Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowships – an invitation to submit pre-proposals – apply now! 

About Organisation:

The Leiden Law School is happy to invite researchers to apply for a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Postdoctoral Fellowship, for the research project ‘The EU fundamental right to ‘freedom of the arts and sciences’: exploring the limits on the commercialisation of academia (AFITE)’.* The project is led by Dr. Vasiliki Kosta, Associate Professor at the Europa Institute.

The AFITE project

This 5-year project is funded by a Vidi grant of the Dutch Research Organisation (NWO) and runs until February 2027. The AFITE project asks what role EU public law plays vis-à-vis the phenomenon of commercialisation. It explores the possible tension between the EU fundamental right to ‘freedom of the arts and sciences’ (Art. 13 EU Charter of the Fundamental Rights) and the commercialisation of academia. Art. 13 of the Charter encompasses ‘freedom of scientific research’ and ‘academic freedom’. The AFITE project establishes the content of this fundamental right, its scope, and its philosophical justification (work package 1). It examines its relationship with commercialisation in theory (work package 2), and it tests concrete EU laws and policies and national measures for compliance with it (work package 3).

‘Commercialisation’ means that higher education institutions adopt market and market-like behaviours, that they are organised according to corporate management principles, or that the academic system assumes in its essence a functional role: to serve politico-economic interests. This notion is derived from literature in sociology, history and public law. 

Scope of research proposals 

Research proposals should link to work packages 2 and 3. They should relate to further exploring the notion of commercialisation of academia and how laws and policies of the EU and its institutions (in particular relating to the European Research Area, the European Education Area and the European Higher Education Area) endorse commercialisation and/or may have contributed to it at national level.

Applicants with a background in social sciences, including higher education studies, history, and law, are encouraged to apply. Successful projects will be conducted at the Europa Institute, under the supervision of Dr. Vasiliki Kosta.

The Europa Institute, together with the Funding Advisor of the Leiden Law School, organises a pre-selection. This will allow us to focus on the preparation and submission of a limited number of proposals, the topics of which best fit within the AFITE project, and have the highest chance of being awarded. 


  • Interested candidates should submit a research description including an indication on how the proposal fits the AFITE project (max. 500 words), in addition to their CV (including publication list).
  • Applications should be directed to Dr. Vasiliki Kosta and send to: [email protected] indicating ‘Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship’ in the subject line. The submission deadline is 3 July 2023.
  • Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an online interview taking place in the week of 10 July 2023, the results of which will be communicated shortly thereafter. 
  • With the selected candidate(s), we will proceed with the preparation of the Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship application. The submission deadline is 13 September 2023, the evaluation outcome is expected in February 2024.
  • In case of a successful application, the researcher will be appointed at the Leiden Law School for the duration of the project as indicated in the proposal, and in conformity with the grant regulations. The earliest envisaged starting date would be 1 April 2024.

About the Fellowships 

The Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Postdoctoral Fellowship is a funding scheme within the European Commission’s Horizon Europe funding programme. A successful application will allow experienced researchers, in possession of a doctoral degree, to spend a research period of 12 to 24 months at the Leiden Law School. We advise potential applicants to carefully read the Guide for Applicants, and consider eligibility conditions and financial aspects before applying. Information can be found here. 


  • Dr. Vasiliki Kosta, Associate Professor, project leader:

[email protected] 

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