PhD on the topic of The Political Economy of Trade Policy


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.

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 on the topic of “The Political Economy of Trade Policy”.

Project description
This PhD position is embedded in a larger research project on the political economy of trade policy. The project will advance our understanding of how corporations lobby for or against trade liberalization in a world economy dominated by global supply chains. The project will also make inroads into the unexplored territory of corporate and non-corporate incentives to lobby on environmental and labor rules in modern trade agreements. In doing so, the project aims to address questions such as: which organizations lobby on trade policy, what are their policy objectives, which politicians do they target, and how do these politicians in turn vote on trade policies? The PhD candidate will contribute to extensive data-collection efforts and refine methods to link lobbying activities to political voting records and policy outcomes. In doing so, the candidate will be able to systematically analyze various rent-seeking mechanisms from the international economics and political science literatures.

This PhD position is funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO). The project is interdisciplinary, at the interface between international economics and political science. Dr James Lake, University of Tennessee, is a partner in this project. This offers major advantages for the PhD candidate in terms of opportunities to collect and analyze high-quality data, additional funds for travelling, and close interactions and discussions enhancing the quality and relevance of the research projects. The project will supervised by Dr Tristan Kohl and will be embedded


The ideal PhD candidate should:

• be ambitious, highly motivated and wish to pursue a career in research, speaks and writes English fluently, and has obtained excellent results in the Master phase
• have a background (MSc, research master) in economics, political economy, or a discipline related to the topic described in the social sciences such as political science
• be able to demonstrate their affinity with the topics of rent-seeking and/or trade policy
• have strong quantitative research skills, including programming and data management skills with software such as Stata, R or Python
• be able and willing to work in Groningen, in an international and interdisciplinary academic environment.

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 1 September 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 June 11:59pm / before 16 June 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 research 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, e.g. a sample of an individual research report/thesis from earlier coursework, letters of recommendation, etc.

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

Dr Tristan Kohl (for more information on this project)

In your application, please always include the job opening ID V23.0386

Digital application form