PhD: Research on Romanian Labour Mobilities and (in)Jusitice in Peripherised Places in Germany

PhD: Research on Romanian Labour Mobilities and (in)Jusitice in Peripherised Places in Germany

Published Deadline Location
19 Jan 8 Feb Amsterdam

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Job description

Are you looking for a challenging job in a dynamic setting on one of the most debated social issues - labour mobility in Europe? Are you interested in writing a PhD thesis that pushes the frontier of labour mobility research and produces insights into building more convivial societies? The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Governance and Inclusive Development team is looking for a PhD researcher for the Volkswagen Foundation funded research project 'VISION: Envisioning Convivial Europe' (2022-2026).

The Governance and Inclusive Development (GID) team at the University of Amsterdam scrutinizes development dynamics at various geographical, jurisdictional and temporal scales, realizing that these are situated in different but interconnected multi-level processes. GID analyses and rethinks dominant development paradigms, and engages with international, national and local development practices, policies and debates to identify viable and socially just alternatives. The team focuses on the strategic issues of multi-level (glocal) governance and inclusive development. The reason for doing this is that the drivers of change and development processes emerge and interact at all scale levels in unpredictable ways.

What are you going to do

You will be working as a full-time PhD researcher for 3.5 years on the 'VISION: Envisioning Convivial Europe' project ( By collecting the experiences and stories of local residents and labour migrants, VISION aims to contribute to a more welcoming, sustainable and just Europe. With a translocal perspective, your PhD research will contribute to collecting data on and analysing the life conditions in 'shrinking' places or 'inner-peripheries' in Germany (Brandenburg) and Romania. Your research will examine how these places and communities are connected to each other through the transnational mobile labour regime. Your PhD research will serve as one of the foundations for the final project phase when we envision convivial social relations and convivial spaces within Europe as pathways to achieving a more inclusive, sustainable and just European society.

You will be embedded in a team of interdisciplinary researchers (senior scholars, a post-doc, another PhD candidate focusing on Polish mobile labour, as well as master and bachelor students) based at DeZIM (Deutsches Zentrum für Integrations- und Migrationsforschung e.V. in Berlin), Paris Lodron Universität Salzburg and Utrecht University. You will also be linked to an international network of social actors (policymakers, practitioners, NGOs, citizenship initiatives etc.), among others, members of the project's advisory board.

VISION draws on and advances complementary perspectives in geography, sociology, (visual) anthropology and gender studies. It is a mixed-method research that entails multi-sited fieldwork research, mobile and visual ethnography methods (esp. filmmaking). Placing the concept of conviviality at its core, VISION privileges knowledge of people in the 'inner-peripheries', which has been rendered invisible. Not only do we seek to understand the living conditions of inhabitants and mobile workers in our case-study regions, we will also co-create knowledge and solutions with them.

Being a PhD researcher on the VISION project, your tasks will include:
    • Planning, conducting your own research in the framework of the VISION project and completing your PhD thesis;
    • Contributing to the conceptualization, methodology, data collection and management of the overall project;
    • Participating in project meetings and events;
    • Mentoring of Bachelor and Master students who are affiliated with the project;
    • Contributing to team publications and reports;
    • Supporting in the organization of team workshops and conferences; and
    • Undertaking any other duties relevant to the research programme.
  • The tasks on your PhD trajectory will evolve from year to year. In general, the first year will mainly be devoted to drafting the PhD proposal (literature and policy review, theoretical framework, methodology, inventory of regional and thematic contexts) and pilot fieldwork. The second year will focus on data collection, in particular fieldwork in Germany and Romania. In the third year, you will prepare your PhD manuscript. Follow-up data collection and updates to fill gaps identified. The last half year will be for finalizing the thesis.
  • In addition, you are expected to, in cooperation with team members, produce diverse outputs, such as publications in top peer-reviewed journals; presentations at national and international conferences and stakeholder meetings; and other deliverables (e.g. blogs, vlogs, infographics for the project website and other social media) for broader audiences.
  • The PhD will be a member of the PhD cohort at GID and expected to use and contribute to the theories and approaches at GID.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


We are looking for a colleague who is committed to addressing the issues of socio-spatial injustices in Europe; someone open-minded, analytical and critical - to be able to question assumptions and contribute to debates; someone curious and creative in looking for solutions and imagining more just and sustainable futures; someone diligent, flexible and able to deal with uncertainties; someone who is an independent researcher and a team player.

Your experience and profile:
  • A relevant Master's degree in social sciences (geography, sociology, anthropology, migration and/or development studies) or a comparable disciplinary background;
  • Knowledge of or strong affinity with the research topic (labour mobility, 'inner peripheries', conviviality, just and inclusive development);
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English;
  • Experience with qualitative (mixed methods) research and (digital) fieldwork;
  • Knowledge of Romanian (and German) language(s) and socio-cultural contexts;
  • Independent thinking and critical analytical skills;
  • Proven ability to work independently and in a team;
  • An interest in, and experience with, research communication for diverse audiences.

Conditions of employment

The position concerns temporary employment of 38 hours per week for a maximum term of 3.5 years. The initial employment is for one year. Following a positive assessment and barring altered circumstances, this term will be extended by a maximum of 2.5 years, which should result in the conferral of a doctorate degree. We will put together a curriculum which will also include the opportunity to attend training courses and both national and international events. You will also be tasked with teaching Bachelor's students.

For this position the University Job Classification profile 'Promovendus' applies.

Your salary will be €2,541 gross per month in the first year and will increase to €3,247 in the final year, based on full-time employment and in keeping with the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities. We additionally offer an extensive package of secondary benefits, including 8% holiday allowance and a year-end bonus of 8.3%.

The UvA offers excellent possibilities for further professional development and education.

What else do we offer
  • a position in which initiative and input are highly valued
  • an enthusiastic and warm team that is open to new colleagues
  • an inspiring academic and international working environment in the heart of Amsterdam.


Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

The University of Amsterdam is the largest university in the Netherlands, with the broadest spectrum of degree programmes. It is an intellectual hub with 39,000 students, 6,000 employees and 3,000 doctoral students who are all committed to a culture of inquiring minds.

About the faculty

A challenging work environment with a variety of duties and ample scope for individual initiative and development within an inspiring organization. The social and behavioral sciences play a leading role in addressing the major societal challenges faced by the world, the Netherlands and Amsterdam, now and in the future.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • 11108


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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