PhD position Migration and Protest in Morocco (MOBILISE project)

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences – Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research

Publication date
24 October 2018
Level of education
Master's degree
Salary indication
€2,266 to €2,763 gross per month
Closing date
23 November 2018
38 hours per week
Vacancy number

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG) of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is the largest educational and research institution in the social sciences in the Netherlands, and one of the highest-ranked such institutions in Europe. The Faculty serves 7,500 students in numerous Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes in Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology, Communication Science, Psychology, Social Geography, Planning and International Development Studies, and Educational Sciences. The academic staff is employed in education as well as research. There are over 1,100 employees at the Faculty, which resides in a number of buildings in the centre of Amsterdam.

The Department of Political Sciences is one of the departments of the FMG. The College of Social Sciences (CSW) and the Graduate School of Social Sciences (GSSS) are responsible for the under-graduate and graduate teaching programmes in Political Science. The research within the Department is conducted in research programmes of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR). The AISSR unites the social science research of the UvA, and is one of the largest research institutes in Europe. The MOBILSE project is part of the programme group ‘Transnational Configurations, Conflict and Governance’ and of the ‘Social Conflict and Change’ group at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Project description

You will be working on the MOBILISE project (Determinants of ‘Mobilisation’ at Home and Abroad). The central question is : when the state fails to provide the economic or political needs of citizens, why do some people mobilise by protesting in the streets while others ‘mobilise’ by crossing borders, and how do these choices relate to each other?

MOBILISE employs a multi-method (national population & migrant surveys, protest participant surveys, focus groups, life-history interviews, social media analysis) and multi-sited research design. It covers Ukraine, Poland, Morocco and Brazil, which have all recently witnessed large-scale emigration and protest mobilization. It also looks at migrants from these countries in Germany, the UK and Spain.

Working closely together with Jacquelien van Stekelenburg (VU) and Evelyn Ersanilli (UvA) , the PhD candidate will be responsible for conducting qualitative fieldwork in Morocco, supervising part of the survey data collection and for the protest surveys among migrants in Europe. Data collected will be used to write a PhD dissertation. The candidate will be based at the UvA and receive training at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research.

The MOBILISE consortium is made up of migration and protest scholars from the United Kingdom, Germany, France and the Netherlands. MOBILISE (2019-2022) is funded by an Open Research Area grant (NWO, ESRC, ANR, DFG).


  • Independently conduct qualitative fieldwork (interviews & focus groups) in three urban regions in Morocco;
  • supervise part of survey data collection in Morocco;
  • participate in the implementation of protest surveys among migrants in Europe;
  • regularly present intermediate research results at the UvA, VU and at international workshops and conferences;
  • conduct qualitative analysis;
  • write a PhD dissertation (monograph or by articles, in consultation);
  • fully participate in MOBILISE project activities in collaboration with other team members;
  • contribute to the research culture of the wider research environment and the Transnational Configurations and Social Change and Conflict research groups.


  • Research Master in Social Science or equivalent degree in the social sciences;
  • fluency in Darija, Tamazight (Tarifit) and/or French;
  • knowledge of Migration Studies and/or Political Mobilisation (protest) literature;
  • experience with or trained in qualitative fieldwork and qualitative data analyses;
  • a willingness to spend several months abroad for project fieldwork;
  • excellent organizational skills;
  • excellent oral and written communication skills in English.

Desirable is experience with:

  • fieldwork in Morocco or neighbouring countries;
  • or trained in quantitative fieldwork (in particular surveys);
  • or trained in quantitative data analysis.

Further information

For further information, please contact:


The appointment will be on a temporary basis for a period of 3 years for 38 hours per week. In the first instance, a contract will be given for 12 months; if positively evaluated, the contract will be extended for another 24 months and should lead to a dissertation (PHD thesis).

The position will start on 15 February 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter

The salary will be €2.266 per month during the first year, rising to €2.763 in the third year and based on a full-time appointment for a 38-hour working week (in keeping with P-scale, as per the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). We additionally offer an extensive package of secondary employee benefits, including a generous holiday scheme and year-end bonus. Because we value your continued personal development and professionalisation, we also offer excellent opportunities for study and development.

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.

Your application must contain:

  • a motivation letter (max. 2 pages);
  • a CV;
  • a research plan outlining how you would approach the topic of MOBILISE and the kinds of questions you would like to focus on in the PhD (max 2 pages);
  • proof of your Master's degree;
  • a transcript of grades obtained during Master's degree;
  • an academic writing sample in English (e.g. essay or Master's thesis);
  • two names of referees who may be contacted for a letter of reference.

The deadline for the applications is 23 November 2018. Please send your application to as an attachment (in one single pdf-file) with vacancy number 18-642 as subject.

Interviews will be held on 13 or 14 December 2018. #LI-DNP

No agencies please

Published by  University of Amsterdam