PhD candidates 2x for the project Life-Course Transitions, Socio-Economic Status and Health Behaviours - NIDI-KNAW - The Hague

PhD candidates 2x for the project Life-Course Transitions, Socio-Economic Status and Health Behaviours - NIDI-KNAW - The Hague

Published Deadline Location
4 Apr 30 Apr Den Haag

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Job description

The project is a joint project by NIDI, The University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG) of the University of Groningen, and the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies (NIAS). Promoting healthy behaviours in society is a key ambition of much research on the intersection of the social and medical sciences. However, the understanding of the mechanisms producing health inequalities over the life course is still limited. The causation mechanism suggests that people’s socio-economic and sociodemographic positions cause changes in health behaviours. The selection mechanism suggests that health differences result from differences in behaviours that already existed prior to the ‘sorting’ of people into socioeconomic and socio-demographic positions. This project aims at disentangling this causation-selection conundrum by applying a life-course perspective. In a longitudinal design, the impact of life-course transitions on health behaviours is studied, alongside the role of socio-economic characteristics. To do so, this project pools expertise from the social and medical sciences.

PhD1 will focus on the relationship between life-course transitions and health during young adulthood. PhD2 will focus on that same relationship during older adulthood. In young adulthood, events are often focused on engaging in new obligations (e.g. marriage, parenthood, entry into the labour market), whereas in older adulthood relinquishing obligations (e.g. retirement, widowhood) is more central.

These two PhD positions are funded by a grant from the Research Fund of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences. PhD1 will be supervised by prof. dr. A.C. Liefbroer (NIDI) and dr. N. Smidt (UMCG) and will be located at NIDI. PhD2 will be supervised by prof. dr. U. Bültmann (UMCG) and prof. dr. K. Henkens (NIDI) and will be located at UMCG. Both PhD candidates will write a dissertation, based on a set of research articles, publishable in international refereed journals.

Main tasks:

• Writing academic articles

• Data analysis of the Lifelines longitudinal data set

• Contribution to the dissemination of research findings 


Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)


Candidates should have:

• Completed a Research Master in one of the social, health or medical sciences, or a comparable background

• A passion for research

• Solid knowledge of statistical methods for the analysis of large-scale panel data

• Knowledge of the literature on life-course sociology and/or life-course epidemiology

• Excellent knowledge of English

• Good writing and presentation skills

Conditions of employment

Both PhDs will be employed by NIDI-KNAW. Preferred starting date is September 1, 2019. The initial appointment for both positions will be for a period of one year. After a positive evaluation, the appointment will be extended for another three years. A psychological assessment may be part of the selection procedure. The gross monthly salary will be between € 2,325 (year 1) and € 2,972 (year 4). Benefits include pension contribution, annual holiday premium of 8% and an end-of-year premium of 8.3%. Non-Dutch nationals may be eligible for a substantial tax break (30% ruling).



The Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) is a research institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and affiliated with Groningen University. It is located in the center of The Hague. The staff of the institute consists of about 50 persons, mostly researchers.


  • PhD
  • Health; Behaviour and society
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2325—€2972 per month
  • University graduate
  • AT2019-004


Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)

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Lange Houtstraat 19, 2511 CV, Den Haag

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