Faculty/Departement: Institut d’études européennes (IEE)
Supervisors: Professor Chiara Armeni and Professor Chloé Brière
Contract Type: International Post-doctoral Fellowship
Contract Length: 2 years (24 months)
Work Time: Full-Time
Start Date: September 2023
External Funding Source: RED-SPINEL (Horizon Europe-RIA n°101061621)
Remuneration: approx. 2600 €/month net (+ periodic indexation on inflation)

Job description

The selected candidate will be hired as a full-time Post-Doctoral Fellow in the framework of Horizon project RED-SPINEL (‘Respond to Emerging Dissensus: SuPranational Instruments and Norms of European democracy’).

The Project

RED-SPINEL (‘Respond to Emerging Dissensus: SuPranational Instruments and Norms of European democracy’) is a 36-month long, 3.2 million euro, interdisciplinary, international and intersectoral project across eight European countries and coordinated by the Institut d’études européennes of the ULB (PI Ramona Coman). It involves seven higher education institutions: Université libre de Bruxelles, Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Universitatea Babeș-Bolyai, HEC Paris, Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika w Toruniu and the University of Warwick. They are joined in the consortium by four non-academic partners: Peace Action, Training and Research Institute in Romania, Milieu Consulting, Magyar Helsinki Bizottság / Hungarian Helsinki Committee and Stichting Nederlands Instituut voor Internationale Betrekkingen Clingendael.

The project will analyse the changing nature of dissensus surrounding liberal democracy and its implications for EU supranational policy instruments. It will unpack the inter-connected drivers of contemporary dissensus surrounding liberal democracy. The project will develop a range of scientifically informed policy recommendations and capacity-building efforts able to foster innovative democratic practices able to respond to the present-day dissensus.

Empirically, RED-SPINEL will focus on the key policy instruments and legal mechanisms shaping the EU’s efforts in support of democracy and the rule of law. The studied instruments include the EU rule of law toolbox, the neighbourhood and accession instruments, the European semester, fundamental rights, and judicial instruments, as well as citizen participation platforms. Furthermore, through a series of stakeholder events, RED-SPINEL will flesh out the implications of its findings for public policy stakeholders (i.e. legal professionals, policymakers, European youth) as well as EU instruments aimed at responding to said dissensus. The project’s concept-building effort will centre on the notion of ‘dissensus’ as it explores how contemporary dissensus surrounding liberal democracy differs from previous debates and which more fundamental questions it raises about future democratic practices and the rule of law. Ultimately, RED-SPINEL will provide a typology of said dissensus, map the principal actors of the dissensus in Europe and unpack its two underlying drivers – i.e., heightened internal contestation over liberal democracy and external competition from alternative illiberal models.

Main responsibilities

The selected candidate will take on a research & management mandate on external (EU) funding, under the supervision of Prof. Chiara Armeni and Prof. Chloé Brière.

As part of the research team based at the Institut d’études européennes (IEE), the hired post-doctoral fellow will contribute to the research capacities dedicated to the RED-SPINEL research project, specifically those associated with the implementation of the following work packages:

Work Package 4 on ‘The protection of fundamental rights within the EU through expert knowledge, citizen participation and judicial instruments’, that focuses on the tensions between democratic legitimacy, participation, expert-led mechanisms and judicial review when addressing rights violations, and

Work Package 6 entitled ‘Capacity-building promoting democratic deliberation & problem-solving’ that will develop a set of original training sessions and toolkits aimed at supporting European citizens and policymakers.

  • Within the framework of these Work Packages, the hired Post-Doctoral Fellow will contribute to the following missions:
  • Conduct research aiming to achieve the milestones and deliverables of the WP 4 (including data collection and drafting of papers or other outputs of excellent academic quality),
  • Disseminate scientific results at various events,
  • Support the coordination and organisation of work and events in the framework of the WP 6 in cooperation with partner universities/colleagues, notably the legal capacity-building training sessions on strategic litigation in the fields of equality, rule of law, climate and media freedom.

Work Environment

The Institut d’études européennes (IEE) at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) is a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence. As such, it is recognised for its expertise in European Studies. The IEE-ULB carries out its own interdisciplinary research projects. At the same time, it promotes the work of its affiliated members on European issues within the associated research units and centres of its three partner faculties – the Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences, the Faculty of Law and Criminology and The Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management. The IEE-ULB develops an interdisciplinary research agenda established by the Institute’s Research Committee. The current agenda is based on four research themes that are articulated around political sciences, law, economics, history, values and global interactions: Europe as an area of freedom, security & justice; Europe as an area of economic & social regulation; Europe as a community of norms & values; and Europe in the world.

