PhD in the field of Risk, Reward, and Regulation


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 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.
FEBRI, the graduate school and research institute of the Faculty of Economics and Business has one PhD position available in the field of Risk, Reward, and Regulation: A Novel Model for Understanding and Managing Risks in the Insurance Sector

Project description
In this project, we study a comprehensive model designed to optimize an insurance company's asset value function, considering asset withdrawals and capital injections, all of which are strategically guided by a predetermined threshold. Our primary goal is to explore and illuminate the intricate link between this optimal threshold and the risk-taking behaviors prevalent in insurance firms, behaviors that can potentially lead to insufficient capital buffers. Through this investigation, we aim to expose potential sector vulnerabilities, thereby providing invaluable input for regulatory structures such as Solvency II, with a view to ultimately bolstering the overall resilience of the global insurance industry.

The PhD position is embedded in the research programme EEF of FEB’s Research Institute. The project will be supervised by Dr Wei (Rock) Zhu, Dr Daniël Vullings and Prof Ruud Koning.


The ideal candidate is ambitious, highly motivated and wishes to make a career in research. He or she has a thorough training in research skills, speaks and writes English fluently and has obtained excellent results in the Master phase.
The PhD candidate should have a background (Master of Science, Research Master, MPhil) in Mathematics, Quantitative Economics, Actuarial Science, Financial Mathematics or Econometrics.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 48 months.

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

- a starting salary of € 2,541, which increases yearly to a maximum of € 3,247 gross per month
- based on the gross salary you will receive an additional 8% holiday allowance each year in May, and an additional 8.3 % end of year bonus in December
- a temporary full-time appointment for a period of four years, under the condition of a positive assessment at the end of the first year

Starting date: Preferably per 1 September 2023

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

Job Application

If you are interested, you may apply until 11 June 11:59pm / before 12 June 2023 Dutch local time (European Central Time) 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 (1 A4 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:

Dr W. Zhu

Dr Daniel Vullings

In your application, please always include the job opening ID V23.0385

Digital application form