PhD student - Department of Public Governance and Management

Ghent University


PhD student


Last application date
Mar 22, 2019 22:59

EB25 - Department of Public Governance and Management

Limited duration

Master in European Studies, Political Science, Policy Sciences or related discipline

Occupancy rate

Vacancy Type
Research staff


Job description

We are seeking one full-time, fully-funded PhD fellowship (4 years) to join the European and International Governance research group on the project ‘Ideas in EU climate and energy policymaking: assessing the (changing) role of the Council and the European Council’.


The European Union is a global frontrunner in adopting and implementing policies to combat climate change. Within the EU, the Council and the European Council are the institutions that bring member states together at different levels to negotiate and adopt policy decisions and political strategies. These institutions are key to decisions on the shape and scope of EU climate and energy strategies and policies. This project aims to unpack the role of ideas and discourses on climate and energy policy in the Council and European Council over time.


The aim of this research project is to:

  1.  Assess whether and how the role of the Council and European Council has changed over time on climate and energy policy;

  2. Examine the importance of ‘discourses’ and ‘ideas’ in the Council and European Council for decision-making on EU climate and energy policy;

  3. Assess why change has (or has not) occurred, focusing on the potential influence of ideas and discourses, and drawing on established theoretical frameworks (e.g. ‘discursive’ institutionalism).


The research project is expected to have theoretical and practical impact. The research results should speak to developing literature in European studies, and to scholarship on the role of ‘ideas’ in particular. Furthermore, the project should link closely to scholarship on EU climate and energy policy, in particular. Practical impact is also expected in the form of policy recommendations: a deeper understanding of how ideas enter and interact in the Council and European Council can lead to suggestions for implementing conscious strategies to emphasise ideas that lead to (effective) policy outcomes.


The project researcher will become an active member of the Jean Monnet network 'Governing the EU's climate and energy transition in turbulent times, GOVTRAN'. See for more information.


Profile of the candidate

To be eligible, candidates must:

  • Hold a master’s degree in European studies, policy studies, political science or a related discipline;

  • Have obtained their degree at the time of application;

  • Have a keen interest in the EU institutional set-up and in climate and energy policy;

  • Be self-motivated;

  • Work well in a team; 

  • Have fluent spoken and written English.


Relevant professional experience is also desirable. The PhD position will begin at the earliest on 1 May 2019.


How to apply

Please submit your application by email to as one pdf file, including:

  • CV

  • Letter of motivation

  • Research plan (maximum 2 pages)

Questions should be directed to

In your application, please refer to


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