PhD Candidate: Compliance Bargaining over EU State Aid Rules, Radboud University , Netherlands

Radboud University
Study in:Netherlands
Deadline: 21 January 2018

PhD Candidate: Compliance Bargaining over EU State Aid Rules (0.8 – 1.0 FTE)

Nijmegen School of Management
Vacancy number: 27.22.17
Application deadline: 21 January 2018


As a PhD candidate, you will contribute to the research project ‘Compliance Bargaining over EU State Aid Rules’ which is financed by the faculties of Management and Law at Radboud University. The project will be supervised by Prof. Ellen Mastenbroek, Prof. Johan van de Gronden, Prof. Pieter Kuypers and Dr Pieter Zwaan.

In order to create a ‘level playing field’ in a ‘common market’, European Union (EU) law puts restrictions on Member States’ capacities to provide state-aid to companies and industries. These restrictions have a huge impact, limiting national governments’ discretion in a range of policy sectors. There is a great dearth of literature on the legal consequences of EU state aid law for the Member States.

Despite these consequences, political scientists have only recently started to recognise the importance of EU state aid law. While the overall development of the EU state aid policy has attracted some scholarly attention, the application, monitoring and enforcement of EU state aid rules is poorly understood. Although it has been suggested in the literature that the European Commission and Member States often engage in a process of ‘compliance bargaining’ over the application of EU state aid rules, systematic insights are lacking.

This study aims to open this ‘black box’ by analysing the unfolding of the EU state aid notification procedures, which are used by the Commission to asses and approve national governments’ planned state aid. The study does so from a political, administrative and legal perspective. Its key aim is to answer the question ‘To what extent and in what way do different political, administrative and legal factors explain variation in the duration of, and the contacts between, the Commission and the Member States before and during the notification procedures?’

A full project proposal is available on request.

Work environment

The Nijmegen School of Management (NSM) is an academic centre of research and higher learning, focusing on institutional and managerial issues within complex organisations in both the public and private domains. There are seven focus areas within the NSM: Business Administration, Public Administration, Political Science, Economics, Human Geography, Spatial Planning, and Social and Political Sciences of the Environment. The NSM strives for a multidisciplinary approach whenever possible. Altogether, the NSM employs 265 full-time staff, of whom 75% are academics. Both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees are offered in the seven fields of study, which are organised in the NSM’s educational institute. The Nijmegen School of Management has about 4,000 students.

The NSM’s research activities are governed by the Institute for Management Research (IMR), which has the equivalent of over 100 full-time staff members. It focuses on fundamental and applied research on the development, design and effectiveness of the public and private structures that regulate, govern or manage human interaction. The IMR’s research takes place in several ‘hotspots’. This project is embedded in the EUROPAL hotspot, which brings together researchers from various disciplines from the NSM as well as the Faculty of Law. You will be working on the project in the Public Administration Department.

What we expect from you

  • you have a Master’s degree (preferably with a strong research component) in Political Science, Public Administration or a related and relevant field that deals with EU policy making and compliance;
  • you have knowledge of European Union governance, the basic principles of EU law, and affinity with EU competition and state aid law. Practical experience (e.g. an internship) at the DG Competition is considered an asset;
  • you have strong quantitative and qualitative research skills;
  • you are enthusiastic, independent and strongly motivated;
  • you have excellent communication skills, are a team player, and are able to engage effectively with societal stakeholders;
  • you have excellent writing skills, as evidenced by a writing sample such as a chapter from your Master’s thesis, a (forthcoming or published) article, or conference paper;
  • you should be fluent in English and preferably have basic or good knowledge of French.

What we have to offer

  • employment: 0.8 – 1.0 FTE;
  • in addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • the gross starting salary amounts to € 2,222 per month and will increase to € 2,709 in the third year (P scale);
  • duration of the contract: 3 years;
  • you will be appointed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 1.5 years;
  • you will be classified as a PhD Candidate (promovendus) in the Dutch university job-ranking system (UFO);
  • you will be able to make use of our Dual Career Service where our Dual Career Officer will assist with family related support, such as child care, and help the partner of the candidate prepare for the local labour market and with finding an occupation.

Are you interested in our excellent employment conditions?

Would you like to know more?

Further information on: the Institute for Management Research

For more information about this vacancy, please contact:
Dr. Pieter Zwaan, assistant professor
Telephone: +31 24 3611341

Are you interested?

You should upload your application (attn. of Dr. Pieter Zwaan) exclusively using the button ‘Apply’ below. Your application should include (and be limited to) the following attachment(s):

  • motivation letter
  • CV
  • your Master’s thesis, or a (forthcoming or published) article or presented conference paper

After a first selection of candidates, interviews will take place on 7 and 8 February 2018.


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