Home2 PhD candidates Migration and the Family in Morocco

Home2 PhD candidates Migration and the Family in Morocco

*  *  *

Published on Friday, February 22, 2019


The Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society, Leiden University, the Netherlands, is looking for 2 PhD candidates (1.0 FTE) for the research project Living on the Other Side: A Multidisciplinary Analysis of Migration and Family Law in Morocco.


Project description

The ‘Living on the Other Side’ research project consists of three sub-projects, two of which are projects undertaken by Ph.D. students. Both PhD projects will be carried out in Morocco. The aim is to gain a detailed understanding of the ways in which the legal rights of migrants are regulated, distributed, and claimed in the domain of family law by focusing on four Moroccan cities. We will also ascertain the differences and similarities across and within the migration populations under study.European leaders negotiate migration agreements with North African governments. Yet, what are the laws that govern personal status code (family law) matters in these countries and how do receiving states and migrants apply them in practice? Family law plays a crucial role in legal identity and in securing basic human rights, and given that many migrants in Morocco experience major life events -marriage, birth, divorce, death-, ‘Living on the Other Side’ deals with family law in particular. The project is led by PI Dr Nadia Sonneveld and funded by The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) by means of an Innovational Research Incentives Scheme, also known as the VIDI grant.

PhD project 1 (4 years, 38 hours per week)

Morocco is transforming from a migrant sending and transit country to a destination country. Migrants from West/Central Africa form a significant and visible part of the total number of regular and irregular migrants in Morocco.[1] Using legal analysis and ethnographic fieldwork, this project asks how (forced) migrants from West/Central Africa deal with the legal aspects of major life events in 2 major Moroccan cities?

PhD project 2 (4 years, 38 hours per week)

A small, but increasing number of (forced) migrants from the Middle East seeks shelter in Morocco. Using legal analysis and ethnographic fieldwork, this project asks how (forced) migrants from the Middle East (Yemen, Iraq, Syria) deal with the legal aspects of major life events in 2 major Moroccan cities.

Key responsibilities

  • To engage in supervised scientific research that will result in a doctoral thesis;
  • To carry out a systematic literature analysis related to the research;
  • To conduct field research in 2 different cities in Morocco;
  • To prepare and submit research output for publication in peer-reviewed international scientific journals;
  • To participate actively in all activities related to the VIDI research project and other activities of the Van Vollenhoven Institute.

Selection criteria

Master degree in law and/or social sciences or humanities, with demonstrated interest in migration and the Middle East and North Africa region;

Excellent writing and presentation skills in English; good command of Arabic and/or French is desirable; knowledge of Dutch is considered an advantage;

Ability and willingness to carry out empirical research and stay for extended periods in Morocco;

Keen interest in interdisciplinary socio-legal research methods and approaches;

Willingness to use digital research tools (e.g. reference management software or qualitative analysis programs);

Ability and willingness to work in a team and share research data.

Our organisation

With over 5,000 students and 450 members of staff, Leiden Law School is one of the largest faculties in the Netherlands. Yet, in all its diversity, it is still known for its ability to provide education on a small scale. The Faculty focuses on multi-faceted high-level teaching and research, both nationally and internationally. It does so by working with talented people and stimulating and supporting them in their professional and personal ambitions. The Faculty is housed in the beautifully restored Kamerlingh Onnes Building on the Steenschuur in Leiden. Working for the Leiden Law School means working in an inspiring scientific environment.

The Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society (VVI) is part of the Leiden Law School. The VVI seeks to develop and disseminate socio-legal knowledge and theory regarding the interaction between law, governance and society. More specifically, the Institute studies the emergence, functioning, and evolution of legal institutions. The VVI combines a top-down with a bottom-up approach; it considers perspectives of both state agents, citizens and other non-state actors.

Terms and conditions

Candidates will be offered a contract by Leiden University. We offer a fixed-term position for a period of one year with an extension of three years pending positive evaluation. Ultimately the appointment must lead to the completion of a PhD thesis. The starting date of the appointment is as soon as possible, but no later than 1 September 2019.

Salary range from €2,325 to €2,972 gross per month on a full-time basis (pay scale P, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. More at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at/job-application-procedure-and-employment-conditions.


Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.


For information and inquiries regarding this position, please contact Dennis Janssen, email d.c.f.m.janssen@law.leidenuniv.nl, telephone +31 71 527 7912. A detailed project description is available on request.


Please submit online your application no later than 18 March 2019,

 in our application system. Candidates interested in this position should send their application (in English) electronically, including:

  • A motivation letter;
  • A curriculum vitae;
  • A digital copy of your MA thesis or other major writing sample;
  • Copies of your academic transcripts;
  • The names, positions, and contact details of two (academic) referees.

Candidates who are invited for an interview assessment, may be requested to submit a writing assignment prior to the interview.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.

[1] In this project: any individual from either West/Central Africa or the Middle East, who regularly or irregularly resides on Moroccan territory, and whose economic and/or political situation does not allow “easy” movement to either their country of origin or any other third country.


  • Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance, and Society
    Leiden, Holland


  • Monday, March 18, 2019


  • migration, legal right, family law, religion, Morocco


  • Nadia Sonneveld
    courriel : n [dot] sonneveld [at] law [dot] leidenuniv [dot] nl

Information source

  • Nadia Sonneveld
    courriel : n [dot] sonneveld [at] law [dot] leidenuniv [dot] nl


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« 2 PhD candidates Migration and the Family in Morocco », Scholarship, prize and job offer, Calenda, Published on Friday, February 22, 2019, https://doi.org/10.58079/125j

Archive this announcement

  • Google Agenda
  • iCal
Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search