Post-doctoral researcher (1.0 FTE; 24 months)

Research / Academic

The Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA), Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs, Leiden University is looking for a Postdoctoral Researcher for a full-time, 24-month position for the interdisciplinary project on the role of emotions in EU foreign policy in times of crisis (EUMOTIONS). The successful candidate will work under the direct supervision of Dr. Seda Gürkan and will support research team of the EUMOTIONS project.

What you will do
EUMOTIONS project explores the role of emotions expressed by political elites (at EU- and member state-level) in framing the EU’s policy options during international crises. The project seeks to understand:

  • how emotions expressed by political elite relate to the EU’s crisis response;
  • how political elite’s officially expressed emotions influence citizens’ perceptions and support for major foreign policy decisions and actions, such as the imposition of sanctions and decisions on enlargement; and
  • how third countries perceive the EU’s emotional rhetoric and its (in-)action in international relations.

The Postdoctoral Researcher will be responsible for the data collection, analysis, production, and dissemination of the scientific deliverables. The Researcher should have relevant expertise in EU policies and politics with a focus on the EU’s foreign policy. Familiarity with emotions in IR research agenda is considered to be a strong asset. Furthermore, candidates are expected to have vast experience with qualitative research methods, including elite interviews and content analysis.

The successful candidate will be expected to:

  • Conduct independent and collaborative research on the role of emotions in EU foreign policy.
  • Data collection and data analysis on emotions in EU foreign policy with a focus on topical issues on the EU’s foreign policy agenda, such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the EU’s sanction regime and enlargement.
  • Contribute to to the production of a set of peer-reviewed articles, special issue and edited volume proposals on “Emotions in EU foreign policy” under the supervision of Dr. Gürkan.
  • Participation to communication activities of the project in the form of conferece papers, blogs, etc.
  • Occasionally assume teaching duties on topics related to EU foreign policy and/or on qualitative research methods at doctoral level.
  • Organize two international scientific workshops on publication projects and a roundtable with EU policymakers in Brussels.

Where you will work
The mission of the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs (FGGA)? Contributing to society. The faculty does this through high-quality interdisciplinary education and (new) scientific knowledge. Whether it is terrorism, security, artificial intelligence or a governance solution to the housing crisis, contemporary issues are comprehensively addressed at FGGA.

In the heart of The Hague, where important decisions are made, students and professionals come together to gain knowledge and skills. There is much collaboration with academic and societal partners, which ensures that students leave university with a smile and one foot in the future, ready to make a substantial contribution to society.

FGGA is one of the seven faculties of Leiden University. This young, entrepreneurial, innovative organisation has three scientific institutes, two centres, over 3,700 students and 425 staff members. For more information about the faculty, click here.

The Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) is a scientific institute specialising in security issues. ISGA is part of the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs of Leiden University.

ISGA analyses and studies security issues with local, national, transnational and global impact. These include crises, intelligence, terrorism, war, violence and cybercrime. The institute is characterised by a multidisciplinary research approach.

ISGA is based in the residential city of The Hague, the international city of peace, justice and security. Inspiring interactions are maintained with other knowledge institutions, regional, national and international governments, the private sector and NGOs.

What you bring
In this team, we are looking for someone who can work independently. Every job is different, so in the beginning we will devote attention to your onboarding. If some of the work activities are new to you, we will look together at what you need, and draw up a development plan. This position is a good fit for you if you recognise yourself in the following:

  • A PhD in political science or any other relevant discipline such as International Relations, EU studies or sociology, ideally a research profile focused on themes relevant to EUMOTIONS project.
  • Substantive knowledge on EU foreign policy.
  • Prior knowledge on Emotions in IR is considered as a very strong advantage.
  • Specific (applied) research expertise in qualitative research methods (elite interviews and content analysis).
  • Expertise in quantitative research methods is considered as an advantage.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in an independent manner.
  • A ‘can-do’ mentality and a team-player spirit.
  • Excellent command of English.

If you immediately recognise yourself in this profile, or if do you not quite meet all the requirements, but you believe that this is the right job for you, we look forward to your application!

What we offer
Our goal is to work together to create a transparent and inclusive work environment in which everyone feels welcome and appreciated. Our organisation is always evolving and we need your ideas for improvement and innovation to take us further. We want to devote attention to your personal development.

You can count on an enjoyable job within the socially relevant world of education and research. The University's challenging and international work environment is located in the bustling city centre of The Hague. We also want to work with you to devote attention to your health and vitality, for example with the fun activities we organise through Healthy University.

We also offer:

  • An employment contract for the duration for 12 months. The employment will be extended for another 12 months, depending upon research performance. This term (24 months) might be further extended depending on funding. This contract falls under the CLA of Dutch Universities;
  • A salary of a minimum of € 3.226,- and a maximum of € 5.090,- gross per month, based on a full-time appointment (38 hours) (scale 10);
  • A holiday allowance (8%), an end-of-year bonus (8,3%), and an attractive pension scheme at ABP;
  • Flexible working hours: as a standard, you are entitled to a minimum of 29 leave days on the basis of a full-time working week of 38 hours; you can also save for extra leave, for example by working 40 hours a week, and in this way accrue an extra 96 leave hours, or exchange 96 leave hours for a 36-hour week.
  • Lots of options when it comes to secondary employment conditions; we can, for example, discuss options for a sabbatical or paid parental leave. Within our terms of employment individual choices model, you can exchange leave days and/or salary for benefits such as an advantageous sports subscription or bicycle scheme, and we also offer child-care options;
  • If your work allows it, hybrid working is possible within the Netherlands;
  • A home-working allowance (day and internet allowance) and attention for good workplaces. The University will also provide you with a laptop.

For more information about employment conditions, see

What we find important
Promoting an inclusive community is central to Leiden University’s values and vision. Leiden University aims to be an inclusive community in which all students and staff members feel valued and respected, and are able to develop to their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High-quality education and research means inclusive education and research.

Want to apply or find out more?
If you want to apply straight away, click the application button.

If you would like more information about what the job entails, please contact Dr Seda Gürkan ( or Dr Jaroslaw Kantorowicz ( You can apply until 7 October 2024; Interviews are scheduled to take place in October 2024. The position starts on January 1, 2025.

To help us get to know each other better, we follow a number of steps in the application procedure. For more information, see

  • We believe mobility is very important. That is why we are also publishing this vacancy internally. In case of equal suitability, we will give priority to the internal candidate.
  • A pre-employment screening (references, diplomas, certificate of good conduct (VOG) may be part of the selection procedure.
  • Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated. If you nevertheless choose to send us CVs, no rights can be derived from this.
Work Hours:

38 hours per week


Rapenburg 70