You are invited for a postdoctoral position in the project “Who gets to live forever? Toward an Institutional Theory on the Decline and Death of International Organisations”. This research project is funded by the European Research Council (ERC). The principal investigator is Dr. Hylke Dijkstra.


This is an opportunity to join an existing research team carrying out a highly prestigious ERC project. In particular we are looking for a postdoctoral researcher to conduct quantitative research on the decline of international organisations using existing datasets. You will work independently and in collaboration with the principal investigator (PI) of the project as well as three PhD candidates. You will have the opportunity to expand on the details of your own research based on your expertise, the material you gather and your own ideas, in consultation with the PI. You will also work synergistically and collectively with the rest of the team. For example, you will: play a crucial role in the theoretical and methodological innovations required by the project; lead, and contribute to, academic publications; participate in team meetings; offer active support to the PhDs; engage in presentations; and be involved in the co-organisation of workshops and other events related to the project. You will be based in Maastricht.

Research project

Many international organisations (IOs) are under significant pressure. The World Health Organization was heavily criticized over its handling of the COVID outbreak. The United States has left UNESCO, the United Kingdom is transitioning away from the EU and Burundi quit the International Criminal Court. The ultimate way for states to show their discontent is to disband IOs: no less than a third of the IOs has formally ceased to exist. While academics have analysed how IOs are designed and develop, we know little about decline and death. This project addresses therefore the question why do IOs decline or die? For more information, see https://www.nestior.eu 


You have a completed PhD in international relations (or another relevant topic/field, such as political science), with methodological experience in quantitative methods. You must be willing to travel, be open to working together with a team of five scholars on a collaborative project, and have excellent organisational abilities. You are fluent in English (Cambridge English Proficiency, level C2, oral and written), since you will be engaging on an international level, collaborating with other team members in English and producing English-language publications.


You will be part of an international network of top universities and renowned scholars within the field.

Initially, you are employed on a 1-year contract as Postdoctoral researcher (researcher level 3) and agree to specific development goals. The first year will be a probation period, after a positive assessment the position will be extended for the remaining six months.

Your position of Post-doctoral Researcher (Researcher level 3) will consist of 70% research and 30% teaching.

Remuneration will be according to standard salary levels, depending on education and relevant work experience. This implies a gross monthly salary of about € 3.746,00 per month, scale level 11 (based on a full-time appointment). Each year the standard salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%.

The university’s relocation policy stipulates that you need to move to (the vicinity of) Maastricht. If not already living in Maastricht (or its direct surroundings), you will be eligible for an allowance for moving costs or an allowance for alternative housing. 

Other secondary conditions include e.g. a pension scheme and partially paid parental leave as well as a shared office space and a PC.   

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website http://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl > Support > UM employees.

Starting date: Preferably between 1 April and 1 September 2021


Maastricht University

Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 18,000 students and 4,400 employees. Reflecting the university’s strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.


Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS) has about 250 staff members, and about 1,730 students. More than 77% of the students are non-Dutch (65 different nationalities). All programmes are offered in English and some are also offered in Dutch. FASoS offers four 3-year bachelor’s programmes: Arts and Culture, European Studies, Digital Society and Global Studies. It also offers eight different 1-year Master’s programmes and two 2-year research master’s programmes.

Research is organised around four programmes: Politics and Culture in Europe; Science, Technology and Society Studies; Arts, Media and Culture; and Globalisation, Transnationalism and Development. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is housed in the historic city centre of Maastricht.


Further information on the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciencesis available on our website: www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/fasos

Any inquiries about the position or the project may be addressed to the principal investigator: Dr. Hylke Dijkstra (h.dijkstra@maastrichtuniversity.nl)


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