PhD Position Impact of Demographic and Societal Developments on Police Operations

PhD Position Impact of Demographic and Societal Developments on Police Operations

Published Deadline Location
1 May 2 Jun Delft

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Challenge: Developing models geared to decision-making under deep uncertainty.
Change: Leveraging different scopes in system dynamics modelling.
Impact: Enabling decision-making geared to long-term police strategies and policies.

Job description

Cutbacks in mental health, addiction and youth care, an ageing population and growing frustration over social inequality are just some of the developments that have a resounding impact on police operations. In addition, the ongoing tight labour market and ageing also affect the police force’s capacity. To secure robust police strategies and effective policy-making, a thorough understanding of this complex and continuously changing reality is crucial. As a PhD candidate at TU Delft, you will develop dynamic systems models to capture these developments and uncertainties. Would you like to see your research applied in the real-world security domain?

You will conduct unique research into the impact of multiple phenomena on police operations, capacity, and competencies. Based on real-world use cases, you will look into the impact of demographic and societal developments. And you will research and model those developments, how they interact, and add spatial dimensions in system dynamics models. In this 5-year project, you will spend 20% of your time at the Police. Working closely and interacting with police-experts, you will benefit from their experience, expertise, in-depth insights and available data and models. To stimulate adoption of your models, you will develop simulation models under uncertainty geared to knowledge development and retention in the complex, multidisciplinary police organisation. You will, of course, also be writing scientific articles and speaking at leading conferences.

Your project is part of the Model-Driven Decisions (MoDD) Lab, a Police - TU Delft initiative. At the MoDD Lab, you will join an interdisciplinary community of four fellow PhD students. Together, you will share knowledge to tackle model-based decision-making from different perspectives. At TU Delft, your home base will be the Policy Analysis section of the Multi-Actor Systems department. You will join our driven, internationally diverse team of some 60 academic staff, PhD students and postdocs. Working in fields ranging from health and security to infrastructure and climate, we share a drive to improve policy-making. We foster a relaxed, collegial and collaborative atmosphere. And we will give you all the support you need to grow your career as a researcher.

Learn more about your project at the Model-Driven Decisions Lab.



Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


  • You hold an MSc in public policy or complex systems engineering & management, with demonstrable knowledge and experience of quantitative simulation techniques.
  • You have advanced System Dynamics skills, and incorporate systems thinking.
  • You are familiar with decision-making under deep uncertainty, or are keen to learn.
  • You thrive on conducting research geared to real-world application in the security domain and are intrinsically motivated to collaborate with the Police.
  • You harness your communication skills to work with different scientific and non-scientific stakeholders in different work cultures.
  • You have a good command of written and spoken English, as you will be working in an international environment. Since you will be working with the Police, it is an advantage if you also have a good command of the Dutch language.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 5 years.

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 5-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of two employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 3,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met. The additional fifth year (compared to a standard 4 year PhD program) accommodates for the extra activities to get to know the police organisation and to secure the results in the police organisation.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2770 per month in the first year to € 3539 in the fourth year. In the 5th year, you will receive a temporary monthly allowance based on the gross difference between salary scale P, step 3 and salary scale 10, step 3.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2770 per month in the first year to € 3539 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service. This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.


Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!


Faculty Technology, Policy and Management

The Faculty of TPM provides an important contribution to solving complex technical-social issues, such as energy transition, mobility, digitalisation, water management and (cyber) security. TPM does this with its excellent education and research at the intersection of technology, society and policy. We combine insights from both engineering and social sciences as well as the humanities. TPM develops robust models and designs, is internationally oriented and has an extensive network of knowledge institutions, companies, social organisations and governments.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management.


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD05277


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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