PLATO to recruit 15 PhD students

PLATO will soon invite applications for 15 PhD positions to start from September/October 2017.


PLATO is an Innovative Training Network (ITN) funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 programme. PLATO will investigate problems of crisis and legitimacy in the European Union. The network will be coordinated by Chris Lord from ARENA Centre for European Sudies at the University of Oslo.

Each student will be recruited as an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) by one of PLATO's academic partners: universities in Antwerp, Berlin, Cambridge, Krakow, Oslo, Paris, Prague, Twente, and Vienna. ESRs will, however, follow a common training programme at the network level.

The common call will be announced later this fall, and will outline further details and expectations for the individual PhD projects. The tentative application deadline is late January 2017.

Post-crisis legitimacy

ESR case studies
Summary of PLATO ESR case studies

Multiple crises have created new legitimacy challenges for the EU. To investigate whether the EU’s responses to these crises have been legitimate with a set of crucial actors and standards, PLATO will recruit 15 PhD students to form an integrated research training network.

PLATO will be a fully integrated, thematic research school with its own research question. The aim is to go beyond the state-of-the-art by building a theory of legitimacy crisis in the EU from a uniquely interdisciplinary understanding of how democracy, power, law, economies and societies all fit together with institutions within and beyond the state to affect the legitimacy of contemporary political order.

Applicants for each PhD position will be expected to develop a clear and creative proposal with an achievable research design that will contribute to PLATO's overall research question.

  PhD project Recruiting partner
ESR1 The EU’s involvement in core state powers Berlin Graduate School of Transnational Studies (Germany)
ESR2 The legitimacy of multi-level orders Twente Graduate School (The Netherlands)
ESR3 Post-crisis developments in EU policy-making Centre d’études européennes, SciencesPo Paris (France)
ESR4 Competing legitimation claims between EU and member states Berlin Graduate School of Transnational Studies (Germany)
ESR5 The legitimacy of crisis responses that delegate new powers the EU ACIM – Antwerp Centre for Institutions and Multilevel Politics (Belgium)
ESR6 Post-crisis policy failures ARENA Centre for European Studies, University of Oslo (Norway)
ESR7 Post-crisis parliamentary communication and control Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna (Austria)
ESR8 Post-crisis strengthening of accountability to rule-of-law standards Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague (Czech Republic)
ESR9 Arbitrary domination as a crisis response ARENA Centre for European Studies, University of Oslo (Norway)
ESR10 The impact of the crisis on citizens’ trust in the EU Twente Graduate School (The Netherlands)
ESR11 Post-national identity and legitimacy and post-crisis developments Institute of European Studies, Jagiellonian University, Krakow (Poland)
ESR12 Societal interests’ acceptance of EU regulatory agencies decisions ACIM – Antwerp Centre for Institutions and Multilevel Politics (Belgium)
ESR13 Technocratic and populist responses to the crisis Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), University of Cambridge (UK)
ESR14 The contestation of post-crisis EU’s legitimacy through media analysis

ARENA Centre for European Studies, University of Oslo (Norway)

ESR15 The Europeanisation of European elections Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna (Austria)

Tailored training programme

The network will offer a strong programme of academic and more practically oriented training, providing the ESRs with skills needed for leading careers in both the university and the non-academic sectors. A quality framework for secondments will allow each ESR to spend one longer research stay at a partner university and one internship with a private partner in the policy-advice, consulting or civil society sectors. See the full list of PLATO partners.

A multidisciplinary faculty of leading scholars as well as professionals from the non-academic sector will give the ESRs exceptional access to resources and opportunities across the network.

A solid career-planning approach will be secured through PLATO partner VITAE's Researcher Development Framework.

Project timeline

PLATO will officially start on January 1st 2017 and last for four years.

The successful candidates will start their PhD in September/October 2017 and be employed in a 3-year full-time position. The recruited ESRs will be offered generous allowances (including living, mobility and family allowances) to accommodate for the mobility requirements of Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) ITNs.

Recruitment criteria

At the core of the MSCA-ITNs is researcher mobility. The recruited Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity in the country he/she will be employed for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment date. 

Candidates must be in the early stage of their research career (first four years) and not in possession of a doctoral degree. 

Read also: ARENA to coordinate H2020 PhD network


For any questions related to the upcoming call, please don't hesitate to contact network manager Marit Eldholm at ARENA.

Published Sep. 30, 2016 9:44 AM - Last modified Feb. 4, 2022 2:44 PM