PhD Candidate “How to provide health information to low SES groups” (1.0 FTE)

PhD Candidate “How to provide health information to low SES groups” (1.0 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
1 Jun 1 Jul Rotterdam

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Job description

Project: How to provide health information to low SES groups

Within the research programme “Incentivizing Prevention: a Multidisciplinary Approach” of the Erasmus Initiative “Smarter Choices for Better Health”, there is an opening for a PhD Candidate in the project “How to provide health information to low SES groups”. This project develops an interdisciplinary approach to tackle the problem that low SES groups report the highest prevalence of smoking, alcohol consumption and unhealthy diets, while having the lowest uptake of related health information. More specifically, research on health information uptake is enriched with cultural-sociological insights on opposition to the scientists and governmental agencies that provide this type of information. The project has five phases:

1) Focus groups to discuss existing health-campaign materials with low SES respondents and explore which cultural attributes evoke aversion.
2) State-of-the-art methods (Implicit Association Tests embedded in surveys) to assess whether deeply ingrained distrust/trust in institutions acquired through socialization in low/high SES environments are associated with poor health knowledge, risk assessments and intended behavioural changes.
3) Focus groups to develop health-campaign materials tailored to the low SES groups.
4) Population-based survey experiments to uncover the effectiveness of the newly developed health-campaign materials.
5) A follow-up survey to evaluate whether the health campaigns were effective in changing health knowledge, and comparing actual behavioural changes with intentions stated in phase 4.

The PhD Candidate is responsible for elaborating the study design, data collections and data analyses in all five phases, as well as disseminating insights to non-academic audiences. In collaboration with their supervisors, the PhD Candidate will write scientific papers for leading international peer-reviewed scientific journals. The PhD Candidate will participate in scientific meetings, (inter)national conferences, and departmental seminars. Following PhD training in the Graduate School and attending courses on theory and/or methods are part of the position. The project will be completed by means of a doctoral dissertation (PhD thesis) written by the PhD candidate. During the project, the PhD Candidate will participate in the department’s educational programmes (approximately 0.1 FTE).


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)


- A Master’s degree (to be obtained before September 1, 2018) in Sociology, Communication Science, Public Health or a related field (preferably a     Research Master);
- Excellent writing skills;
- A strong drive to conduct social-scientific research;
- Experience with relevant qualitative and quantitative methods;
- Excellent command of both Dutch and English;
- Flexibility and dedication;
- A creative, open personality with excellent analytical, communication and organizational skills;
- Ability to work well in a team, as well as autonomously.

Conditions of employment

Internationally-oriented and varied work within an enthusiastic and ambitious team of top researchers and lecturers, with attractive fringe benefits in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU).
Employment preferably starts September 1st 2018. The initial contract will run for a term of 1,5 years, which – depending on performance – will be extended with a second term of 2,5 years. The conditions of employment correspond with the CAO Nederlandse Universiteiten (CAO NU). The Erasmus University offers a salary of € 2.222,- gross per month in the first year up to a maximum of  € 2.840,- gross per month in the final year in accordance with the Promovendus scale of CAO NU. Salary is based on a fulltime occupation. Objective of the temporary 4-year position is the production of a thesis leading to a PhD degree. Candidates are to submit yearly progress reports to the faculty’s standing committee for research.

The EUR has attractive employment conditions, which include holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, an end-of-year payment of 8.3% of the yearly salary and 232 hours leave per year (based on a full-time appointment of 38 hours). In case of a working day of 8 hours, you will weekly save 2 hours extra for annual leave. In total you’ll have 328 hours leave per year.

In addition, EUR takes part in the ABP pension scheme, and we also offer partially paid parental leave. Moreover, EUR staff members can make use of the facilities at the EUR campus, including the Erasmus Sports Centre and the University Library. Substantial tax benefits apply to non-Dutch citizens, conditional on permission granted by the Dutch Tax Office. Applicants should have the right to work in the Netherlands for the duration of the contract.
Based on our internal career policy, internal candidates are given a prior position, relative to external candidates. Furthermore, diversity is one of our strategic priorities. Female candidates and/or candidates from an ethnic minority, candidates with an international background are encouraged to apply. Under the condition of equal quality and suitability, these candidates will have a priority position.

More information about working conditions can be found at:

Diversity is one of our strategic priorities. Female candidates and/or candidates from an ethnic minority and/or candidates with an international background are encouraged to apply. Under the condition of equal quality and suitability, these candidates will have a priority position.


The Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), named after Rotterdam-born humanist and theologian Erasmus, is a research university with a strong international orientation and a pronounced social focus, both in its education and research activities. On the lively, modern campus, more than 28.000 students and scholars of more than 100 nationalities are constantly encouraged to develop their talents and meet their ambition. Our more than 2700 scientists and employees work together with all our students to solve challenges faced by global society, drawing their inspiration from the consistently dynamic and cosmopolitan city of Rotterdam. The academic education offered at our faculties is intensive, engaging and strongly focused on practical application. We increasingly perform our research in multidisciplinary teams, which are closely interwoven with international networks. In terms of research impact and the quality of its degree programmes, EUR can compete with the foremost universities in Europe, which is reflected in its consistent top-100 position in most major universities rankings. Erasmus University Rotterdam’s key values are daring, curiosity, social involvement, breaking new ground and striving for success.


Erasmus Initiative Smarter Choices for Better Health
The Erasmus University has launched three so-called Erasmus Initiatives, through which academic excellence and multidisciplinary collaboration in research is stimulated. One of these is the “Smarter Choices for Better Health” project.

The Erasmus Initiative ‘Smarter Choices for Better Health’ will enable better choices aimed at contributing to more people achieving a higher share of their health potential. Insights from public health, behavioral economics and health economics may jointly improve our knowledge and create better ways of investing in health.
“Smarter Choices for Better Health” was initiated by Erasmus School of Health Policy and Management, Erasmus Medical Centre and Erasmus School of Economics. Activities are organized in four so-called Action Lines, headed by researchers from the three participating schools as follows:
- Incentivizing Prevention;
- Value-Based Health Care;
- Evaluation of Health Care;
- Health Equity.

Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB) 
The Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences is home to a vast diversity of scientific disciplines: public administration, pedagogical sciences, psychology and sociology. In addition, the Erasmus University College, IHS, and two research institutes RISBO and DRIFT are linked to the faculty. This also reflects in the content of the (international) bachelor's and master's programmes and in research.  Our activities are always focused on people and society. At the ESSB fundamental, internationally oriented research is of paramount importance. In addition, social research for professionals, policy makers, and the society is part of our research activities. ESSB offers a stimulating research environment where major national and international research grants are received. Appealing guest researchers and ambitious PhD candidates come along to conduct their research. Our education is small-scale and works with innovative forms of education such as Problem-Based Learning (PBL). Both the Dutch and English programmes are highly ranked by students and alumni. ESSB is home to over 2500 students and 300 staff-members.

Department of Public Administration and Sociology (DPAS)
The department benefits from a key position in the European public administration landscape through numerous editorial board positions and participation in several cross-national networks. Leading sociologist in the field of migration, political sociology, inequalities and families are based in the department and participate actively in public debates and international research projects. Cooperation with third parties and conducting research with societal impact are key values of the department. The bachelor and master programmes reflect our diverse expertise and educate students to become active professionals.


  • Postdoc; PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • 1805313


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

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Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, 3062 PA, Rotterdam

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