both risk and protective factors. The CRF-grant complements an earlier grant from the Dutch Research Council (NWO), with the former focusing on North America and the latter on Europe. Because of the challenges involved with collecting sufficient biographical details to enable relevant data to be drawn from the cases, prospective candidates will need to demonstrate clear ideas about how find and access such information. To facilitate this, the project foresees in several weeks of fieldwork being carried out in the United States and Canada.

Key responsibilities

  • Conduct independent and collaborative research on non-involvement in terrorist violence;
  • Independently carry out fieldwork in Canada and the United States to access (supplementary) information on the individual cases selected for analysis;
  • Collect and analyse biographical information on at least 40 radicalized individuals from Canada and the United States;
  • Disseminate the project’s findings as co-author in high-ranking international peer-reviewed journals, conference presentations, policy reports and other relevant formats;
  • Represent the project to key stakeholders such as the Canadian government, academics and policymakers/practitioners working on the prevention of radicalization and terrorism.

Selection criteria

  • A PhD in political science, criminology, psychology, sociology, history or another relevant discipline;
  • A solid track-record of publications on terrorism and/or political violence in international peer-reviewed academic journals;
  • Proven ability to communicate research findings to non-academic audiences, e.g. through professional learning courses, publications aimed at a broader audience, media work et cetera;
  • The entrepreneurial and social skills necessary to successfully engage in fieldwork in North America to find, access and utilize biographical information on violent and non-violent extremists;
  • Methodological experience with dataset creation (Excel) and knowledge of descriptive statistics;
  • Demonstrable ability to work in a highly independent fashion;
  • Excellent command of English.

Our organisation
The Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs (FGGA) offers academic education in the field of Public Administration, Safety and Security, and International Relations, as well as in-depth post-academic programmes for professionals. In addition, the Faculty is also home to Leiden University College.

The Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) is a scientific institute that focuses on multidisciplinary research and education within the international field of security studies. The approach to issues of security is glocal, that is to say that the local, national, transnational and global impact is studied and analysed in conjunction with each other. ISGA operates from The Hague, the third major city of the Netherlands, centre of national governance and International City of Peace, Justice and Security.

The appointment is specifically within ‘Terrorism and Political Violence’ (TPV), one of the research groups at the heart of ISGA. TPV is among the few dedicated European centres for research on terrorism and related subjects such as radicalization, (online) extremism and political violence more broadly. Over the coming years, TPV aims to continue conducting internationally recognized research and high-quality teaching for both students and professionals.

Terms and conditions
The position starts as soon as possible, but no later than 1 October 2020. The appointment will initially be for one-year, on a full-time basis. An extension to a total of two-and-a-half years is possible, after positive evaluation. The gross monthly salary ranges from € 2.709,- to € 3.255,- (scale 10 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%), training and career development and sabbatical leave. 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 our website.

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

Enquiries can be made to Bart Schuurman, email

Please submit online your application no later than 19 May 2020 via the blue button in our application system. Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents in PDF format:

  • Motivation letter;
  • Curriculum vitae including a list of publications;
  • A copy of your completed PhD degree (or a supervisor declaration that the PhD thesis is deemed defendable);
  • The names and contact details of three potential referees (no actual recommendation letters required at this stage).

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.

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