PhD position - big data analysis to improve the labor market and educational participation of young people with mental healt...

PhD position - big data analysis to improve the labor market and educational participation of young people with mental healt...

Published Deadline Location
23 Feb 2 Apr Amsterdam

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Are you interested in the mental health of young people and in analyzing large-scale administrative datasets? Have you recently obtained your master's degree in psychology, health sciences, health economics, or econometrics? Then apply for this PhD pos...

Job description

During the past years, there has been an increase in mental health problems among young people in the Netherlands, according to survey research by Statistics Netherlands. However, much is still unknown about the prevalence, course, and implications of this. For example, little is known about the risk factors for the development of mental health problems and disorders, and what the labor market and educational outcomes are for young people using mental health services.

Recent developments in Big Data Analytics allow us to use large-scale data, collected by for example municipalities, health insurers, general practitioners, and mental health services to effectively identify trends, problems, and differences between groups. The knowledge gained in this project will contribute to effective support of young people with mental health vulnerabilities.

As a PhD student, you will analyze complex data, mostly within the Statistics Netherlands microdata research environment. After analyzing the data, you will write your PhD thesis consisting of different papers. You will present your work to fellow researchers and discuss the results and implications of your analyses. You will publish your work in international peer-reviewed journals.

Your duties
  • You will conduct research to gain more insight into the mental health and education and labor market participation of young people;
  • You will be part of the department of Educational and Family Studies within the multidisciplinary Faculty of Behavioral and Movement Sciences;
  • You will present your work at (international) conferences and symposia;
  • You will write your dissertation in English.


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


  • You have a university master's degree in psychology, health sciences, health economics, econometrics, or a related field;
  • You have good writing skills;
  • You have affinity with analyzing large data sets;
  • You have knowledge of estimating regression models;
  • You have experience with statistical programming in Stata and/or R, or willingness to learn.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1 year.

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2,541 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €3,247 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 1 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended to a total duration of 4 years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment;
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a wide range of sports facilities which staff may use at a modest charge;
  • contribution to commuting expenses;
  • space for personal development.


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor - from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam's Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences
The Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences focuses on the broad domain of behaviour and health. Our teaching and research programmes are devoted to current developments in society, from healthy aging to e-health, from juvenile crime to dealing with depression, from training for top athletes to social media as a teaching tool. We are unique in that we combine three academic disciplines: psychology, movement sciences and education.

Working at Behavioural and Movement Sciences means working in an ambitious organization that is characterized by an informal atmosphere and short lines of communication. Our faculty offers tremendous scope for personal development. We employ more than 600 staff members, and we are home to around 3,400 students.


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • 14851


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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De Boelelaan 1105, 1081HV, Amsterdam

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