This is a call for applications for one full-time doctoral position based at the Institute for European Studies-Université libre de Bruxelles (Belgium). The selected PhD will be invited to write a doctoral dissertation dealing with the following topic: conditionality and the rule of law in the EU polity.

The researcher will join the Institute for European Studies under the supervision of an interdisciplinary scientific committee (Prof. Ramona Coman, supervisor and prof. Anne Weyembergh, co-supervisor).

Prospective candidates are hereby invited to submit their application following the procedure described at the end of this document. The deadline for submitting applications is September 1st.

Successful candidates are expected to start working in Brussels on 1 October 2019. The grant covers 4 years of full-time paid scholarship. PhD candidates with a PhD project in progress are eligible as long as their research is in line with the topic of the project.

Outline of the Project: Conditionality and the Rule of Law in the EU Polity

The project seeks to scrutinize recent political and legal debates related to the introduction of the rule of law conditionality in EU governance. The project seeks to examine support and resistance to this new culture of conditionality by analyzing debates at the EU and the domestic level. The aim is to investigate how the culture of conditionality has been shaped/rejected by European and domestic political and legal/judicial actors since 2010 onwards. Besides political arguments, the project should devote particular attention to legal arguments that are used at the level of the EU and in the national frameworks observed (see also Waelbroeck and Oliver, 2017).

Candidates are invited to deal with this topic, while selecting the units of analysis, the theoretical approaches and the methodologies of their choice.


The workload related to the doctoral mandate includes the preparation of a PhD thesis and the contribution to collective work through fieldwork, publications and the organisation of research activities. The candidate is expected to apply to the FNRS in the first two years of his/her mandate.

Working environment and conditions

The selected PhD student will be based at the Institute for European Studies (IEE), one of the oldest Jean Monnet Centres of Excellence in Europe. For more information, see

He/she will conduct his/her PhD under the supervision of prof. Ramona Coman and prof. Anne Weyembergh

The interdisciplinary dimension of the project is reinforced by exchanges with political scientists, internationalists, lawyers, sociologists and other scholars working on the rule of law in global and EU governance.

The PhD student will also benefit from the activities organised in the framework of the Jean Monnet module chaired by Ramona Coman titled Rule of Law and Mutual Trust in Global and European Governance

Activities may involve travelling and short research stays.

The successful candidate will have an office at the IEE-ULB.

He/She is expected to live in Brussels for the duration of the Mini ARC contract. The contract will be managed by the university according to Belgian standards and laws.


Each candidate should explain clearly his/her interest in the topic of the project (Conditionality and the rule of law in the EU polity) and how and why he/she can contribute to the development of the collective reflection on this theme.

Candidates should demonstrate their ability to evolve in a multi-cultural environment; their expertise and/or interest for European politics in its political and legal dimension; their proficiency to work in French and English.

Experience and achievements in academic research and education in areas relevant to the project will be taken into consideration at the time of selection.

He/she should have:

  • A Master in EU studies, political science or EU law
  • Excellent grades and other signs of academic distinctions
  • Proved expertise or at least interest in European studies
  • First achievements in research (master thesis) on a topic related to the project
  • Experience with working in an international environment
  • Very good command of English and preferably French
  • Ability to work in a team, to meet deadlines and to combine autonomy with respect of guidelines

Legal conditions and status of the doctoral positions:

  • According to the experience of the candidate, the monthly net income will start from 2004 €.

How to apply

The successful candidates will be selected on the basis of the quality of their CV, their research achievements, motivation and congruence with the project.

The following application documents are to be consolidated into one single PDF file sent by email to and Anne Weyembergh before September 2nd.

  • A one-page motivation letter explaining the candidate’s general interest for the project
  • A short project (5,000 characters, spaces included) explaining the possible scientific contribution of the candidate to the proposed research topic, with some bibliographical references
  • A curriculum vitae listing all academic qualifications and relevant research experience
  • Name, affiliation, e-mail and phone number of three referees who can be contacted if necessary
  • A copy of the passport/ID and/or master diploma

Applications are open until September 2nd 2019.

A telephone or face-to-face interview may be organized before September 15th.

Candidates will be notified about the results of the selection process on September 16th.

The hiring and the required presence in Brussels will be effective on October 1st 2019.