Universiteit Leiden

nl en


PhD Candidate in Japan Studies

Vacancy number
PhD positions
1.0 fte
Internal, External
Publication date
06 February 2018
Closing date
15 April 2018

53 more days to apply

Faculty of Humanities, Leiden Institute for Area Studies is looking for a PhD Candidate in Japan Studies (1.0 FTE).


Key responsibilities

The Faculty of Humanities at Leiden University invites applications for a PhD fellowship, funded by the Isaac Alfred Ailion Foundation (IAAF) in the field of Japan Studies. Japan Studies is understood here as a division of area studies involved in social sciences and humanities research on Japan, and includes projects related to the Japanese language, culture, history, literature, art, music, politics, economy and science. The fellowship will be for four fulltime years, starting September 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Your work will consist of:

  • Conduct original research and disseminate preliminary results through appropriate channels (conferences, journals, project website, etc.);
  • Undertake relevant coursework and other training;
  • Write a PhD dissertation;
  • Contribute to teaching for up to 15% of overall work time, probably concentrated in years 2-3, and including the (supervised) design of minimally one BA course in one’s broader area of specialization;
  • Participate in LIAS PhD program activities.

Selection Criteria

  • Only holders of BA from Japan Studies and/or MA degree Asian Studies (Japan related) at Leiden University are eligible to apply;
  • Advanced language skills in Japanese comparable to JLPT level 1-2 (J);
  • An excellent command of English;
  • Excellent academic skills, visible in the MA thesis or other written work;
  • The ability to work independently, and as part of a team.

The Foundation

IAAF was founded in 1983 by Leiden University after a generous bequest by Ms Mabel Ailion, in memory of her father Isaac Alfred Ailion. The Foundation has as one of its aims to further the field of Japan studies at Leiden University.

Our Faculty/Institute

Since its founding in 1575, Leiden University has built an internationally recognized record of excellence in teaching and research.  Leiden University is a founding member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU). The Faculty of Humanities is rich in expertise in fields such as philosophy, religious studies, history, art history, literature, linguistics and area studies covering nearly every region of the world. With its staff of 995, the faculty provides 27 master’s and 25 bachelor’s programmes for over 7,000 students based at locations in Leiden’s historic city centre and in modern buildings in The Hague.

The PhD student will be based in the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies. LIAS is comprised of a School of Asian Studies and a School of Middle-Eastern Studies, with international staff and student populations. The institute is committed to a present-day vision of area studies, integrating disciplinary and regional-historical perspectives on a solid foundation of excellent language skills.
Current staff in LIAS has expertise in the fields of Anthropology, Archaeology, Art Studies, Buddhist Studies, Film Studies, History, International Relations, Language Pedagogy, Law, Linguistics, Literary Studies, Material Culture Studies, Performance Studies, Philology, Philosophy, Political Economy, Religious Studies, Sociology, and Visual Culture Studies.

Terms and conditions

We offer a 38 hours per week position. The initial appointment will be for one year, with extension for the remaining three years conditional upon good progress. Upon consultation with the board of IAAF it is possible to take up the position as a 0.8 FTE position for five years.
Salary range, depending on education and work experience, from €2,222 to €2,840 gross per month, based on a full-time appointment (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. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.


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


Queries can be directed to the IAAF Secretary Dr. I.M.A. van Ooijen.

See also “Further information”.
More vacancies via https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/vacancies.


Review of applications will commence by 15 April 2018, and continue until the positions are filled.
Applications will be assessed by the advisory committee for research. The board of IAAF will take a decision based on the advice by the committee for research. Applicants will be informed about the results of the procedure by 1 June 2018 at the latest.

Applications should be in English, and be submitted to the IAAF PhD Research Committee by email, via the apply button, with the items listed below included in this order in a single PDF document named ‘FAMILY NAME – Given name – IAAF PhD’:

  • A letter of motivation outlining the applicant’s potential contributions;
  • Description of the proposed PhD project (max. 2,500 words excludin3rgg references) with a summary (max. 250 words) and 5 keywords;
  • A CV and copies of academic transcripts;
  • A writing sample of maximally 10,000 words, taken from the Master’s thesis or other substantial academic work, preferably in English;
  • Names, positions and email addresses of two referees (no reference letters at this stage).

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.