The Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) of the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs is looking for a
PhD candidate in the field of Intelligence and Security
with an emphasis on the impact of new technologies upon the work of intelligence agencies. We particularly welcome proposals on the topics of cyberespionage, offensive cyber operations, or the use of digital technologies by intelligence agencies to proliferate or counteract disinformation.
The Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) at Leiden University seeks to appoint a full-time PhD candidate to carry out research and teaching activities at the thematic intersection of intelligence studies and new technologies. The successful candidate will join both the Intelligence and Security research group and the Cyber Security Governance group at ISGA. They will conduct research for their PhD whilst also providing teaching assistance for our Minor programme in Intelligence Studies and our new specialization track in Intelligence and National Security for the Crisis and Security Management Master’s degree programme.
Prospective candidates need to demonstrate a clear affinity with research on intelligence, security and new technologies. The precise topical focus is left open so that candidates have the freedom to propose a research agenda that will make a substantial contribution, both academically and societally. We would therefore like to invite you to submit a short proposal for a PhD project (see details below) on the impact of new technologies upon intelligence work. The quality, originality and viability of the proposals received will be a major factor in the selection committee’s decision of who to appoint. The following points should be reflected in the research proposal as part of the application dossier:
- A description of a research topic on the intersection between intelligence studies and new and/or emerging technologies, guided by an initial overall research question;
- A clear description of the topic’s merit and how it will move the state of the art forward, either empirically, theoretically, or both. What contribution will it make to existing ideas and literatures on the relationship between intelligence and new technologies?
- A reflection upon the research methods that will be used – how do you intend to go about collecting or analysing the data you need to complete your research project?
- A clear articulation of the topic’s broader societal relevance. How can your proposal help government and/or non-government organisations address major issues and challenges related to the emergence of new technologies and their impact upon intelligence work? How will it inform broader societal debates on these issues?
- An initial timeline for the project that demonstrates its feasibility and leads to a minimum of four publications in recognized academic journals related to intelligence, security and new technologies within a four-year timeframe.
The PhD candidate will be supervised by Professor Dennis Broeders (Professor of Global Security and Technology) in cooperation with Dr. Simon Willmetts (Assistant Professor in Intelligence and Security).
- Conduct research in the thematic intersection of intelligence studies and new and/or emerging technologies;
- Obtain a PhD by publishing four articles in leading journals or a monograph on a topic related to the security and global affairs topics outlined above within a four-year timeframe;
- Support the education activities of the Minor in Intelligence Studies and the new specialization track in Intelligence and National Security on the Crisis and Security Management MSc programme, including administrative duties, curriculum design, marking, and providing feedback to students;
- Develop teaching-related skills by (co-) teaching courses, engaging in thesis supervision and obtaining the basic teaching qualification (BKO);
- Present their work to both academic and professional audiences;
- Contribute when applicable to the public debate on the relationship between intelligence activities and new technologies;
- Build an (inter)national network that spans both academics and policymakers/practitioners working on topics related to intelligence studies and new technologies;
- Actively participate in discussions at institute and research group level on research and teaching innovation;
- Follow PhD courses based on an individual training and supervision plan.
- Master’s degree completed by the time of the appointment in a relevant discipline for your proposed research topic. This may include, but is not limited to, the fields of: Political Science, International Relations, Intelligence Studies, Media/New Media Studies, Cyber Security, International Law, Sociology or another field with direct relevance for the interdisciplinary research carried out within the field of security and global affairs;
- Demonstrable ability and enthusiasm for research at the intersection of conceptual and policy-oriented research (e.g. high grade for Master’s thesis, publications and evidence of policy-oriented research) in the field of security and global affairs;
- Demonstrable good time-management skills;
- Be able to work in an independent, organized and results-oriented fashion;
- The PhD thesis will be written in English and therefore excellent command of English is required. Command of Dutch is not a requirement, but is considered an advantage;
- Teaching experience is not a requirement, but is considered an advantage.
The Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs (FGGA) offers academic education in the field of Public Administration, Safety and Security, and International Relations, as well as in-depth post-academic programmes for professionals. In addition, the Faculty is also home to Leiden University College. For more information about the Faculty, see the website.
The Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) is a scientific institute that focuses on multidisciplinary research and education within the international field of security studies. ISGA operates from The Hague, centre of national and international governance and City of Peace, Justice and Security. For more information about the Institute, see the website.
The PhD candidate will join the Intelligence and Security research group at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA). Our research group is comprised of a number of academic researchers and practitioners who share a research interest in intelligence studies. Our core teaching activities within ISGA focus upon the Minor in Intelligence Studies and the new specialization track in Intelligence and National Security on the Crisis and Security Management (CSM) MSc programme. We also occasionally contribute to other teaching programmes within ISGA. You can find more information about the research group on the website.
Terms and conditions
We offer a PhD position for 4 years (1.0 FTE, 38 hrs per week), leading to the successful completion of a PhD thesis. Initially you will receive a one-year contract, with extension for the following 3 years on condition of a positive evaluation of progress and skills development. The gross monthly salary is set on € 2.325,- in the first year, increasing to € 3.061,- gross per month in the final year (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement of the Dutch universities).
Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. For more information, see the website Application process and working conditions.
All our PhD students are embedded in the Graduate School of Governance and Global Affairs. Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness.
Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.
Enquiries can be made to Dr. Simon Willmetts, email email@example.com.
Please submit online your application no later than 7 June, 2021 via the blue button in our application system. The position is envisaged to commence on 1 September 2021.
Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents in PDF format, quoting the vacancy number:
- Motivation letter;
- Research proposal that clearly states topic/question, the academic and societal relevance of the research, as well as a timetable and an indication of potential journals for the four articles to be published in pursuit of the degree (max 2.500 words total, excluding references);
- Curriculum vitae including a list of publications;
- A sample publication (MA Thesis or other publication if applicable);
- The names and contact details of two potential referees (no actual recommendation letters required at this stage).
Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed in June. Interviews may be held through an online platform.