PhD Researcher: Collaboration in Public Administration and Individual Behaviours

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

The KU Leuven Public Governance Institute conducts research into different aspects of public governance from a public administration and political science perspective. The results of our research are of value in higher and continuing education, in public organizations, and for society in general.

The project is part of a large European research consortium in which 12 other European universities participate. It is funded through the European Union´s Horizon 2020 programme. The Public Governance Institute at KU Leuven (Faculty of Social Sciences) is responsible for a part of this project.

This project will study what drives civil servants´ willingness, incentives and ability to collaborate with other actors in processes of policy design and service delivery. It will do so through surveys and vignette experiments in several countries.

Public sector organisations increasingly collaborate with other actors. Internally, they collaborate with other public sector organisations to deal with policy and service delivery issues that cut across the boundaries of individual organisations. Externally, they collaborate with citizen groups, non-profits and private parties to make policy and deliver services. Examples are participative policy making, public-private partnerships, radicalization task forces, or public service delivery through NGOs.

For civil servants used to work within their own organisation, and trained in a legal tradition that mainly warned against such cross-sector collaborations, this can be difficult. Being in charge of large networks of public and non-public actors who collaborate on social and policy issues requires a different set of skills and attitudes.

Specific tasks are

  • Preparing a PhD at the Public Governance Institute under the supervision of Professor Steven Van de Walle;
  • Liaising with public sector organisations for data collection purposes;
  • Designing the research, collecting and analysing data, and communicating about the findings;
  • Participating in the international research consortium and representing KU Leuven at the meetings of this consortium;
  • Participating in the international research community and presenting results at conferences;
  • Communicating about findings to the broader public and to public sector organisations;
  • Writing papers to be submitted to peer-reviewed journals;
  • Occasional involvement in teaching activities including supervision of exams, and master thesis coaching.

We require a background (Master, or near completion) in public administration, political science, organisation studies, sociology, or a related discipline, and a wide-ranging knowledge of and affinity with the field of public administration. In addition to an understanding of the latest developments in the field, the candidate must possess good research skills, preferably quantitative. Having distinguished oneself during the studies (equivalent of‘ cum laude’ in the Belgian system) is essential.

Proven affinity for empirical research, as evidenced by your master’s thesis, publications, research plans and other projects is required. You will also have good communicative and administrative skills, and be able to communicate research to a range of different actors, preferably in different languages. You are also open to spending several months abroad for data collection and training purposes.

For more information:

Share this PhD
  Share by Email   Print this job   More sharing options
We value your feedback on the quality of our adverts. If you have a comment to make about the overall quality of this advert, or its categorisation then please send us your feedback
Advert information

Type / Role: