PhD Researcher in Deradicalizing the City
Catholic University of Leuven Faculty of Social Sciences

The IMMRC is located in the Faculty of Social Sciences that is home to approximately three thousand students, about fifty professors and two hundred research assistants. The Interculturalism, Migration and Minorities Research Centre (IMMRC) conducts state-of-the-art anthropological analyses of topics related to mobility and minorities. It focuses on tangible and intangible relations, and borders. Through in-depth ethnographic study, the researchers disentangle the diversified relations and their global (dis)connections, with special attention for minorities and less visible community building. The various research projects focus on the following issues: (new) migrations, internal boundary creation, blurring of boundaries, and cross-cultural fertilization. Some research focuses on the intersection between disability and ethnic minorities. This allows for an in-depth reflection on the meaning of boundaries and the emergence of mobilities between and within cultures and societies.


The question of ‘urban security’ has undergone a series of transformations after the Islamist terrorist attacks targeting various European metropoles since 2004 and 2005 (Madrid and London), and in particular in the recent wave of attacks from 2015 onwards (Paris, Brussels, Nice, Manchester, Barcelona, Berlin). Urban security has gradually shifted from holding a privileged focus on questions of delinquency and urban violence, to adopt a broader focus that also started including questions of terrorism and ‘home-grown radicalization’. 

The  IMMRC at KU Leuven is looking for one PhD candidate to participate in the research project “Deradicalization and the Multicultural City. Security, urban policy and everyday life in Brussels and Marseille” which comprises several researchers and a collaboration with the Groupe de Recherche sur les relations Ethniques, les Migrations et l'Egalité (GERME) at ULB. This research project is one of the first projects that seeks to examine the implementation of these policies at a local level and to understand their everyday effects on the targeted neighbourhood. It also complements an ongoing research project funded by the KU Leuven that looks at the implementation of these policies in Brussels and the EU and aims to develop arts-based research methods.

The PhD researcher who will be recruited for this project will conduct ethnographic fieldwork in Marseille (France) and will hold a joint appointment at IMMRC at KU Leuven and the GERME at ULB. This research project entails long-term ethnographic fieldwork in Marseille, with a particular focus on specific neighbourhoods that have been subjected to these security policies. Additionally, the candidate will also have to contextualise these distinct policies by equally attending to the national French context as well as the regional and departmental contexts of Marseille, in addition to its urban specificities. 


·       Conduct ethnographic field research;

·       Write and complete a PhD dissertation 

·       Collaborate with supervisors and peers on research and publications 

·       Participate in conferences, workshops, seminars and other scholarly activities;

·       Participate in the PhD programme at KU Leuven and the ULB

·       10% teaching (contingent upon availability)


The PhD Candidate should have the following credentials:

·       A completed MA degree in anthropology, sociology, political sciences or a closely related discipline 

·       Relevant ethnographic fieldwork experience, ideally in the fieldwork locations and/or related to the research themes;

·       Knowledge of current theoretical and societal debates on security and migration;

·       Excellent (written and spoken) French and English    

·       Ability and interest to work collegially with the other members of the research team.


The full-time appointments will be for a period of four years (12 months plus a further 36 months contingent on a satisfactory performance during the first year), starting 13th of September 2021


Applications must include, in a single PDF file:

·       A motivation letter (maximum 400 words);

·       A preliminary proposal including research questions, theoretical approaches and methodologies, and literature (maximum 800 words);

·       A full curriculum vitae;

·       Names and contact details of two references;

·       In a separate PDF file: one writing sample (thesis and/or essay or and/or article) that provide evidence of connections and link with the theme. 

The shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview on either June 21st or June 22nd. 

For more information please contact Prof. dr. Nadia Fadil, tel.: +32 16 32 32 93, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than June 01, 2021 via the
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at
  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Leuven
  • Apply before: June 1, 2021
  • Tags: Antropologie

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