PhD Structural vulnerabilities in access to healthcare and support services

PhD Structural vulnerabilities in access to healthcare and support services

Published Deadline Location
6 Nov 31 Dec Rotterdam

You cannot apply for this job anymore (deadline was 31 Dec 2023).

Browse the current job offers or choose an item in the top navigation above.

Wanted: PhD student to conduct research on structural vulnerabilities in access to healthcare and support services

Job description

Have you completed, or are you about to complete, a Master’s degree in social sciences? And would you like to get a PhD in a place that focuses on all the challenges currently faced by our healthcare industry? The Healthcare Governance (HCG) department of the Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM) is looking for a highly motivated and keen PhD student who wishes to conduct ethnographic research on structural vulnerabilities in access to healthcare and support services.

Job description
Access to healthcare and the social domain in the Netherlands is coming under significant pressure. Due to capacity shortages and constant budgetary prudence on the part of the healthcare industry, access to healthcare is no longer guaranteed. More and more often, we hear harrowing stories about care and support that either aren’t up to scratch or cannot be provided at all because there is a shortage of well-trained staff. These problems are particularly common in long-term care, general medical care, youth care and mental health care.

In this research project, we will look at what happens to people who need long-term care and support, who live at home and depend on an ever-changing and precarious configuration of professional and informal care providers for their healthcare and support. Some of these people actively avoid care, but not all of them do. More likely, many people in this group do want to gain access to long-term healthcare and support, but only have limited access due to various circumstances. How do these people feel about the new dependencies created by these types of precarious care arrangements? What does this mean for our broad prosperity, which, in addition to income, involves things like health status, quality of life, social relationships, safety and physical environment? And how do traditional structures of inequality (e.g. gender, ethnicity, socio-economic class) interfere with people’s access to healthcare and support services?

If you join our PhD programme, you will try to answer these questions. You will do so by conducting ethnographic research in a neighbourhood in a medium-sized town in the Netherlands. For a considerable period of time, you will follow the inhabitants of this neighbourhood and determine what impact structural vulnerabilities in access to healthcare and support services have in actual practice. You will also look at the institutional context (e.g. policy programmes designed to provide vulnerable people with healthcare and support), the social security system available to the people, and the physical environment in the neighbourhood.

This doctoral research project is part of an overarching research programme entitled ‘Precariousness in a Transforming Welfare State’, which will be carried out by two PhD students (link to the other job advertisement). In this research project, you will collaborate with a fellow researcher who will analyse the same issues from professional healthcare providers’ point of view.


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)


  • You hold a Master’s degree in anthropology, sociology, health sciences, science and technology research, social geography or some other such Master’s programme
  • You have a good understanding of qualitative and ethnographic research methods and have an affinity with the healthcare industry
  • You are highly analytical and have some knowledge of theories of inclusion and exclusion processes as discussed in the social sciences
  • You have excellent communication and writing skills in Dutch and are able to communicate and write to an academic standard in English
  • You are able to discuss things with people at these various levels and have an understanding of political processes
  • In addition, you are a team player who really wants to contribute to a joint exploration of a research agenda

As a PhD student affiliated with ESHPM’s HCG department, your primary duty will be to conduct research. In the process, you will be given plenty of opportunity to work on your personal development, e.g. by attending relevant courses and attending conferences. In addition, you will be given some teaching duties, worth 15% of your hours in a given academic year.

Conditions of employment

We offer you an internationally oriented and varied job in an enthusiastic team, with excellent working conditions in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU).

You will initially be offered full-time employment (1.0 FTE) for a period of 1.5 years. If you prove to be up to the task, your contract will be extended by 2.5 years.

The start date of this position is 01-MAR-2024 and you will be based at Campus Woudestein in Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM). This position is for 0.8 fte - 1 fte FTE. The salary is dependent on your experience and knowledge and ranges from a minimum of € 2.770 to a maximum of € 3.539 gross per month (scale PhD) on a fulltime basis (38 hours), in accordance with the CAO-NU. The contract is entered into for the duration of (contractduur) and can be converted into a permanent contract if performance is good and the organizational circumstances remain unchanged.

Everything else we offer you, you can find below!


Erasmus University Rotterdam

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) is an internationally oriented university with a strong social orientation in its education and research, as expressed in our mission ‘Creating positive societal impact’. EUR is home to 3.700 academics and professionals and almost 33.000 students from more than 140 countries. Everything we do, we do under the credo The Erasmian Way – Making Minds Matter. We’re global citizens, connecting, entrepreneurial, open-minded, and socially involved. These Erasmian Values function as our internal compass and create EUR’s distinctive and recognizable profile. From these values, with a broad perspective and with an eye for diversity, different backgrounds and opinions, our employees work closely together to solve societal challenges from the dynamic and cosmopolitan city of Rotterdam. Thanks to the high quality and positive societal impact of our research and education, EUR can compete with the top European universities.

Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM)
Thanks to its degree programmes and research activities, which focus on policy- and management-related topics in healthcare, ESHPM is a leading institute in the Netherlands. ESHPM combines various academic disciplines, such as economics, law, socio-medical sciences, organisation science and public administration. This multidisciplinary approach to teaching and research is unique, as are our close ties to policymakers and people working in the healthcare industry.

ESHPM is situated in the Bayle Building on Erasmus University Rotterdam’s Woudestein Campus, and has close ties with Erasmus Medical Centre. Some 1,600 students attend ESHPM, and the faculty has some 200 employees. ESHPM is very much in favour of internationalisation.


Healthcare Governance (HCG)

The Healthcare Governance (HCG) department employs approximately 50 persons who hail from various social science disciplines, such as public administration, anthropology, sociology and science and technology research. The department conducts research and teaches courses on management processes in the healthcare industry. Many of these research projects and courses are conducted and taught in association with partners in the industry.

A complete overview of the topics we focus on can be found on our website.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • 32—40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 3811


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Learn more about this employer


Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, 3062PA, Rotterdam

View on Google Maps

Interesting for you