Postdoctoral researcher for research in and coordination of project on the design and effects of alternative form of policy and regulation in of environmental protection and welfare/care

WorkplaceAntwerpen, Flemish Region, Belgium
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Department: Department of Political Science Regime Full-time or Part-time

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About us

The University of Antwerp is a dynamic, forward-thinking university. We offer an innovative academic education to more than 20.000 students, conduct pioneering scientific research and play an important service-providing role in society. We are one of the largest, most international and most innovative employers in the region. With more than 6.000 employees from 100 different countries, we are helping to build tomorrow’s world every day. Through top scientific research, we push back boundaries and set a course for the future - a future that you can help to shape. The University of Antwerp is ranked 7th globally on the Times Higher Education Young Universities Rankings 2023.

The research group Politics & Public Governance (P&PG) is part of the Department of Political Science (Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Antwerp). P&PG studies how politics and public governance respond to (a) the increasing diversity of citizens and society and (b) the multi-level and multi-actor nature of policymaking and policy implementation. By combining political science and public administration perspectives, our research wants to understand the nature of contemporary politics and public governance, its causes, effects, the role of trust and, ultimately, its democratic legitimacy. To this end, P&PG studies political and public governance institutions, their evolution, and how institutional mechanisms shape actors’ scope of action, positions, decisions, and behaviour. Public administration research at the University of Antwerp is ranked 22nd (1st in Belgium) on the Global Shanghai Ranking for PA 2022.

The Government and Law (G&L) research group is part of the Law Faculty (University of Antwerp). G&L is focused on legitimate governance in a diverse, complex, and globalized environment. It studies, in particular, the impact of legal, political, and social developments on the legal concept of government, on the operation of and relations between state and non-state actors in governance, on fundamental principles such as democracy, the rule of law, federalism, solidarity, and multi-level governance, and on the protection of persons against arbitrary government action. The group combines legal-doctrinal analysis with various methods in collaboration with other disciplines.

P&PG and G&L are part of the GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence (University of Antwerp), an interdisciplinary research consortium focusing on "Trust and Distrust in Multi-level Governance." GOVTRUST combines the high-level scientific expertise of three faculties (Law, Social Sciences, and Economics) and five disciplines (political science, communication science, law, behavioural economics, and public administration) to jointly conduct frontline interdisciplinary research on the dynamics, causes, and effects of trust and distrust in multi-level governance systems. In particular, GOVTRUST studies the trust relations between political, administrative, regulatory, and judicial actors as well as trust in and of citizens and society.

The research groups Politics & Public Governance, Government & Law and the GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence at the University of Antwerp in collaboration with UHasselt are jointly looking to hire a new team member.

A postdoctoral researcher (75%-100%) for research in and coordination of a four-year project on the design and effects of alternative form of policy and regulation in the fields of environmental protection and welfare/care

We are looking to hire a new team member to join and support our new GOBAREG project team, which will involve six professors, a postdoc, a valorisation manager and four PhD researchers. The successful applicant will conduct research and help coordinate research within the project ’Legitimate Alternative Regulation in Regulatory Regimes’ (GOBAREG). The GOBAREG project studies how alternative forms of policy and regulation in the environmental and welfare sector, aiming for more sustainability and quality, can be designed and implemented in a legitimate way. These alternative forms of policy and regulation seek to enhance innovation and reduce compliance costs, while protecting citizens from harm. More specifically, the project zooms in on the following questions. How are citizens, private organisations, as well as politicians, civil servants, supervisory authorities, and judges shaping and interpreting these policies and regulations, and how is their behaviour influenced by them? To what extent do these alternative forms of policy and regulation stimulate innovation and flexibility, while still ensuring compliance? And how do trust and cooperation between all these actors play a role in this? GOBAREG applies an innovative interdisciplinary, mixed-method design, including surveys, interviews, behavioural experiments, focus groups, and observation studies, in two in-depth case studies of social regulation (in the fields of environment and welfare). The project is a collaboration between different disciplines at the University of Antwerp and Hasselt University and has a strong valorisation element, involving close collaboration with a broad array of stakeholders.


