2 PhD positions for VICI project ‘Engaged scholarship’


Offered by:

VU University Amsterdam

Research / Academic


Working closely with the Postdoc and the PI, the two PhD researchers will focus on the two subprojects (collecting data in the US and South Africa) that have a common timeframe, structure and focus. One PhD researcher will conduct narrative research in the US and the other in South Africa. A third PhD researcher (collecting data in the Netherlands) has already been selected. The narratives of (30) refugees and (15) engaged academics will be chosen in collaboration with the research partners in each country (professors Yen Le Espiritu [UC San Diego] and Abel Valenzuela [UC Los Angeles] in the US and professors André Keet [Nelson Mandela University] and Salim Vally [University of Johannesburg] in South Africa). The PhD researchers will also be expected to co-organize “co-creation meetings” in their respective countries.


Tasks for the PhD researchers will include:

• Beginning course work and developing a detailed research proposal (one year).

• Performing a literature review relating to refugees’ narratives and discourses/policies on refugees in historical perspective for their respective countries.

• Conducting months of fieldwork research in each country (participant observations, biographical interviews), including data analysis and writing up initial findings.

• Organizing and managing data, including translation, transcription and coding.

• Connecting sites (correlating the findings per country) and writing the first findings for (inter)national publications and as posts for the  project’s website.

• Helping to identify and approach the stakeholders who will be invited for the co-creation phase.

• Writing a PhD thesis based on peer-reviewed articles.

• Translating academic findings to practice.

• Participating in international conferences, workshops, seminars and other scholarly activities.

• Other research tasks per PI’s direction.


• Previous experience with ethnographic research.
• Excellent qualitative research skills; previous experience in engaged co-creation research is a plus.
• Expertise in refugee or migrant studies.
• A master’s degree in social sciences or humanities with knowledge of critical theory.
• Excellent English writing and communication skills.
• Strong communication skills and ability to collaborate within an international team.
• Preparedness to live in Amsterdam and to conduct two several-month periods of fieldwork in the respective country.

Salary Benefits:

This is a temporary appointment for 4 years and 1.0 fte, starting 1 January 2019 with an initial contract of 12 months. Upon good performance and a positive evaluation, the contract will be extended for the remaining 36-month period.
You can find information about our excellent fringe employment benefits at, like:
• an 8.3% end-of-year bonus and 8% holiday allowance
• solid pension scheme (ABP)
• a minimum of 29 holidays for full-time employees 

The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel:  €2,266.- gross per month in the first year, up to €2,897.- in the fourth year (salary scale 85) based on full-time employment.

Work Hours:

40 hours per week


De Boelelaan 1105