Job Properties
  • Job Type
    Full-time Position
  • Category
  • Languages
    English Dutch
  • Experience Required
  • Degree Required
    • Province
    • Date Posted
      August 30,2022
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    • VISA
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    PhD Candidate: Rebel-to-State Transition in Civil War

    1.0 FTE
    Gross monthly salary
    € 2,541 - € 3,247
    Required background
    Research University Degree
    Organizational unit
    Nijmegen School of Management
    Application deadline
    30 September 2022
    Apply now

    How do victorious armed groups transition from rebel to government? What is the role of local commanders in post-civil war settlements? Help us answer these questions as a PhD candidate.

    The Centre for International Conflict Analysis and Management (CICAM), part of the Department of Political Science at Radboud University, is looking for a PhD candidate to partake in the 'Commander Politics: Cooperation and Competition in Civil War' project, funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and led by Dr Romain Malejacq, the project's principal investigator (PI).

    The project aims to study the role of commanders in civil war and post-civil war settlements through the lens of rebel-to-state transition. The PI will investigate rebel-to-state transition in the context of Afghanistan, which provides a unique look at Islamist rebel victory. As a PhD candidate, you will conduct a small (n = 3-4), qualitative, comparative analysis of rebel -to-state transition by non-Islamist groups. The cases to be investigated will be determined, in cooperation between you and the PI, based on similarities and differences between them. Cases that will be considered include the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) in Rwanda, the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) in South Sudan, the Sandinista National Liberation Front (SNLF) in Nicaragua, the National Patriotic Liberation Front (NPF) in Liberia, or the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in Kosovo. Focusing on non-Islamist rebel victories will also allow the team (you, the PI and, later on, a postdoctoral researcher) to leverage the ideological (in particular Islamist) variable, and measure its impact on state-building outcomes (as compared to other variables and other ideologies).

    You will be responsible for carrying out the core fieldwork of the project, which will include semi-structured interviews with high-level state officials and former rebels (roughly 3-4 months in each country). Following the completion of the fieldwork, you will write-up findings for publication in high-impact academic journals and in the form of a doctoral dissertation. Throughout the project, you will also have the opportunity to engage in knowledge valorisation activities, such as briefings to policymakers. Supervision will be provided by Dr Mathijs van Leeuwen and Dr Romain Malejacq. You will teach for 120 hours per year for the first three years.


    • You have a Master's degree in political science/international relations (or a related discipline).
    • You have achieved academic excellence, as evidenced by grade transcripts and your CV.
    • You have experience conducting qualitative research/interviews.
    • You are willing to spend a substantial part of the contract period in the case-study countries.
    • You are fluent in English (excellent oral and written communication skills).
    • You have a strong command of qualitative social science research methods.
    • You are able to work both independently and in a team.

    • You have a strong command of quantitative social science research methods.
    • You have experience with conducting research involving elites and/or in difficult or conflict-affected settings.
    • You have expertise in research on political violence.
    • You are fluent in other languages than English (depending on case selection).

    We are

    Nijmegen School of Management (NSM) enables students, institutions and companies, societal actors and governments to play their part in a transformation towards sustainable societies. In doing so, the faculty is committed to Radboud University's mission of contributing to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all.

    In the context of our 'Responsible governance for sustainable societies' mission, we address scientific and societal challenges. Our work focuses on the topics Beyond Economy, Climate, Inclusivity, Safety, and Democracy.

    At NSM, academic research and teaching are carried out in challenging educational programmes. These programmes are offered in the areas of business administration, economics and business economics, geography, planning and environment, political science, and public administration. Academic research takes place within the Institute for Management Research (IMR). Research is carried out within the above-mentioned domains and in interdisciplinary research groups: the Hot Spots. NSM currently has 350 FTE staff and approximately 5,000 students.

    The Political Science Chair group is built around two Chairs: Empirical Political Science and International Relations, the latter including Peace and Conflict Studies. The chair group offers a Bachelor's degree programme in Political Science and six Master's degree tracks, each leading to a Master's degree in Political Science. The educational programme is characterised by small-scale teaching and provides a stimulating learning environment with an emphasis on the development of academic skills.

    The Centre for International Conflict Analysis and Management (CICAM) is part of the chair group of Peace and Conflict Studies at the Department of Political Science. You will be based at CICAM. CICAM is a multidisciplinary institute, conducting academic research and offering education in the field of conflict, peace and intervention in conflict-affected settings, aimed at students across Radboud University. CICAM actively engages in societal services regarding these themes (creating awareness, informing, advising).

    The PhD programme is organised in the IMR Doctoral School. In addition to the interdisciplinary research programme on Responsible Organisation, there are six multidisciplinary research groups at IMR, which are linked to strategic and scientifically and societally relevant issues. IMR also hosts the Individual Decision lab and the Group Decision lab, which are especially suited for studying collaboration in complex contexts and collective decision-making.

    Radboud University

    We want to get the best out of science, others and ourselves. Why? Because this is what the world around us desperately needs. Leading research and education make an indispensable contribution to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This is what unites the more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!

    We offer

    • It concerns an employment for 1.0 FTE.
    • The gross monthly salary amounts to €2,541 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,247 in the fourth year (salary scale P).
    • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
    • You will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4-year contract).
    • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
    • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 29 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.

    Additional employment conditions

    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.

    Would you like more information?

    For questions about the position, please contact Romain Malejacq, Assistant Professor at

    Practical information and applying

    You can apply until 30 September 2022, exclusively using the button below. Kindly address your application to Romain Malejacq. Please fill in the application form and attach the following documents:
    • A letter of motivation explaining your motivation, interest in the project, and competence in the research field.
    • Your CV including academic qualifications, grades, international experience, a list of publications (if applicable), and the contact details of at least two academic references.
    • A research proposal of a maximum of two A4 pages (Times New Roman 12, 1.5 line spacing), in which you set out your ideas and the kind of empirical approach you would want to undertake.
    • A writing sample of a maximum of 5 pages (this may be an excerpt from longer written material), if applicable.
    The first round of interviews will take place during the week of 17-24 October. You would preferably begin employment on 1 February 2023.

    We can imagine you're curious about our application procedure. It offers a rough outline of what you can expect during the application process, how we handle your personal data and how we deal with internal and external candidates.
    Apply now
    Application deadline 30 September 2022

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