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Call for applications: PhD position on law and technology in connection with EU private international law - deadline 15 December 2020

The department of Private and Economic Law (PREC) and Law, Science, Technology & Society (LSTS) Research Group are entities within the Faculty of Law & Criminology at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). The department PREC unites the groups of Economic and Private Law (including Private International Law) and carries out education and conducts research in these domains. The LSTS multidisciplinary Research Group was also established in 2003 and has become a prominent European research institute in the area of technology and regulation. Great emphasis is placed on incorporating a multidisciplinary perspective in all our work.

PREC & LSTS are looking for a motivated researcher who will focus on law and technology in connection with EU private international law (both substantive and procedural).

As part of his or her duties, the candidate, will be working on a research project co-funded by the European Union and concerning the enforcement of civil claims through better procedures, case-handling and cooperation in cross-border disputes, in light of the Brussels Ia Regulation and the Regulations on the European Enforcement Order, the European Small Claims Procedure, the European Payment Order and the European Account Preservation Order and their implementation in national procedural laws of the Member States.  

In particular, the researcher is expected to: 

  • gather data through questionnaires and interviews;
  • compare EU Regulations and their applications, by the analysis of regional system and contribute to the development of guidelines;
  • research and discuss other aspects related to Law and Technology, in particular Online Dispute Resolution, and EU Private International Law
  • research and discuss other aspect related to and EU Private International Law and EU Civil Procedural Law.
  • provide legal advice to project partners

While working on the project, the researcher is expected to develop a proposal for a doctoral thesis (PhD). In addition, the researcher will have the opportunity to take an active role in PREC & LSTS contributing to their research agenda, attending and presenting in seminars, assisting in organizing conferences and workshops, and helping the Centres in competing in national and European funding opportunities



Candidates are expected to possess the following qualifications:

  • a master’s degree in law, preferably with a specialization in Private International Law (both substantive and procedural) and Law and Technology, awarded by the deadline for applications;
  • relevant working experience (includes internships and traineeships); acquaintance with EU Horizon 2020 projects is welcome but not required;
  • good writing skills (published papers are appreciated)
  • demonstrate enthusiasm by contributing to ongoing research activities and attracting external funding for research projects;
  • fluency in English, and the ability to conduct research in at least one other language; excellent organisational and communicative skills;
  • the ability to work independently, under pressure, respect deadlines, and produce quality work.

Interdisciplinary experience (for example, in an area such as law and economics or computer science) would be an added bonus.



The researcher is expected to:

  • Develop an original PhD thesis on topics related to the Law and Technology in connection with EU Private International Law;
  • Coordinate and manage the execution and implementation of PREC & LSTS projects and activities;
  • Participate in international seminars and conferences;
  • Publish in peer reviewed journals;
  • Draft project proposals for external funding in collaboration with other researchers; Contribute to the existing research activities of PREC & LSTS;
  • Represent PREC & LSTS at third party events.



The successful candidate will be integrated in a dynamic team, composed of both experienced and early career researchers, working under the guidance of Prof. Kim Van der Borght and Dr. Marco Giacalone. The candidate will collaborate closely with the other members of PREC & LSTS and will have access to doctoral training offered by the VUB, as well as to all facilities of the university. Successful candidates are expected to work at the VUB premises in Brussels. Office space and equipment will be provided by PREC along with a budget for travelling and other research‐related expenses.

We offer employment as a full-time doctoral researcher. The PhD degree will be awarded in law. For more information about facilities and benefits of employment at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, please visit under the heading ‘future employees’.

Contract: full‐time research grant for one year, renewable on an annual basis for a maximum of four years. Extension of the contract is subject to the agreement of the doctoral committee. Remuneration is at the level of a full-time research assistant at a Flemish university (i.e. approximately €1900 net per month) and includes contributions for social security. Secondary employment is not allowed.



The candidate will be selected on the basis of the quality of the application, expertise, work experience and qualifications. The following application documents are to be consolidated into a single PDF file sent by email to

Applications (in English) should include the following

  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a cover letter which explains the motivation and qualifications of the candidate;
  • two recent works: essay or excerpt from recent research or article written by the candidate;
  • a letter of recommendation.

Deadline for the submission of applications is 15 December 2020, 12:00 CET. It is currently envisioned that the successful candidate will be notified by the end of December and the position will start on 15 January 2021 (the start date is subject to change).


If you are interested in learning more about the project on which you will be working, its content, team, consortium, or about working as a researcher at PREC & LSTS, please send us an email or visit