Two PhD Candidates in the field of education and labour

Two PhD Candidates in the field of education and labour

Published Deadline Location
23 Aug 9 Sep Maastricht

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Are you a graduated economist or social scientist? Are you passionate about academic research in the field of vocational education and labour? Then we have the right vacancy for you!

Job description

You will work as a PhD student within the Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA), one of the research departments of Maastricht University's School of Business and Economics (SBE). Extended research visits are foreseen at the German Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) in Bonn, which co-finances the PhD position. Both ROA and BIBB have a leading position nationally and internationally in research in the field of vocational education and the labour market. You will also be part of the Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE) that coordinates SBE’s PhD programme.

Both PhD projects focus on strategies to increase the resilience of workers and the sustainable employment in firms at the medium skills level of the labour market, that is, among people who will complete or have completed vocational education and training (VET). Although these workers still comprise the largest share of employment in most European countries, they suffer most from new developments in automation, digitalization, robotization and artificial intelligence (AI). The first project concerns the impact of training and hiring policies by frontier firms on the performance of non-frontier firms. The project explores the extent to which non-frontier firms profit or suffer from the hiring and VET policies of frontier firms (IBM, Volkswagen, etc.) that offer training programs based on the latest technological developments. The second project concerns the impact of the innovativeness of VET-programs on the resilience and sustainable employment of apprentices. The project explores the transitions to training and work of apprentices that are exposed to the above-mentioned technological developments.

You will be employed at the Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA), but you will be also attached to various multidisciplinary research network projects and programs. These include the spearhead MORSE at the SBE, in particular the research themes on resilient labour markets and sustainable employment; the SBE flagship Technequality project at ROA and related ROA projects such as the interdisciplinary project on the impact of Artificial Intelligence on the future of work; and the BIBB topic clusters (1) Digital Transformation, (2) Company Decisions and Actions and (3) Vocational Orientation and Transitions.


Maastricht University (UM)


Are you self-motivated, curious and interested in research? Do you have a record of high academic achievement in economics or social sciences (e.g., good grades and/or involvement in other academic activities) and the skills required to become an excellent researcher in your field? Then a PhD-student position at ROA might be the challenge you are looking for.

  • You have a strong academic background and willingness to publish in high-ranking academic journals;
  • You have excellent quantitative and analytical skills, as well as oral communication and writing skills;
  • You have affinity with empirical analyses on large data sets and/or natural or field experiments;
  • You have knowledge of statistical software (e.g., Stata, R);
  • A preference is given to graduated economists or social scientists who have shown excellence in at least one (preferably more) of the following subjects: labour, vocational education and training, regional and public policies, (applied) microeconomics;
  • A Research Master's degree (or equivalent in ECTS) is preferred.

If you do not yet meet the starting requirements (e.g. if you do not have a Research Master's degree or equivalent), we can discuss possibilities for a part-time pre-PhD position that offers time to catch up.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 jaar.

Remuneration will be according to standard salary levels for PhD students starting with a salary of €2.434,00 with a yearly growth to € 3.111,00 gross a month (based on a full-time appointment). Each year the standard salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% of the yearly gross income.

You have to be willing to move to (the vicinity of) Maastricht. If you do not already live in Maastricht (or its direct surroundings), you will be eligible for an allowance for moving costs and a relocation reimbursement.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website > About UM > Working at UM 


Maastricht University

Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 20,000 students and 4,700 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.


The Research Centre for Education and the Labor Market (ROA)

The Research Centre for Education and the Labor Market (ROA) is a research institute of the Maastricht University School of Business and Economics, established in 1986. The overarching research theme of ROA is the acquisition and depreciation of human capital over the life course in relation to the skills demanded on the labor market.

ROA’s mission is to conduct high quality research that has a strong policy impact. Building on a strong position in academia, ROA aims to inform and inspire policymakers and academics, and thereby to contribute to both scientific research and public and organizations’ human resource development policies. ROA’s research program is organized in four themes:

  • Education and Transition to Work
  • Health, Skills, and Inequality
  • Labor Market and Training
  • Human Capital in the Region

The first two themes focus on education and skills as point of departure and study the drivers and outcomes at the individual, organizational and societal level. The last two programs study the developments in skill supply and demand on the labor market and the interactions between the two at the national and regional level.

In these fields ROA contributes to both the academic literature and the public debate on education and labor market issues. ROA’s research activities are being carried out and supported by a dedicated scientific and support staff, consisting of about 60 employees.


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society; Economics
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2434—€3111 per month
  • Doctorate
  • AT2021.227


Maastricht University (UM)

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Tongersestraat 49, 6211 LM, Maastricht

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