PhD position Study on Wellbeing of migrant Children in the Netherlands (1.0 FTE)


Campus Fryslan


Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

Founded in 1614, the University of Groningen enjoys an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative institution of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Flexible study programmes and academic career opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the approximately 32,000 students and researchers alike to develop their own individual talents. As one of the best research universities in Europe, the University of Groningen has joined forces with other top universities and networks worldwide to become a truly global centre of knowledge.

Campus Fryslân is the ambitious eleventh and newest faculty of the University of Groningen, located in Leeuwarden. Campus Fryslân is an interdisciplinary faculty that works closely together with regional, national and international partners on worldwide (sustainability) challenges and local solutions. The sustainable development goals of the United Nations thus serve as an important guideline.

We offer challenging bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degree programmes. The research institute covers four research domains: Governance, Sustainable Economy, Culture, Language & Technology and Health & Food. In the summer of 2019, Campus Fryslân has moved to the new faculty building De Beurs: the first all-electric, monumental educational building in The Netherlands.

Job description

Campus Fryslân offers a four-year PhD position to complete a PhD in a study on wellbeing of migrant children. The PhD candidate will be supervised by Dr Sepideh Yousefzadeh and Prof. Andrej Zwitter. The candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Campus Fryslân (GSCF). PhD candidates can benefit from affiliations at research institutes of the University of Groningen, such as the Study Centre for Children, Migration and Law; the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences; Globalization Studies; and Faculty of Spatial Sciences among others, as appropriate to the PhD Project.

Scope of the research
This project focuses on children’s multidimensional wellbeing. In particular, we aim to examine how ‘sense of identity’ as one of the dimensions of wellbeing, interacts with other dimensions. The study is in the Netherlands and focuses on children from Syrian, Moroccan and Dutch backgrounds. Children are defined as all persons below the age of 18. The goal is (i) to combine theories on migration, wellbeing, and health to propose a list of dimensions of wellbeing for children; (ii) measure multidimensional child wellbeing including ‘sense of identity’; (iii) study the interaction between ‘sense of identity’ and other wellbeing dimensions. This project will generate new insights for migrant wellbeing studies as well as social policies and acculturation strategies in the Netherlands. Furthermore, it will benefit the contested debate concerning migrants and refugees, and the associated discourse on radicalism, religious identity, and youth.


master’s degree in a relevant academic field (global health, migration, social science)
- strong research skills (preferably both quantitative and qualitative)
- interest in social policies that affect children’s wellbeing
- highly developed conceptual capacity and analytical skills
- very good record of undergraduate and graduate studies
- very good individual and collaborative working skills
- presenting, planning and organizational skills
- strong motivation to complete a PhD dissertation in four years
- research experience is an asset
- very good command of spoken and written English
- fluency in Arabic language is an asset
- familiarity or experience with intersectionality framework is an asset.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 48 months.

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

- a salary of € 2,325 gross per month in the first year to a maximum of € 2,972 gross per month in the final year (salary scale PhD students), based on a full-time position (1.0 FTE)
- an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% year-end bonus
- a position for four years; a successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the contract period is to be expected.

A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of the Faculty. As part of the programme, the PhD researcher will take part in the Career Perspectives Series, which provides a thorough preparation on the career after the PhD, inside or outside academia. During the course of the doctorate, the PhD researcher will develop research and teaching competencies as well as leadership skills. For this, the PhD researcher will receive a tailor-made programme from the GSCF.

The intended starting date is 1 June 2020, or as soon as possible after 1 June 2020.

Job Application

Do you meet our qualification criteria? If yes, your application should include the following PDF formats:

- a motivation letter of a maximum of two A4 pages
- a recent curriculum vitae
- a copy of your diplomas with a list of course grades
- reference letters from two academic referees
- a research proposal of up to 2000 words, covering state of the art, main research question, key objectives, and relevance, the proposed (methodological) approach, a brief description of the relevant literature and a provisional timetable and a writing sample of no more than 5000 words, e.g. an essay or part of a master’s thesis.

You can submit your application in English until 30 January 11:59pm / before 31 January 2020 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

Interviews will be scheduled in March 2020. Candidates may be asked to give a presentation.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our University. We are committed to building a diverse faculty so you are encouraged to apply. Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP), and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers,

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Prof. Andrej Zwitter, Supervisor of the project

Dr Sepideh Yousefzadeh, Supervisor of the project

Dr Joop Houtman, Coordinator of the Graduate School Campus Fryslân

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 219619

Digital application form