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PhD position:Public images of leaders of anti-immigration parties – The role of the mass media

Full-time / 4 days a week
(4 years full-time/5 years part-time)

The Amsterdam School of Communications Research ASCoR is the research institute in Communication Science of the University of Amsterdam. It is the largest research institute of its kind in Europe and is among the largest worldwide. More than 50 senior researchers are permanently associated with ASCoR, and its English-language Ph.D. program hosts more than 30 students.

Brief project description
Why are some leaders of anti-immigration parties seen by potential voters as legitimate and credible and others not? This project studies the role of media content (in terms of prominence and authority) on image formation (in terms of legitimacy and credibility). It first employs a panel study of citizens in the Dutch national elections of 2007 and a content analysis of the news. In a second stage interviews with journalists and focus group discussions are used to explore how the media, competing parties and leaders of anti-immigration parties themselves affect how these politicians appear in the mass media.

A candidate for this project:

  • Holds a Master's degree in Communication Science, Political Science, or another relevant social science discipline;
  • Wishes to pursue an academic career;
  • Has good knowledge of theories of political communication, the mass media and elections;
  • Has a firm background in research techniques, including survey and content-analysis, focus groups;
  • Has a good command of Dutch and English.

Position & Benefits
The candidate for this position will be granted a monthly stipend from ASCoR of appr. € 1930,- Alternatively, there is an option to be employed under the so-called ‘AIO-scheme’ with gross salary scales ranging from € 2250 in the 1st year to € 2600 in the fourth year.

The position will be initially for 1 year, with the intention to extend based on performance, to a maximum of 4 years full-time or 5 years parttime.

Other benefits include a very good research environment and facilities, including close supervision, advanced training in theory and methods, office space, computing equipment and software, funding for data collection and conference visits, etc. The university is located in the centre of Amsterdam.

Further inquiries
A team of senior researchers at ASCoR will supervise the project. The principal supervisor will be dr. Wouter van der Brug. Other supervisors are prof. dr. Claes de Vreese and prof. dr. Liesbet van Zoonen.

For more information about the project, including a broader project description, please contact dr. Wouter van der Brug at

For more information about ASCoR, ASCoR's research program, and ASCoR's Ph.D. program, please see our website ( or contact the ASCoR-secretariat:

Interested candidates are requested to submit application letters, explaining their interest and suitability for the position, a CV, lists of classes and grades obtained, copies of university exam, a copy of the MA thesis or another academic writing sample, to Dr. Sandra Zwier, ASCoR, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Applications must be received no later than September 15, 2006. Submissions via e.mail are possible via:

Please consult for more information about ASCoR and for more information about the University of Amsterdam. This position will be advertised on the ASCoR-website.


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