PhD Empowering women by relieving economic/ psychological barriers


Faculty of Economics and Business


University of Groningen

Since its foundation 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. Belonging to the best research universities of Europe and joining forces with prestigious partner universities and networks, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.

Faculty of Economics and Business
The Faculty of Economics and Business offers an inspiring study and working environment for students and employees. International accreditation enables the Faculty to assess performance against the highest international standards. It also creates an exciting environment of continuous improvement. FEB's programmes, academic staff and research do well on various excellence ranking lists.

SOM, the graduate school and research institute of the Faculty of Economics and Business has available:

One PhD position on the topic
“Empowering women by relieving economic/ psychological barriers: evidence from Vietnam.”

Job description

Project description
Gender inequity is prevalent in a large number of countries around the world. Access to education, primary health care, and employment is distributed unequally between men and women, women remain underrepresented in policy making, and on average about one third of women worldwide are affected by physical and/or sexual violence. In order to ensure sustainable progress, strengthening the position of women is essential. However, the evidence base on what works to improve female empowerment is thin. A common feature of almost all interventions to enhance women’s empowerment is that they focus on relaxing external economic constraints, such as a lack of credit or education. However, economists have started to emphasize that for successful interventions to be transformative they need to move beyond basic economic external constraints and also address personal psychological barriers, like agency beliefs, mind-set, leadership, hope and aspirations. The aim of this project is to develop and evaluate a combination of economic and psychological interventions to instigate stronger empowerment among women entreneurs. For the empirical application, the project will work together with a microfinance organsiation in Vietnam.

The project will be supervised by prof. Robert Lensink and will be embedded in SOM’s research programme in Economics, Econometrics and Finance. Due to the strong link with (social) psychology, dr. Nina Hansen, of the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences, will also be involved as a co-supervisor.


The PhD candidate should have a background (MSc, research master) in (development) economics, econometrics, or psychology (ideally focus on social, cultural, or pedagogical psychology). The project will be quantitative in nature using experimental impact analyses techniques (e.g. randomised controlled trails; lab-in-the field experiments). Training in quantitative impact analyses techniques is therefore an advantage (e.g., applied microeconometics, equivalent in psychology advanced research methods and statistics). Finally, as the project cooperates with a microfinance organisation in Vietnam, candidates with knowledge about Vietnam and/or a Vietnamese background are encouraged to apply.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 12 months.

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

• a salary of € 2,434 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,111 gross per month in the fourth and final year
• a full-time position (1.0 FTE)
• a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
• an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance
• minimum of 29 holidays and additional 12 holidays in case of full-time employment

Starting date: February 1, 2022 at the latest

Job Application

If you are interested, we invite you to apply no later than 30 September, 2021, 24.00 hrs (Central European Time)(Central European Time). Please click on the "Apply" button below. The application package consists of the following separate documents:

1. your cv
2. a motivation letter (1A4 max)
3. a scan of your diploma including transcripts
4. proof of English proficiency
5. other relevant documents.

The documents 1-4 are compulsory and please note that incomplete application packages will not be taken into account.

An assessment may be part of the procedure, consisting of psychological tests and an interview.

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. Robert Lensink

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 221529

Digital application form