PhD position: Economic analysis of health risks of endocryne disrupting chemicals

PhD position: Economic analysis of health risks of endocryne disrupting chemicals

Published Deadline Location
11 Oct 22 Dec Amsterdam

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Do you have interest in researching the economics of health risks of endocrine disrupting chemicals, including ‘forever chemicals’? Would you like to work in an interdisciplinary European research project with chemists, toxicologists, public health sci...

Job description

You will study the economic costs and benefits of national and EU-wide policy and regulation pathways to reduce the risks of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), including ‘forever chemicals’ like pfas. The economic analysis will be based on data collection using surveys, interviews and choice experiments to measure public awareness, experience, perceptions, attitudes, and sense of urgency related to the risks of EDCs. Choice experiments will be used to (i) assess public willingness to change lifestyles or behavioural patterns leading to adverse health outcomes and (ii) test different risk communication strategies on risk behaviour targeting different socioeconomic and sociocultural risk profiles. The latter aims to assess social inequalities for future policy and regulation development.

You will work in a new Horizon Europe project that starts in 2024, and investigates EDCs as contributors to progression of metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease. This disease is increasing rapidly worldwide, affecting up to a third of the global population, in parallel with rising rates of diabetes and obesity. The project brings together scientists and practitioners from 9 different European countries. VU Amsterdam’s Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) leads the work package on socio-economic and behavioural approaches, and is responsible for assessing public support to eliminate EDCs from European markets in line with relevant EU legislation. The project builds on capacity in this specific field in the Institute for Environmental Studies’ Environmental Economics department, and includes close collaboration with the Economics department at the University of Waterloo, Canada.

Your duties
  • research towards writing a PhD thesis
  • contributing to project tasks, such as organising workshops and data collection


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


  • Master's degree in economics or a related social sciences discipline
  • strong quantitative skills
  • demonstrable interest in social survey methods (interviews, experiments)
  • proven interest in interdisciplinary work
  • good communication skills in English and one other European language

Conditions of employment

A challenging position in a socially involved organisation. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2,770 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €3,539 (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 one year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a duration of three 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
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package


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 31,000 students. We employ over 5,000 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.

The Faculty of Science
Working at the Faculty of Science means working together with students, PhD candidates and scientists who are focused on their discipline, yet also have a broad view of the world. We are proud of the collegial working environment within the faculty, which is characterised by an ambitious and pragmatic attitude with commitment to the bigger picture. At the Faculty of Science, scientists and students work on fundamental and complex social issues for a sustainable and healthy future. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to malnutrition, from genetics to pharmaceuticals and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research cover the full breadth of the natural sciences. Scientific teaching and research is highly experimental, technical, computational and interdisciplinary in nature. This is why we collaborate extensively with leading research institutes and industry. The faculty has over 11,000 students studying across 40 educational programmes and employs over 1,600 staff spread over 10 scientific departments, making us the largest science faculty in the Netherlands.


Established in 1971, IVM is a leading environmental research institute that is internationally recognised for its high quality research output in a range of environmental disciplines, as well as for its interdisciplinary work. The mission of the institute is to contribute to sustainable development and care for the environment through scientific research and teaching. IVM aims to do excellent problem-oriented research that is useful to a wide range of stakeholders in the Netherlands and internationally. A unique strength of our research is to understand sustainability problems in their social and economic context. IVM’s research community works within four departments: Environmental Economics; Environmental Geography, Environmental Policy Analysis; and Water and Climate Risk. Since 2001 IVM has been part of the Faculty of Science at VU Amsterdam (legal name Stichting VU).

The department of Environmental Economics (EE) leads the institute’s efforts in improving insights into the interaction between the environment and the economy. The department is one of the main groups of environmental economists in Europe, consisting of around 35 scientific staff and PhD researchers. The department strategy is to consolidate and further strengthen its position as a major player in the European field of environmental economics. Important fields of application include climate change, energy, circular economy, water, ecosystem services, and environmental and natural resource management. The philosophy of EE department is to closely integrate its research projects with its teaching programme and to initiate and conduct research jointly with stakeholders and collaborating institutes. In the coming years, the EE department will further explore new research fields related to climate economics, economics of sustainable energy, and economics of natural capital.


  • PhD
  • 30.4—38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 16323


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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De Boelelaan 1105, 1081HV, Amsterdam

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