PhD position on Interorganizational Networks and Cascading Disasters (1.0 FTE)


Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences


University of Groningen

Since its founding in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative center of higher education, offering high-quality teaching and research. We encourage the 36,000 students and researchers to develop their own individual talents. Among the best research universities in Europe, we join forces with prestigious partner universities and networks around the world, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.

The Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences is a centre of knowledge focusing on individuals and society. The faculty studies issues relating to human behaviour, and the relationships between people and society as a whole. This includes the study of how people function under normal circumstances, but also of the problems encountered by individuals or groups, and how these can be resolved or prevented. The Department of Sociology is part of the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences. See also:

The Faculty of Philosophy is a vibrant, international community of excellent researchers and teachers. It consistently receives the highest evaluations for research among philosophy departments in The Netherlands.

Job description

We are seeking a candidate for a PhD project on the reliability of networks of organizations involved in the prevention and management of disasters when facing complex disaster situations (cascading, compound or multiple disasters). This project aims to contribute to the current understanding of crisis management and post-disaster resilience by combining sociological theory on network governance and hazard response and philosophical inquiry into ethics and decision theory.

The proposed theoretical approach advances our understanding of network governance by bringing together the study of hazards and research on the governance of inter-organizational collaborative networks - two areas of investigation that so far have remained largely disconnected. Current approaches are based on post-hoc assessments of existing disasters and their consequences. In contrast, this project will start from a fine-grained conceptual analysis of risk and responsibility in cascading disasters, and subsequently assess how the resulting conceptualization maps on the processes within the organizations and inter-organizational networks under investigation.

The position is located at the Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences – Department of Sociology, but the project is part of a collaboration between sociologists and philosophers.

See the link below for a further description of the project:

The project is part of the transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary research programme SCOOP: Roadmaps to Resilient Societies (see: ). SCOOP is a research and training centre dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of sustainable cooperation as a key feature of resilient societies. SCOOP brings together researchers of the University of Groningen, Utrecht University, VU Amsterdam, Erasmus University Rotterdam, and Radboud University Nijmegen. The PhD student will participate in the SCOOP PhD training program, see:


We are looking for candidates who have finished, or are close to finishing, a master’s degree in sociology, public administration, political science, philosophy, or similar. Additionally, we require that candidates have:

- strong analytical skills
- an interest in integrating insights from philosophy into an organizational sociology framework
- affinity with mixed-method research approaches
- eagerness to learn to work in an interdisciplinary research team and to conduct interdisciplinary research in the SCOOP programme
- a strong motivation for doing a PhD.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 48 months.

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

- a gross salary of € 2,395 gross per month in the first year to a maximum of € 3,061 gross per month in the final year (salary scale PhD), based on a full-time position (1.0 FTE)
- a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income and a 8.3% year-end bonus
- a position for four years (full time). Each 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.
- PhD students in Sociology are expected to contribute to the department's undergraduate teaching program from the 2nd year of the PhD employment.

The preferred start date is 1 November (or 1 December 2021).

Job Application

Do you want to become a member of our team? Please send your application to us, by submitting the following documents:

• letter of application
• curriculum vitae.

You can submit your application until 31 August 11:59pm / before 1 September 2021 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

 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. dr Rafael Wittek

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 221464

Extra informatie kan worden verkregen via een van de volgende links:

The conditions of employment

Digital application form