Academic Positions Europe

PLATO - The Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the European Union, Norway

5 vacant PhD positions (Early Stage Researchers)

Would you like to research a PhD on the legitimacy of the European Union after the financial crisis? Would you like to start your career in a European training network of leading research universities and professionals from the policy advice, consulting and civil society sectors?

PLATO is an EU-funded PhD network coordinated by Prof. Christopher Lord at ARENA Centre for European Studies, University of Oslo. PLATO brings together nine university partners from across Europe to recruit a group of 15 of the best ‘early’ researchers to undertake a common multidisciplinary investigation into crisis and the legitimacy of the Union. The doctoral researchers will work together with senior researchers from across the network.

Each candidate will be employed at one of the nine universities and enrolled in a local PhD programme, while at the same time being part of an integrated research team and research project at network level.

The starting date for all positions is between 1 September and 1 October 2017. The positions are full-time for 3 years.

A common research agenda

PLATO will be a fully integrated, thematic research school with its own research question. PLATO aims to go well beyond the state-of-the-art by building a theory of legitimacy crisis in the EU from a uniquely interdisciplinary understanding of how democracy, power, law, economies and societies all fit together with institutions within and beyond the state to affect the legitimacy of contemporary political order. Fifteen individual PhD projects on specific topics will make up PLATO's study of the EU’s legitimacy challenges.

Individual PhD projects

The link in the call directs you to the local announcement.

  • ESR1: Legitimacy crisis and core state powers, Berlin Graduate School of Transnational Studies/Freie Universität Berlin (Germany) Deadline: 15 March 2017
  • ESR4: Legitimacy crisis and interface mechanisms between the EU and member states, Berlin Graduate School of Transnational Studies/Freie Universität Berlin (Germany) Deadline: 15 March 2017
  • ESR5: Legitimacy crisis and the delegation of powers, Antwerp Centre for Institutions and Multilevel Politics (Belgium) Deadline: 15 March 2017
  • ESR8: Legitimacy crisis and anti-corruption, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague (Czech Republic) Deadline: 15 March 2017
  • ESR12: Legitimacy crisis and societal interests, Antwerp Centre for Institutions and Multilevel Politics (Belgium) Deadline: 15 March 2017
  • ESR2: The legitimacy of multi-level orders, Department of Public Administration, University of Twente (The Netherlands) (call closed)
  • ESR3: Legitimacy crisis and inter-institutional conflict, Centre d’études européennes, SciencesPo Paris (France) (call closed)
  • ESR6: Legitimacy crisis and policy failure, ARENA Centre for European Studies, University of Oslo (Norway) (call closed)
  • ESR7: Legitimacy crisis and parliamentary representation, Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna (Austria) (call closed)
  • ESR9: Legitimacy crisis and democratic state failure, ARENA Centre for European Studies, University of Oslo (Norway) (call closed)
  • ESR10: Legitimacy crisis and political trust, Department of Public Administration, University of Twente (The Netherlands) (call closed)
  • ESR11: Legitimacy crisis and identity, Institute of European Studies, Jagiellonian University, Krakow (Poland) (call closed)
  • ESR13: Legitimacy crisis and anti-politics, Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), University of Cambridge (UK) (call closed)
  • ESR14: Legitimacy crisis and the public sphere, ARENA Centre for European Studies, University of Oslo (Norway) (call closed)
  • ESR15: Legitimacy crisis and European elections, Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna (Austria) (call closed)


PLATO’s ambitious and demanding training programme will require highly motivated ESRs, who will be required to perform above the average PhD student. The 15 PhD researchers will work together as an integrated team within a carefully designed research programme aimed at jointly developing state-of-the-art theory and methods.

We invite candidates with an MA degree in political science, international relations, political economy, law, sociology or related disciplines to apply. In assessing the candidates, particular emphasis will be placed on originality and creativity of the proposal, academic qualifications, and the individual project’s fit within the overall research programme. Candidates must have excellent writing skills as well as English language skills. Teamwork will be given emphasis, as PLATO is looking for dynamic and enthusiastic candidates collaborating well with other members of a team.


Two specific eligibility conditions apply to this funding scheme, the Innovative Training Networks (ITN) of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) in the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme:

  • Mobility rule: The recruited researchers cannot have resided in the country where she/he is recruited for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the date of recruitment and not have carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in that country.
  • Career stage: The recruited researchers must at the date of recruitment be in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of her/his research career and not have a doctoral degree. This four-year period is measured from the date of obtaining the degree, which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.

If it is not evident from the application that the above criteria are met, please include an explanation as part of your application.

Further details can be found in the European Commission's Participant Portal, where a number of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) are assembled.


Please make sure that the criteria specified in the individual calls are met. These may vary depending on local PhD programmes and admission procedures. 

Some general requirements apply and the following documents must be submitted as part of each individual application. 

  • Letter of motivation
  • Project proposal (guidelines for the project proposal)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Copy of MA degree diploma(s) and academic transcripts
  • CV
  • Proof of English language proficiency, if applicable (see individual calls)

Please read the qualifications for the positions carefully. We will only consider those who meet the listed requirements.

Recruitment timeline

  • Deadline for application for all positions: 31 January 2017
  • Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interviews in the period 6-17 March 2017
  • Job offers will be made to the selected candidates by the end of April 2017
  • Start date of all position will be 1 September – 1 October 2017, depending on local admission programmes
PLATO - The Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the European Union

PLATO's team brings together nine university partners which will employ the 15 PhD researchers. Eleven training partners contribute to the network with professional expertise and secondment opportunities.

Application details

Application deadline:

Apply here

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