  • Conducting research in an interdisciplinary and interuniversity team.
  • Scientific coordination of the GOBAREG project, including co-involvement, together with the professors, in the day-to-day coordination of four PhD researchers as well as coordination of the theoretical, methodological and empirical integration and the synthesis of the academic output (together with the project promoters)
  • Developing and coordinating research design, data collection, and analysis
  • Collaboration with the partners and researchers in the GOBAREG project consortium, and interacting with societal stakeholders involved in the project.
  • Reporting of research findings through publishing scientific articles in international journals
  • Conducting research within a vibrant national and international research environment, participating in the (inter)national research community and presentation of research findings at (inter)national conferences


  • You hold a PhD degree in Public Administration, Public Management, Political Science, Law, Sociology, Management, and Economic Sciences or another relevant field. PhD researchers defending their PhD before the end of 2023 can also apply.
  • Experience in (interdisciplinary) research on the topic under study is highly valued.
  • You have a good track record in peer-reviewed publications in international journals.
  • A track record in societal outreach, dissemination to media, and interaction with stakeholders is an asset. Experience in acquiring research funding is also a valued asset.
  • You are quality-oriented, conscientious, creative, efficient, and cooperative, and you are entrepreneurial to coordinate research projects with success and in time;
  • You have knowledge about, and are strongly motivated to research, the public sector and its interactions with citizens, private actors and societal stakeholders, and have excellent capacities for analysis and synthesis in social science research.
  • You can apply autonomously (quantitative or qualitative) research methods in social and economic sciences (statistical analyses, case study methodology). Knowledge about or experience in survey experiments is a strong asset.
  • You have strong communication and presentation skills. You should be able to work independently but also as part of a team.
  • You have an excellent knowledge of English. Proficiency in Dutch is an asset, as you will be involved in coordinating a team with mixed languages and nationalities.
  • Your academic qualities are in line with the participating faculties and the requirements stipulated in the university research policies .

What we offer

  • A postdoc position (75%-100%) for four years (two years, with the possibility of renewal for a further two-year period after a positive evaluation). The intended start date of the position will be from November 15th, 2023 onwards but preferably no later than January 1st, 2024.
  • Your gross monthly salary is calculated according to the pay scale for a principal research fellow in the Contract Research Staff category (Dutch: Bijzonder Academisch Personeel, BAP).
  • You will receive ecocheques, Internet-connectivity allowance, and a bicycle allowance or a full reimbursement of public transport costs for commuting.
  • You will work at UAntwerp City Campus in a dynamic, stimulating, and professional work environment as part of the research groups Politics & Public Governance and Government & Law and in the interdisciplinary team of the GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence. You will also work with colleagues of the Faculty of Business Economics at Hasselt University.
  • You will receive substantive and methodological training.
  • Find out more about working at the University of Antwerp here .

Want to apply

  • You can apply for this vacancy through the University of Antwerp’s online job application platform up to and including October 5th, 2023 (by midnight Brussels time). Click on the ’Apply’ button, complete the online application form and be sure to include a copy of your CV, a motivation letter and a recent scientific text you wrote in English (e.g. article or conference paper). You are encouraged to include letters of recommendation and/or reference persons.
  • A pre-selection will be made from amongst the submitted applications. The remainder of the selection procedure is specific to the position and will be determined by the selection panel.
  • The selected candidates are invited for an interview. The interviews will take place in October 2023.
  • If you have questions about the online application form, please check the frequently asked questions or send an email to .
  • For questions about the profile and the description of duties, please contact Prof. Koen Verhoest ( ), Prof. Peter Bursens ( ), Prof. Patricia Popelier ( ), or Dr. Sophie Op de Beeck ( ).

The University of Antwerp is a sustainable, family-friendly organisation which invests in its employees’ growth. We encourage diversity and attach great importance to an inclusive working environment and equal opportunities, regardless of gender identity, disability, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse characteristics to apply.

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In your application, please refer to and reference JobID 2712339.