PhD Opportunity for Nigerians.

PhD candidate in political science with a focus on Nigeria

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences – Political Science

PhD candidate in political science with a focus on NigeriaPublication date27 November 2019Closing date15 January 2020Level of educationMaster’s degreeHours38 hours per weekSalary indication€2,325 to €2,972 gross per monthVacancy number19-811

The Department of Political Science is looking for two PhD candidates to work in the ‘Elections, Violence, and Parties’ project, funded by the European Research Council (ERC) and led by Dr Ursula Daxecker. The PhD candidate will be part of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR) programme group Political Economy and Transnational Governance (PETGOV).

Project description

Elections are nearly ubiquitous in the world today. Yet despite their aim to peacefully transfer power, elections in the developing world are often complicated by violence. Scholarship has focused on what makes some elections more violent than others. Departing from this emphasis on intensity, the project develops a novel, party-centered theory that explains the nature, organization, and consequences of election violence. Political parties are crucial actors linking politicians and citizens, and the project attributes a central role to parties’ organizational and social links. The project will examine the theory subnationally in India and Nigeria, two of the world’s largest democracies. The project uses a multi-method approach to examine within-country variation in party institutions, social support, and election violence in India and Nigeria, combining fieldwork interviews, quantitative data, survey experiments, and surveys.

The PhD candidate selected for this position will conduct research on elections, violence, and parties in Nigeria. Further information about the research project may be found here.

You will:

be affiliated with the AISSR and participate in its organized PhD training. The academic work is to result in a doctoral thesis that will be defended at the Faculty of Social Sciences with the goal of obtaining the degree of PhD;

conduct PhD research on election violence, including quantitative analysis of data, surveys and survey experiments, and fieldwork interviews;

take active part in the research environment at the AISSR, including project group meetings, PETGOV research seminars, the PETGOV PhD club, among others;

teach Bachelor-level courses, depending upon availability and as is suitable for the PhD schedule;

assist with administrative responsibilities related to the project (ca. 10% of the time), such as the organization of workshops, conference, or other project events;

make Amsterdam (or a location within commuting distance) your primary residence for the duration of the PhD project. The AISSR will assist with finding adequate housing and with applying for visa and residence permits.


You have the following credentials:


A Master’s degree or equivalent in political science or closely related discipline. The degree must have been obtained by the start of your employment;

excellent oral and written communication skills in English, Pidgin English, and one additional Nigerian language;

expertise on Nigerian politics;

a good command with social science research methods, including quantitative and/or qualitative methodology;

independent thinking and critical analytical skills;

the ability to work independently;

the ability to collaborate in a team.


Experience as a research assistant or enumerator in the field;

expertise in research on political violence.

What can we offer you?

A challenging work environment with a variety of duties and ample scope for individual initiative and development within an inspiring organisation. The social and behavioural sciences play a leading role in addressing the major societal challenges faced by the world, the Netherlands and Amsterdam, now and in the future.

Our offer

The position concerns a temporary appointment of 38 hours per week for a maximum term of four years. The initial appointment is for one year, starting on 1 September 2020. Following a positive assessment after 12 months and barring other unforeseen circumstances, your appointment will be extended by a maximum of 36 months, at the end of which a doctorate should be conferred. You will follow a curriculum with other AISSR PhD candidates. You will also have the opportunity to attend training courses and both national and international conferences and workshops.

Your salary will be €2,325 gross per month in the first year and will increase to €2,972 in the final year, based on full-time employment and in keeping with the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities.  We additionally offer an extensive package of secondary benefits, including 8% holiday allowance and a year-end bonus of 8,3%.

Further information

Do you have questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:

Ursula Daxecker, Associate professor of Political Science

Would you like to learn more about working at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)? Visit our website.

Job application

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

To apply, please submit the following five documents combined into a single PDF:

a two-page cover letter that outlines your preparation and motivation to pursue this degree;

unofficial undergraduate and graduate transcripts;

the contact details of two academic references;

a writing sample of max. 10 pages (this can be an excerpt from longer written material).

Please do NOT include any other materials at this stage. No other materials will be reviewed by the committee.

You can apply online by clicking on link below.

The deadline for applications is 15 January 2020. Additional materials such as recommendation letters, writing samples, and/or a short draft PhD proposal will be requested only for short-listed candidates. Do NOT send these materials with the initial application. The selection committee expects to notify short-listed candidates on 10 February 2020. The committee expects interviews to take place (via Skype or in-person, depending on availability) in the week of 16-20 March 2020. #LI-DNP

No agencies please

Apply here