PhD candidate on employment conditions, (collective) action of employees and employee well-being

PhD candidate on employment conditions, (collective) action of employees and employee well-being

Published Deadline Location
22 May tomorrow Amsterdam
Would you like to study different ways in which employees act to improve their working conditions, such as striking and quiet quitting and how this affects their working conditions as well as their well-being? Do you have the ambition to develop your q...

Job description

The PhD candidate will study how workers fare and (re)act within organizations using quantitative and qualitative methods. How are workers' careers affected by firm policies, practices and culture concerning flexible employment contracts? This question will be tackled with quantitative methods, part of the ERC project DYNANSE, which focuses on employment trajectories of employees on non-standard contracts, such as temporary contracts or on-call contracts. You will use register data on employment from Statistics Netherlands linked to collective labour agreement (CLA) data to study the relation between collective action, CLAs and employment conditions. The project will go further into studying how the way firms shape workers' careers, interacts with workers' participation in individual and collective action. In this, the PhD candidate will tackle broader questions: why do some employees join a trade union and a strike, and others not? Why do some employees do the bare minimum at work to protect their mental health, while others work until they burn out? We will study the influence of employment characteristics (pay, autonomy, etc), social norms regarding work (work ethos) and personal resources on the willingness and ability to take part in different forms of action and will study the effects of these actions on working conditions and well-being of employees. This will be done qualitatively, by interviewing workers with different backgrounds about their motives for taking part in different forms of action.

We are looking for researchers who are interested in labour market sociology and who have interest and knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research and who are motivated to further develop as researchers. The successful candidate are able to and enjoy formulating research ideas and questions that are related to the topics described above.

Your duties
  • To write a dissertation about the relation between employment conditions, work ethos, employee action and well-being
  • To conduct high-quality quantitative and qualitative sociological research, resulting in publications in scientific journals
  • To conduct research based on co-creation with different stakeholders, e.g. trade unions, to increase societal impact of research
  • Develop research questions and ideas that give further substance to the research project
  • Be an active member of the ERC research team
  • To follow courses at the level of a PhD candidate to collect 30 ECTS, for instance at the Graduate School of the Faculty of Social Sciences (GSSS; admission to the GSSS is mandatory. For more information click here)
  • Support 'open science' and work in a reproducible way and share tools and data with the wider scientific community
  • Assist in the teaching of courses in Sociology or Statistics and Methodology in courses of the curricula of the Faculty of Social Sciences


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


  • A completed (research) master degree in sociology, (political) economy or a related field;
  • Solid background in qualitative and quantitative research; experience with working with large datasets is considered an asset;
  • The wish to further develop quantitative and qualitative research skills;
  • Being able to work independently as well as in a team and with stakeholders;
  • Fluency in English, writing and speaking;

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 0.8 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a 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
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • 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 Social Sciences
The Faculty of Social Sciences examines the major social problems of our time from multiple perspectives. From bullying at school to dealing with transnational immigration, from the rise of populist politicians to creating a self-reliant society. Only at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam you will find all the academic disciplines needed to understand these 'wicked problems': alongside the traditional disciplines such as sociology, anthropology and politics, we also research and teach the new social sciences such as communication science and management & organization science. We do not settle for easy answers in our teaching and research. Our researchers and students are critical thinkers and doers who work together to devise surprising solutions to the problems of today.

Working at the Faculty of Social Sciences means working with colleagues from a range of academic disciplines in an inspiring and personal work and study environment with excellent research facilities. We employ more than 350 staff members, and we are home to around 3,000 students.

About the department of Sociology
The research conducted in the department of Sociology is embedded in the PARIS research program (Participation in Society) and is aimed at creating impact and to tackle societal challenges. The department consists of five research groups. The current project will be part of the research group SILC: social inequalities in the life course.

Additional information

Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until 11/06/2023. The job interviews are planned for mid June, when possible please take them into account when applying for the position.

Submitting a diploma and a reference check are part of the application process.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Stef Bouwhuis
Position: Assistant Professor Sociology

No agencies


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • 30.4—38 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • 15379


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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De Boelelaan 1105, 1081HV, Amsterdam

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 11 Jun 2023 23:58 (Europe/Amsterdam).