PhD Connecting Organizations 2021

Tilburg Graduate Law School is looking for an ambitious PhD researcher for the signature plan Connecting Organizations. This is one of four PhD vacancies at Tilburg Law School; the other vacancies are for the signature plans Global Law & Governance (online mid-December), Regulating Socio-Technical Change, and Subversive Crime.

The research mission of Tilburg Law School (TLS) is to understand and improve the role of law in tackling societal problems now and in the future, particularly those connected with globalization and rapid economic, social, cultural and technological change. The research of Tilburg Law School is conducted in an organization that fosters diversity. Internationalization and interdisciplinarity have become core characteristics of Tilburg Law School’s research. The TLS-research is organized in four signature plans: Connecting Organizations, Global Law & Governance, Regulating Socio-Technical Change, and Subversive Crime.

Connecting Organizations
Ensuring a sustainable society is today’s greatest challenge. Important global sustainability challenges outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include for instance decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, reduced inequalities, and peace, justice and strong institutions. The sustainability challenges have fundamentally changed our understanding of the relationships between organizations and their various stakeholders, including employees and trade unions, suppliers, consumer organizations, local communities, tax authorities, governments, but also the broader society. These relationships are by no means only hierarchical, which has been the focal point of traditional legal research and regulatory efforts for a long time: nowadays, organizations and their stakeholders are responding and communicating in a variety of networks and other formal and informal structures. Examples are multinational companies (MNCs) with their global value chains, but also for instance cooperatives and governmental authorities that cooperate in fair trade certification structures. Furthermore, these organizational forms are facilitated by and often even only possible because of modern digital technologies.

Connecting organizations to their direct and indirect environment to support sustainable activities is contingent upon an appropriate legal infrastructure, that supports and accompanies the necessary changes in business and organizational models. We aim at a better understanding of how the law enables, supports and challenges organizations to connect with their stakeholders in a sustainable manner. We consider new connecting organizational structures enabled by new technologies that may foster and challenge sustainable activities, using three interrelated themes: sustainability, servitization and technology.

We invite candidates to write an open research proposal within the context of this signature plan.
More information about these three interrelated themes and examples of research topics that are covered in this Signature Plan can be found here.

PhD researchers at TLS generally work four days per week (0.8 fte) on their research, while one day a week (0.2 fte) is dedicated to education or other tasks for the department.

Tilburg University believes that academic excellence is achieved through the combination of outstanding research and education, in which social impact is made by sharing knowledge. In doing so, we recognize that excellence is not only achieved through individual performance, but mostly through team effort in which each team member acts as a leader connecting people.

You are:

  • An outstanding student with an excellent command of English.
  • Have completed (or will complete by the end of August) a Master in Law or a Master in adjacent fields such as Law and Economics, Law and Technology or Politics and Public Administration.
  • Have a strong interest in doing research and are able to formulate views, ideas and concepts based upon complex information, as well as construct conceptual frameworks or models.
  • Have excellent writing and presentation skills, you can easily transfer your conducted knowledge to all kinds of target groups.

Good planning and organizing skills are necessary to complete your PhD research in the total period of time. You must be able to plan your activities and set goals and priorities. The Tilburg Graduate Law School (TGLS) and your promotor(s) provide help and guidance in the PhD process.
Finally, you are flexible, proactive, and able to work both independently and as part of a team. You are willing to contribute to the research community within our Law School.

Tilburg University offers excellent terms of employment. We believe flexibility, development, and good employee benefits are very important. We make clear agreements on career paths and offer all kinds of facilities and schemes to maintain an optimum balance between work and private life. Tilburg University fosters diversity and inclusion; that is why we pursue an active policy for inclusive teams where diverse talents can flourish.

The starting gross salary is €2,395 per month (full time) based on scale P of the Collective Labor Agreement Dutch Universities. Employees recruited from abroad may be eligible for the 30% tax facility- this means that 30% of your salary will be paid as a tax-free reimbursement.

The total duration of the PhD trajectory is four years (48 months). The candidate will initially be appointed for a fixed period of 16 months. After 12 months, an evaluation will take place. If the performance evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended for the remaining period of 32 months.
You are entitled to a holiday allowance amounting to 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% of your gross yearly income. If you work 40 hours per week, you receive 41 days of paid recreational leave per year.

Please visit Working at Tilburg University for more information on our employment conditions.

Tilburg University

Under the motto of ‘Understanding society’, Tilburg University’s more than 1,500 employees develop knowledge, transfer it to others, and bring people from various disciplines and organizations together. In this way, we want to contribute to solving complex social issues. Our focus areas are economics, business and entrepreneurship, social and behavioral sciences, law and public administration, the humanities and digital sciences, and theology. Tilburg University is internationally known for its high standards in education and scientific research, as well as its good support facilities. The Tilburg University campus offers both quietness and connectivity as it is located in a wooded park, ten minutes away from the city center, main highways, and railways. A mid-sized city of 200,000 inhabitants in the South of the Netherlands, and in proximity to cities like Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, and London, Tilburg is situated at the very heart of Western Europe.

Tilburg Law School

Tilburg Law School offers highly ranked national and international education and research in law and public administration. Currently, almost 4,000 students are enrolled at Tilburg Law School. Students in Tilburg can choose from five Bachelor's programs, one of which is taught in English (Bachelor Global Law) and ten Master's programs, eight of which are taught in English. The international orientation of Tilburg Law School is reflected in these Bachelor's and Master's programs. The research conducted within Tilburg Law School is aimed at social relevance and provides students with the tools and skills to study and deal with current issues at an academic level.


More information on the signature plan can be obtained from dr. Anne Lafarre
More information about the selection procedure can be obtained from Linda Martens at +31 13 466 4482 or

Please download the application form and also take a look at our FAQ.

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