PhD Letting go of tradition? The economic implications of changing societies


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 centre 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 in the project “Letting go of tradition? The economic implications of changing societies” available.

Project description
Western societies faced major socio-economic changes over the past centuries. Countries, firms, and individuals have become increasingly interconnected in today’s globalised world, but the benefits of globalisation have been unevenly spread. Simultaneously, roles (e.g., with respect to family, class, gender) that traditionally held societies together are subject to change. Combining insights from political science, sociology, and economics, and using rigorous quantitative methods from economics, this project adds to a growing literature that studies the causal link between the economic and social sphere. This project aims to answer novel questions in this emerging field using (micro-economic) data and state-of-the-art econometric methods that allow for causal inference.

Candidates are invited to develop their own proposal for a PhD thesis that fits with the theme of the overall project. Potential projects that candidates can propose include quantifying the impact of economic developments, such as globalisation and technological change, on social structures and identity. Or alternatively, empirically investigating the subsequent effects of these changes on political and/or socio-economic outcomes, such as (gendered) labour market outcomes, mobility, political behaviour, or trust. The successful candidate is expected to play an active role in designing the PhD project, conducting literature reviews and developing theoretical arguments, analysing data, writing scientific papers, and presenting research findings at scientific conferences and research seminars.

The PhD position is embedded in the research programme Global Economics and Management of FEB’s Research Institute. The project is supervised by Dr Juliette de Wit, Dr Maite Laméris and Prof. Milena Nikolova.


We are looking for a candidate with:

- a (Research-)MSc degree in economics or an equivalent field
- an interest in interdisciplinary research
- excellent methodological and quantitative skills
- a good command of statistical software such as Stata and/or R
- very good English language and communication skills
- a high motivation to work in an international environment
- an ability to work in a team but also independently.

Prior research experience, specifically experience with large (microeconomic) databases and causal inference, are a plus.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 48 months.

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

- a gross monthly starting salary of € 2,541 which increases yearly to a maximum of € 3,247. 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. PhD candidates contribute 20% of their time to teaching.

Starting date: Preferably per September 1, 2023

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

Job Application

The application package consists of the following separate documents:

1. a motivation letter (1A4 max) and a short study proposal for the PhD project (2 A4 max)
2. your cv2
3. a scan of your diploma including transcripts
4. proof of English proficiency
5. a writing sample
6. other relevant documents.

The documents 1-5 are compulsory and please note that incomplete application packages will not be taken into account.

If you are interested, you can apply until 27 June 11:59pm / 28 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 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:

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

For more general information

Dr Juliette de Wit (for more information on this specific project)

Dr Maite Laméris (for more information on this specific project)

In your application, please always include the job opening ID V23.0405

Digital application form