Vacancy: Two Researchers (100% – 4 years) The Contribution of ‘Regional’ Multistakeholder Mechanisms in Improving Global Governance.

Deadline: 30 June 2017 (4pm)

The United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS), the Institute for European Studies (IES) at Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Centre for EU Studies (CEUS) at Ghent University call for applications for TWO research positions (up to 4 years each). The researchers will be hired for the project ‘The Contribution of ‘Regional’ Multistakeholder Mechanisms in Improving Global Governance (GREMLIN: Global and REgional MuLtistakeholder INstitutions)’.

The Position

The project aims to investigate multistakeholderism (civil society involvement) in regional and global governance. It will compare two different policy areas where multistakeholderism has become a defining norm: internet and trade governance. Both in internet and trade governance, multistakeholderism at the regional and global levels has emerged since the early 2000s and has accelerated in recent years. However, there are also differences between this ‘new’ and ‘traditional’ policy area. The questions of legitimacy and effectiveness are key to debates on multistakeholderism and will also be central to the theoretical framework of the project. UNU-CRIS will concentrate on the role of the European Union (EU), which has actively promoted (inter-)regional interactions amongst the diverse range of actors that make up the multistakeholder environment.

The successful candidates will together further develop the theoretical framework on legitimacy and effectiveness in regional (EU) and global governance. Both candidates will prepare a doctoral dissertation (PhD) on respectively internet and trade governance. They will work independently and also in team, with particular attention for the comparative dimension between internet and trade governance.


The successful candidates are required to:

  • hold a Master’s degree in political science, EU studies or international relations with excellent study results (Master students in the academic year 2016-17 can also apply).
  • have a strong motivation to conduct academic research
  • be fluent and have excellent communications skills in English
  • be able to independently develop and conduct a research project, both substantially and practically
  • be able to work in a team
  • have knowledge of (the literatures on) internet governance and/or trade governance, regionalism, and/or multistakeholderism/civil society involvement
  • be willing to participate in academic conferences and to publish in international peer reviewed journals
  • be willing to pursue a PhD


For each candidate UNU-CRIS offer a 1-year pre-doc bursary at UNU-CRIS in Bruges. Extension of contract up to 4 years is expected, subject to performance of the candidate and continuation of funding (VUB). Remuneration is at the level of a full-time research assistant at a Flemish university (i.e. approximately € 1.900 net per month) and includes contributions for social security. Secondary employment is not allowed.
The researchers will be guided by Prof. dr. Jamal Shahin (main supervisor for the internet governance PhD) and Prof. dr. Jan Orbie (main supervisor for the trade governance PhD). The successful candidates are expected to work at the UNU-CRIS premises in Bruges (Belgium), while keeping close ties with the IES in Brussels and the CEUS in Ghent. Office space and equipment will be provided.

How to apply

The candidates will be selected on the basis of their expertise, work experience and qualifications, as well as a short reflection on the research theme. The following application documents are to be consolidated (in the same order as listed below) into a single PDF file sent by email to (subject heading: ‘UNU-CRIS Application GREMLIN’).

  1. A filled out UNU-CRIS application form
  2. A curriculum vitae listing all academic qualifications, relevant research experience and previous publications
  3. A one-page motivation letter explaining the candidate’s interest in pursuing this research task, and possibly a PhD on the topic
  4. Contact details of two references
  5. A critical reflection on the research theme (no more than 1500 words)
  6. A copy of the highest obtained diploma and transcript of academic grades

The deadline for applications is 30 June 2017 (4pm). Short-listed candidates will be informed by July 11 and interviews with top-listed candidates are expected to take place in the week of 28 August. The successful candidates can start as of 1 October 2017 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Further information

For further inquiries on the content, please contact Prof. dr. Jamal Shahin ( and Prof. dr. Jan Orbie ( For administrative questions, please contact Pascale Vantorre (

You can also visit the official website here.


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