PhD Candidate: International and European Law

Research / Academic

Are you passionate about public international law? Do you aspire to carry out original and impactful research into contemporary international legal challenges? If so, you are invited to join the Department of International and European Law as a PhD candidate.

Recent years have seen significant changes in the types of cases being brought before international judicial bodies: increasingly, states are instituting proceedings on the basis of common or community interests, such as the regulation of the global environment, the protection of human rights, or the prevention of unspeakable atrocities like genocide. Concerns have been raised, however, about the appropriateness and suitability of traditional bilateral and adversarial procedures for dealing with such issues, particularly where they transcend the rights and interests of individual states parties to the case. As a PhD candidate, you will explore the evolution of the role of international courts and tribunals in the face of common and community interest-based cases. You will conduct original and independent research analysing the ways in which international courts and tribunals could adapt, and have already adapted, to face these new challenges.

You will be joining the vibrant community of the Department of International and European Law at Radboud University, where the proposed PhD project is to be carried out as part of the wider research conducted at the Faculty of Law’s Research Centre for Law and State (SteR). Given the focus on international adjudicative bodies, it will particularly resonate with the SteR subprogramme on ‘Conflict-resolving Institutions’.

If you wish to be considered for this position, you are required to submit a research proposal explaining your proposed topic and possible methods of inquiry into the subject within the framework set out above. The proposed topic should present a clear and precise research question as well as a viable methodology. Possible lines of enquiry could include the changing role of international courts and tribunals and the international judicial function; the suitability and adaptation of adjudicative rules and procedures, including third-party intervention, rules of standing, and the award of remedies, with respect to common and community interests; the way in which international courts have adapted to the changing practice of states in bringing cases, particularly the disaggregation of cases and the apparent increased use of compromissory clauses; and the position of the judiciary in this context, for example in relation to the maintenance of judicial impartiality. In each of these lines of enquiry, a focus could be placed on the International Court of Justice, or a broader study could be undertaken that also analyses the relationship between different international courts and tribunals, including the practical operation of concepts of hierarchy and/or precedent. These questions are not exhaustive, but merely seek to provide an overview of some angles for doctrinal and/or conceptual analysis.

The selection committee will evaluate the proposal in order to determine your suitability for the position. Upon selection, the proposal will be further developed under the guidance of your supervisors.

Successful completion of the PhD project involves writing a monograph, though the option of publishing articles leading up to a PhD thesis is also open for negotiation. It is expected that interim findings will be published in peer-reviewed journals or edited volumes. The position may involve the undertaking of other relevant research tasks, particularly rendering assistance in the organisation of workshops or conferences. This position is free of teaching duties.


  • You have obtained, or shortly expect to obtain, a Master's degree, preferably in public international law, though a Master’s in another discipline will also be considered if it includes a significant component dedicated to international law.
  • You have strong analytical skills and excellent academic writing skills, as evidenced by your CV.
  • You are enthusiastic and curious, have perseverance, willpower and the ability to conduct independent scientific research and publish the results thereof.
  • You display a proactive and flexible attitude.
  • You possess an excellent command of written and spoken English.

Salary Benefits:

  • We will give you a temporary employment contract (1.0 FTE) of 1,5 years, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, your contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4-year contract).
  • You will receive a starting salary of €3,226 gross per month based on a 38-hour working week, which will increase to €3,720 in the fourth year (salary scale 10).
  • You will receive an 8% holiday allowance and an 8,3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Support Service. The Dual Career Programme assists your partner via support, tools, and resources to improve their chances of independently finding employment in the Netherlands. Our Family Support Service helps you and your partner feel welcome and at home by providing customised assistance in navigating local facilities, schools, and amenities. Also take a look at our support for international staff page to discover all our services for international employees.
  • You will receive extra days off. With full-time employment, you can choose between 30 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the statutory 20.

Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.

Work Hours:

38 hours per week


Houtlaan 4