Université catholique de Louvain

PhD position in public finances law

2024-08-01 (Europe/Brussels)
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UCLouvain (2x2 years)

The Institute for Interdisciplinary Research in Legal Sciences and Criminology (Institut pour la recherche interdisciplinaire en sciences juridiques et criminologie) at UCLouvain is looking for a talented researcher interested in pursuing a PhD pertaining to the law of public finances – an emerging legal discipline in its own right made increasingly relevant by the need to achieve sustainable public finances after the Covid-19 pandemic, the NextGenEU, and the other commitments of public finances that await us in times of multiple societal pressures (ageing population, climate change, defence etc). 

Job description 

The applicant will be expected to submit a PhD proposal and to conduct research in an area closely related to the research project described below. The PhD position is funded by the FSR Seedfund 2024. Funding is available for an initial period of two years, with a possibility to apply for two additional years under the FSR schemeIt corresponds to a doctoral tax-free grant, including social security contributions. The applicant is expected to apply for F.R.S.-FNRS funding under his/her PhD supervisor’s supervision. The applicant will work under the supervision of Yseult Marique, Professor of public finances law at UCLouvain, and will be an active part of the UCLouvain doctoral community. 


We are looking for an applicant that fulfils the following requirements: 

  • Excellent grade in a Master degree in law (obtained by 1st October 2024 at the latest)
  • (completed or on-going) master degree in another relevant discipline (such as politics, economics or philosophy)

  • Academic research skills (broadly conceived such as MA thesis, research papers, research assistance, academic publications etc)
  • Willingness to learn and carry out non-doctrinal research methods (eg quantitative or qualitative methods)
  • Experience working in the (domestic, European or international) civil service, a financial institution, or an audit/consultancy firm
  • Ability to work autonomously and in group
  • Curiosity, open-mindedness, creativity (thinking outside the box)
  • Strong written and spoken communication skills
  • Fluent in French or in English
  • Working command of the other language (French/English depending on which language you are fluent in)
  • Another language (such as Dutch or another language relevant for the project you consider embarking on)
  • Public law
  • European / international law
  • Comparative law
  • Economic/public policies
  • Willingness to spend time for research abroad (location and institutions to be discussed according to interests and relevance)
  • Willingness to present ideas, papers and research at national and international conferences online and in person

Research project – “Conditionality and public finances” 

The NextGenEU is a recent example of conditionality: The EU is providing grants and loans to Member States to support local projects under the conditions that specific policy goals (such as facilitating the green and the digital transitions) are pursued and that the rule of law is complied with. Such conditionality technique is not new. The “power of the purse” has long been used as incentive and lever for economic, social and environmental action, through the purpose for which public money is directly intended as well as through more or less (im)precise conditions set for implementing publicly-funded projects and the control public bodies exercise over these conditions. 

This conditionality may be provided for by instruments of various natures; it is at the core of redistribution of public money across public policies, social groups and geographic areas, leading to questions of equality, solidarity, proportionality, transparency and accountability to name only a few.

The aim of the doctoral thesis will be to identify the legal principles underlying conditionality and to propose their coherent articulation at the international, European, regional, national and/or local levels. 

The applicant is invited to select (a) specific policy field(s) (e.g. social policy, environmental policy), and/or (a) specific type(s) of instruments to organise conditionality (e.g. procurement, subventions, loans etc.), and/or a specific governance level (international, European, national, or local), and/or a specific condition or set of conditions (e.g. social, human rights, rule of law or environmental) for his/her project. At this point, this selection is only indicative and can evolve following discussions with the supervisor.

Application process - deadline 

Applications should be sent in a single pdf file and must include: 

  • A cover letter (max 1,000 words) explaining your research interests and how your profile fits the research project, 

  • A full CV (including your academic qualifications, relevant courses taken and, where applicable, a list of publications and/or conference presentations and/or relevant professional practice), 

  • The contact details of two academic referees, 
  • An academic writing sample, such as a Master thesis or similar essay, and 
  • A two-page (max 1,000 words) description of how you would approach this project and how you would conduct your research during the period of 4 years (which aspects of the topic do you find particularly interesting; how does your academic / professional background help you address these aspects; which sectors or countries would you be interested in studying and why?). 

Applications should be sent by email to yseult.marique@uclouvain.be by no later than 1st August 2024 (23h59). Please indicate as subject APPLICATION TO PhD POSITION – CONDITIONALITY.

Short-listed candidates will be invited for an online interview to be taken shortly thereafter. 

The expected start date of this position is 1st October 2024, which can be discussed to accommodate personal circumstances to a limited extent. 

Additional information 

UCLouvain follows a policy of gender inclusion and non-discrimination aimed to implement an EDI policy among its academic community. 

Please feel free to contact by email Yseult Marique at yseult.marique@uclouvain.be  if you have any questions concerning this application process or this post.

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Informatie over de vacature

PhD position in public finances law
Place de l'Université 1 Louvain-la-Neuve, België
Uiterste sollicitatiedatum
2024-08-01 23:59 (Europe/Brussels)
2024-08-01 23:59 (CET)
Soort functie
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The Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain) is internationally recognized for research and teaching quality in many different fields of expert...

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