The hired Post-doctoral Fellow will be a member of an IEE-based research and management team coordinated by Professor Ramona Coman and dedicated to the implementation, coordination, and promotion of RED-SPINEL.

Eligibility and profile

Qualifications required

Ph.D. in Law (or in another field but with a strong legal dimension), ideally focused on themes relevant to RED SPINEL including but not limited to strategic litigation, democracy or participation.

Mobility Requirement

As the funding is provided as an international post-doctoral fellowship, eligible candidates must be in a position to formally relocate to Belgium when starting the contract. This means that “the selected candidate must not have resided or carried out their main activity in Belgium for more than 12 months over the past 3 years immediately before their recruitment date”

Scientific knowledge and skills

Candidates must have

  • Solid expertise and/or interest in the topic of the project;
  • A strong publication record;
  • Excellent skills in qualitative and/or quantitative research methods;
  • General knowledge and skills
  • Excellent command of English (this must include excellent academic writing and communication skills). Good command of French is an asset.
  • Ability to work in a team, meet deadlines and combine autonomy with respect to guidelines
  • Experience of working and evolving in an international and culturally diverse working environment
  • Abilities to coordinate the organisation of scientific events (e.g., conferences, summer schools, workshops, panels international conferences …

Overview of the knowledge, skills, experience & qualifications required to effectively fulfil the role

REQUIREMENTS – The hire must demonstrate:






a) Application Form incl. CV.

b) Interview

c) Personal Presentation & Motivation

A PhD in a relevant field (law, or in another field but with a strong legal dimension) 


a, c

Expertise in EU law (equality law, environmental law, and/or constitutional law) and strategic litigation 


a, b, c

Delivery of research findings at seminars, workshops and conferences


a, b, c

Ability to organise meetings and workshops


a, b

Working knowledge of both English and French. Excellent academic writing skills in English are required and a good understanding (passive) of French 


a, b

Application procedure*

*Additional information can be received by contacting chiara.armeni@ulb.be and chloe.briere@ulb.be.

The successful candidate will be selected based on the quality of their CV, research achievements, motivation, and consistency with the project’s themes. In his/her/their cover letter, each candidate should explain clearly his/her/their interest in the project and how and why he/she/they can contribute to its development. Experience and achievements in academic research in areas relevant to the project will be taken into consideration at the time of selection.

Application Files

The application documents are to be consolidated into one single PDF file sent by email to Chloé Brière (chloe.briere@ulb.be)

Application files must include in a single PDF document the following information in English:

  • A separate detailed motivation letter (3 pages max.) explaining the candidate’s general research interest in the project and his/her /their potential contribution to it.
  • A curriculum vitae listing all academic qualifications, relevant research experience and previous publications, including the contact details of two referees
  • You may choose to complete a standard Europass form (https://europa.eu/europass/en) or not. This is left entirely up to the applicants. Once completed, whether Europass or not, the CV must be included in the single application file

A document attesting your current address of residence, PhD and master diploma certificates.

Application Calendar

  • Applications are open until 30 April 2023
  • Short-listed candidates will be informed on 5 May.
  • Interviews will be organised online on 16 – 17 May 2023.
  • The final decision will be taken as soon as possible after the interviews.

Equal opportunity policy

ULB’s personnel policy is based on diversity and equal opportunity.

We recruit candidates on the basis of their skills, regardless of their age, gender, sexual orientation, origin, nationality, beliefs, disability, etc.

Would you like to be provided with reasonable accommodation in the selection procedure because of a disability, disorder, or illness? Please contact Marie Botty, the person in charge of diversity aspects for the academic and scientific staff (marie.botty@ulb.be). Be assured of the confidentiality of this information.

More details on the ULB gender and diversity policy are available at https://www.ulb.be/en/about-ulb/gender-equality-at-ulb.

The vacancy on 

The ULB :portal https://www.ulb.be/fr/vacances-d-emplois-academiques-et-scientifiques/institut-detudes-europeennes

Academic Positions : https://academicpositions.com/ad/universite-libre-de-bruxelles/2023/post-doctoral-research-fellow-institut-d-tudes-europ-ennes-universit-libre-de-bruxelles/197411

 Euraxess: https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/jobs/84927

Photo credit: Markus Winkler for Unsplash