Universiteit Leiden

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PhD Candidate in Economics (0.8-1.0 fte)

Vacancy number
Job type
PhD positions
Hours (in fte)
External/ internal
Placed on
30 April 2024
Closing date
31 May 2024 Vacancy closed

The Department of Economics of Leiden Law School at Leiden University has a vacancy for a:

PhD Candidate in Economics (0.8-1.0 fte)
Vacancy Number: 14830

Research Project: The Role of Professionals in Public Policy and the Effects on Socioeconomic Outcomes

Public policy aims to improve the broad economic well-being of citizens and, in doing so, adheres to the principle of horizontal economic equality: citizens with equal needs and circumstances should be treated equally. The implementation of public policy often rests on the shoulders of professionals, who make decisions on the public services provided to citizens. From caseworkers determining eligibility for social policy programs to judges deciding on sentences, these professionals typically have discretion to tailor treatment to the specific circumstances of individual citizens and, hence, affect their socioeconomic outcomes. Prior research has shown significant variability in the utilization of this discretionary space among professionals, which not only violates the principle of horizontal equality but also yields substantial (unintended) effects on socioeconomic outcomes.

The aim of this research project is twofold. Firstly, this project provides more insight into the role and determinants of the variation in professionals’ decisions within public policy. Secondly, this project gains insight into the direct and indirect socioeconomic effects stemming from this variation, and thereby shedding light on the impact of public policy.

The position comprises the following tasks:

  • Conduct innovative research on the topic of professionals in public policy and the effects on socioeconomic outcomes;
  • Write a PhD Thesis in Economics;
  • Submit research results for publication in academic journals;
  • Present papers at international conferences;
  • Participate in seminars, workshops and conferences;
  • Actively disseminate research findings to both academic and non-academic audiences;
  • Teach in the programs of the Department of Economics;
  • Follow PhD courses based on an individual training plan.

Selection Criteria

  • A (research) Master’s degree in economics, econometrics or other (social) discipline with a substantive quantitative background;
  • Excellent skills in empirical research methods and writing, demonstrated by a bachelor’s or master’s thesis, a single-authored course paper and/or a publication;
  • Experience in using statistical software (preferably Stata or R);
  • Demonstrated interest in applied microeconomics, quasi-experimental techniques and proficiency in working with large datasets is an advantage;
  • An excellent command of the English language and knowledge or willingness to progressively learn the Dutch language and context is considered an advantage;
  • Works well with others in teams.

Together with dr. Ernst-Jan de Bruijn, dr. Heike Vethaak and dr. Jim Been, you will work in a broader team of (early-career) researchers who are working on closely related projects. We work together to make a difference, celebrate our bigger and smaller successes and look out for each other. Moreover, a good work-life balance is important to us, and we offer the flexibility to combine work with other responsibilities. You will start in a cohort with another PhD Candidate. We also have vacancies for one other PhD position: PhD Candidate in Social Norms and Gender Inequalities in the Labour Market (0.8-1.0 fte).

Our Department
The Department of Economics is a young, vibrant research community, with offices in Leiden and The Hague. The department has been growing steadily and will continue to grow with the new bachelor and master programs in The Hague. The department has a reputation of working together in teams on joint research projects, while at the same time giving individual researchers the autonomy and flexibility to pursue other research interests as well. In the broad field of economics, the activities of the department are concentrated on socio-economic policy, law and economics, the functioning of the labor market and social security. The department provides courses for a number of study programs, such as political science, public administration, liberal arts, and law. Moreover, the department co-organizes the bachelor program ‘Economics, Governance and Management’ and the master program ‘Economics and Governance’ with the Institute of Public Administration. In addition, we are developing new bachelor and master programs in the Hague that will start in the Fall of 2025.

Our Faculty
The Department of Economics is part of the Leiden Law School (ranked #1 in the Netherlands for the subject of law and #21 in the 2022 QS World University Rankings by Subject). Leiden Law School is located in Leiden and The Hague. With more than 6500 students and around 1000 staff, it is one of the largest university faculties in the Netherlands. The faculty focuses on innovative multidisciplinary research and educational programmes that are constantly renewed in response to issues in society. Our faculty is large enough to make a difference nationally and internationally, yet small enough to offer personalised education. This is how we contribute to a safe and sustainable world, each and every day. The Faculty is housed in the beautifully restored Kamerlingh Onnes Building on the Steenschuur in Leiden. The Department of Economics also has offices in The Hague. Working for the Leiden Law School means working in a welcoming and inspiring scientific environment.

Terms & Conditions

  • We offer a stimulating and intellectually challenging work environment that fosters personal development and is determined to make a difference when it comes to key societal challenges.
  • The PhD position is for 0.8-1.0 fte.
  • The appointment as a PhD student will be for a period of four to five years (initially for a period of one year with an extension of three to four years after positive evaluation of progress and skills development) leading to the successful completion of a PhD thesis. The appointment will be under the terms of the cao (Collective Labour Agreement) of Dutch Universities.
  • Starting date: 1st of September 2024 (some flexibility is possible).
  • The (fulltime) gross yearly salary is set on €38.669,- in the first year, increasing to €49.404,- in the final year. This includes holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3%).
  • Leiden University offers excellent secondary employment conditions, including an attractive benefits package with training and career development (including, for example, language courses, teaching courses and project management courses), support from the PhD dean, and we facilitate a good work-life balance via flexible working hours and various leave arrangements. Our individual choices model also gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

For more information on the terms and conditions of employment, click here.

Diversity and inclusion
Diversity and inclusion are core values of Leiden University. Leiden University is committed to becoming an inclusive community which enables all students and staff to feel valued and respected and to develop their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High quality teaching and research is inclusive. We therefore especially welcome applications from members of underrepresented groups.

Enquiries can be made to Jim Been (j.been@law.leidenuniv.nl). Information about the Department of Economics can be found here.

Applications for this vacancy can be submitted via the blue button of our online system. Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number:

  • A cover letter stating your motivation for this position;
  • A curriculum vitae;
  • Your bachelor and (draft) master thesis or other major writing example;
  • Copies of your academic transcripts;

At this stage, it is not necessary to submit references or recommendation letters.

Only applications received before the 1st of June 2024 will be considered. The selection procedure will take place in June 2024.

Acquisition following this advertisement is not appreciated.

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