Two PhD positions in Migration and Human Rights Law

Are you interested in the human rights of migrants, and would you like to work in a vibrant team of scholars forming one of the largest migration law research groups in Europe? Please apply at the Amsterdam Centre for Migration and Refugee Law at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Location: Amsterdam
FTE: 1

Job description
You will study the ambivalent role of the European Court of Human Rights as an actor and forum for the human rights turn in legal discourses on migration. Your research will be part of the project entitled “Who is empowered by Strasbourg? Migrants and States before the European Court of Human Rights”. This is one of ten projects which together form the interdisciplinary research group “Human Rights Discourse in Migration Societies” (Menschenrechtsdiskurse in der Migrationsgesellschaft, MeDiMi). The aim of MeDiMi is to determine the scope, forms and consequences of the expansion of human rights discourse in contemporary migration societies.
Your doctoral thesis will be designed as a bi-national PhD between the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and JLU Giessen (‘co-tutelle’). You will cooperate closely with the project team located at the Amsterdam Centre for Migration and Refugee Law (ACMRL) and be embedded in a cooperative research consortium with MeDiMi partner institutes in Germany.

Your duties

  • learn to independently conduct high-quality research, culminating in a monographic study (PhD thesis)
  • collaborate with researchers within and outside the ACMRL and the MeDiMi consortium
  • conduct legal analysis of relevant judgments
  • make a (small) contribution to teaching


  • A law degree, or demonstrated experience with legal doctrinal analysis; experience with case law analysis is desirable
  • A keen interest in migration and human rights law, legal argumentation and concepts
  • A demonstrated high degree of self-discipline; excellent analytical skills and experience with legal writing
  • Experience or affinity with interdisciplinary research, especially political theory, philosophy or sociology
  • High-level communication skills in English; excellent interpersonal and verbal communication skills; Dutch and/or German language skills are an asset

What are we offering?
A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2.310 (scale 1) per month during the first year and increases to €2,462 (scale 3) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 1 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a duration of 4 years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • a wide range of sports facilities which staff may use at a modest charge

Are you interested in this position? Please use this link to find the application procedure and more information about the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Applicants are expected to upload:

  • curriculum vitae
  • cover letter explaining why you would like to do this PhD
  • transcripts of grades

Apply before June 1, 2022. Job interviews are planned for 16 June 2022, if possible please take this into account when applying for the position.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Dr. J.M. (Janna) Wessels, project manager
Position: Assistant professor migration law
Telephone: +31 20 59 89007