PhD Public service by teams of robots and humans (1.0 FTE)


Faculty of Economics and Business


University of Groningen

Job description

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 Facufelty 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.

FEBRI, the graduate school and research institute of the Faculty of Economics and Business has available:
One PhD position in the field of “Public service by teams of robots and humans”

Project description
With an ageing population and an alarming shortage of health care personnel, the rising demand for health care is possibly one of the most urgent challenges of our time. Socially engaging service robots can help solve these personnel shortages, but cannot (yet) fully replace human service employees. They also encounter resistance from the side of both the human client and co-worker. In this interdisciplinary project, researchers will investigate how robots and human employees should work together to safeguard service satisfaction and client well-being, as well as job satisfaction and work performance of the human employee. Do you want to contribute to a transformation in service provision, with humans and robots working side-by-side to serve clients?

This PhD position is funded by NWO. The project is interdisciplinary, at the interface between marketing and organizational behavior. Partners in the project are prof. Jia Li, Vlerick University, and Daan van Knippenberg, Rice University and Rotterdam School of Management. This offers major advantages for the PhD candidate in terms of opportunities to collect high-quality data, additional funds for travelling, and close interactions and discussions enhancing the quality and relevancy of the research projects. The project will supervised by prof. Jenny van Doorn and will be embedded in FEBRI’s research programme in Marketing.


The PhD candidate should have a background (MSc, research master) in marketing, organizational behavior or a discipline related to the topic described above, such as psychology or social sciences. We are also open for candidates with a master degree in for instance artificial intelligence, computer science, human-machine interaction or a related field, with a strong interest in social sciences. Programming skills and Dutch language skills at the conversational level are a plus.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 48 months.

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

• a salary of € 2,541 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,247 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: Between September 1st 2023 and February 2024.

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

Job Application

You may apply for this position until 15 September 11:59pm / before 16 September 2023 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

The application package consists of the following separate documents:

1. your cv
2. a motivation letter (1A4 max) and a short study proposal for the PhD project (2 A4 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.

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage:[…]/

Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers:

We provide career services for partners of new faculty members moving to Groningen.

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

For more general information

Prof. Jenny van Doorn (for more information on this project)

In your application, please always include the job opening ID V23.0361

Digital application form