PhD Student

Last application date
Sep 01, 2024 00:00
PS03 - Department of Political Sciences
Limited duration
Master’s degree in political science, European studies, international relations, public administration, economics or in any other field of social sciences with comparable qualifications
Occupancy rate
Vacancy type
Research staff

Job description

The Ghent Institute for International and European Studies (GIES) is looking for a motivated researcher to examine the interests of the Belgian offshore wind energy industry in the context of existing and emerging industrial policy measures in Europe, such as direct state aid, non-price criteria in auctions, and trade defense instruments and to write a PhD dissertation on the broader topic of green industrial policy.
This position is part of the Energy Transition Fund project BE-Wise, which aims to develop policy recommendations for Belgian policies towards the offshore wind industry to stimulate economic competitiveness, decarbonization, and supply security. The BE-Wise project will:

  • construct a comprehensive overview of the competitive strengths and interests of the Belgian offshore wind energy industry through aggregated data and dedicated interviews with key stakeholders in the industry
  • analyze the effects of already-implemented climate, energy and industrial policy instruments on the Belgian offshore wind energy industry using firm-level datasets
  • map and examine the effects of industrial policy measures under consideration at the EU and member state level on the Belgian offshore wind energy industry
  • formulate recommendations to support future policy decisions for the offshore wind industry with the aim of promoting economic competitiveness, decarbonization, and security of supply in Belgium

We offer a full-time position for initially one year. Upon positive evaluation, the position can be extended for three additional years to allow the researcher to complete a PhD on the topic of the project within four years. You will work under the joint supervision of Prof. Thijs Van de Graaf and Prof. Ferdi De Ville (GIES). You will have the opportunity to follow trainings (including through Doctoral Schools), attend international conferences and spend a research stay abroad.
For the PhD project, we encourage the candidate to develop their own research question(s) building on the topic of the BE-Wise project. This could, for example, involve comparative research analyzing the determinants and consequences of European industrial policies in different member states and/or for different net-zero technologies (e.g. next to wind also solar, electrolysers and/or batteries).

Job profile

  • You hold a Master’s degree in political science, European studies, international relations, public administration, economics or in any other field of social sciences with comparable qualifications
  • You think critically, creatively and systematically
  • You are strongly motivated to conduct scientific research
  • You want to write a doctoral dissertation based on this project
  • You can organize and execute this research project autonomously
  • You are familiar with theories and research in the social sciences
  • You are familiar with qualitative (especially elite interviews and surveys) and quantitative research methods relevant for this project, or you are willing to improve your knowledge about these methods
  • You are familiar with the offshore wind energy sector, or you are willing to become an expert in this sector
  • You obtained excellent study results
  • You possess good English speaking and writing skills
  • You are a team player, and you are willing to take up some responsibilities in the GIES team (including some assistance with teaching) and the BE-WISE consortium
  • You are motivated to participate in international conferences and to publish in international journals and to share your results with societal stakeholders


  • We offer a full-time position as a doctoral fellow, consisting of an initial period of 12 months, which - after a positive evaluation, will be extended to a total maximum of 48 months.
  • Your contract will start on November 1, 2024 at the earliest.
  • The fellowship amount is 100% of the net salary of an AAP member in equal family circumstances. The individual fellowship amount is determined by the Department of Personnel and Organization based on family status and seniority. A grant that meets the conditions and criteria of the regulations for doctoral fellowships is considered free of personal income tax. Click here for more information about our salary scales
  • All Ghent University staff members enjoy a number of benefits, such as a wide range of training and education opportunities, 36 days of holiday leave (on an annual basis for a full-time job) supplemented by annual fixed bridge days, bicycle allowance and eco vouchers. Click here for a complete overview of all the staff benefits (in Dutch).

How to apply

Send us your CV, your motivation letter, an overview of your study results, a copy of your diploma (if already in your possession) by 1st of September 2024 to Preferably, all these documents are merged into a single PDF file.
For more information about this vacancy, please contact Prof. Ferdi De Ville (
We also encourage last-year (graduating) students to apply.