The Department of Political Science is looking for a postdoctoral researcher to work in the ‘Elections, Violence, and Parties’ project, funded by the European Research Council (ERC) and led by Dr  Ursula Daxecker. The researcher will be part of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR) programme group Political Economy and Transnational Governance (PETGOV).

Project description

Elections are nearly ubiquitous in the world today. Yet despite their aim to peacefully transfer power, elections in the developing world are often complicated by violence. Scholarship has focused on what makes some elections more violent than others. Departing from this emphasis on intensity, the project develops a novel, party-centered theory that explains the nature, organization, and consequences of election violence. Political parties are crucial actors linking politicians and citizens, and the project attributes a central role to parties’ organizational and social links. The project will examine the theory subnationally in India and Nigeria, two of the world’s largest democracies. The project uses a multi-method approach to examine within-country variation in party institutions, social support, and election violence in India and Nigeria, combining fieldwork interviews, quantitative data, survey experiments, and surveys.

The postdoctoral researcher selected for this position will conduct research within the framework of the project. Further information about the research project may be found here.

What will you be doing?

You will:

  • conduct and publish high-quality research within the framework of the project, including co-authoring publications, data collection, quantitative analysis of data, designing, executing, and implementing surveys and experiments in India and/or Nigeria, conducting fieldwork interviews in India and/or Nigeria;
  • assist in training and supervision of project-related research, such as data coding, collection, and analysis;
  • assist with administrative responsibilities related to the project, including coordination and organizational tasks such as organization of workshops, deliverables such as ethics and data management, and dissemination of project findings in general audience venues;
  • be affiliated with and take active part in the research environment at the AISSR, including project group meetings, PETGOV research seminars, the Amsterdam Center for Conflict Studies, among others;
  • make Amsterdam (or a location within commuting distance) your primary residence for the duration of the postdoctoral project. The AISSR will assist with finding adequate housing and with applying for visa and residence permits.

What do we require of you?

You have the following credentials:


  • A PhD degree or equivalent in political science or closely related discipline. The degree must have been obtained by the start of your employment;
  • excellent publication record (i.e. publications in highly-ranked international journals) or demonstrated potential thereof;
  • research expertise in the politics of the developing world, in particular on political violence and/or electoral politics;
  • excellent command of quantitative research methods, including survey research, experimental methods, and spatial data analysis;
  • experience designing and implementing surveys;
  • excellent oral and written communication skills in English;
  • independent thinking and critical analytical skills;
  • the ability to work independently;
  • the ability to collaborate with a team.


  • Expertise in South Asian or West African politics;
  • excellent oral and written communication skills in Bengali, Hindi, Pidgin English, or a Nigerian local language;
  • expertise in qualitative methodology.

Further information

Do you have questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:

You may also want to learn more about the PETGOV research group, the Department of Political Science, and the AISSR.

Would you like to learn more about working at the University of Amsterdam? Visit our website.

Our offer

The position concerns a temporary appointment 34,2 hours per week/0,9 fte for a maximum term of three years. The initial appointment is for one year, starting on 1 April 2021 (or mutually agreed up on date). Following a positive assessment after 12 months and barring other unforeseen circumstances, your appointment will be extended by a maximum of 24 months. You will also have the opportunity to attend training courses and international conferences and workshops. 

Your salary will be € 3.371 gross per month (salary scale 11/0) in the first year and will increase per year in keeping with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. We additionally offer an extensive package of secondary benefits, including 8% holiday allowance and a year-end bonus of 8,3%.

What else can we offer you?

A challenging work environment with a variety of duties and ample scope for individual initiative and development within an inspiring organisation. The social and behavioural sciences play a leading role in addressing the major societal challenges faced by the world, the Netherlands and Amsterdam, now and in the future.

To work at the University of Amsterdam is to work in a discerning, independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterised by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society.

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences strives for excellence in a caring institute. We wish to reflect society in all aspects, as we believe that this improves the dynamics in our organization. Therefore, we support and understand the need for a work/life/family balance and consequently varying working hours and places. We believe that doing good science goes hand in hand with an ambitious yet friendly culture. The Netherlands provides 16 weeks of pregnancy/maternity leave. The UvA offers staff additional paid and unpaid parental leave. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

Job application

The UvA is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We value a spirit of enquiry and endurance, provide the space to keep asking questions and cherish a diverse atmosphere of curiosity and creativity.

You may apply online by clicking on link below.

Please submit the following four documents as PDF files:

  • a CV;
  • a two-page cover letter that outlines your preparation and motivation for the position;
  • the contact details of two academic references;
  • one published article or other writing sample.

Please do NOT include any other materials at this stage. No other materials will be reviewed by the committee.

The deadline for applications is 4 December 2020. Do NOT send additional materials with the initial application. The selection committee expects to notify short-listed candidates on 18 December 2020. These candidates will be asked to submit a short research proposal and their references will be contacted. The committee will then select candidates for interviews from this shortlist. Online interviews are expected in January 2021.

No agencies please

Apply now

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