PhD Candidate on Skills, Education and Labour

PhD Candidate on Skills, Education and Labour

Published Deadline Location
11 Nov 1 Dec Maastricht

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Are you an economist, social or data scientist who recently graduated or is about to graduate? Are you passionate about academic research in the field of education and labour, and how the supply of skills match the demand? Then we have the right vacancy for you!

Job description

You will work as a PhD candidate within the Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA), one of the research departments of Maastricht University's School of Business and Economics (SBE). ROA has a leading position nationally and internationally in research in the field of education and the labour market. You will have access and contribute to ROA and SBE’s international network of renowned scholars, and you will also be part of the Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE) that coordinates SBE’s PhD programme.

Your PhD project will focus on the demand and supply side of skills in the labour market. Globalization, regionalization, flexibilization and technological change affect the demand for skills as production tasks. New technologies, for example, make some human skills redundant (e.g., physical skills), but others more important (e.g., analytical skills). This shifts the demand for skills both between and across jobs, and raises the question as to what extent education programmes are sufficiently performant at producing these new skills. In this PhD project, you will make use of text mining techniques to retrieve skills in demand (as voiced in vacancy texts) and those supplied in education (as stated in descriptions of education programmes). You will also make use of econometric methods applied to micro data to retrieve information on skills levels of recent graduates and match this to education programme descriptions to investigate 1) the match between programme descriptions and graduates’ perception of their skill levels, 2) the returns to skills in the job market, and 3) heterogeneity by individual characteristics and education programmes.


Maastricht University (UM)


Are you self-motivated, curious and interested in research? Do you have a record of high academic achievement in economics, social or data science (e.g., good grades and/or involvement in other academic activities) and the skills required to become an excellent researcher in your field? Then a PhD position at ROA might be the challenge you are looking for.

  • You have a MSc degree in economics, social or data science or expect to graduate soon.
  • You have a strong academic background and willingness to publish in high-ranking academic journals;
  • You have excellent quantitative and analytical skills, as well as oral communication and writing skills;
  • You have affinity with empirical analyses on large data sets and/or natural or field experiments;
  • You have knowledge of statistical software (e.g., Stata, R);
  • A preference is given to graduated economists or social scientists who have shown excellence in at least one (preferably more) of the following subjects: labour economics, education economics, public economics, (applied) micro-economics, text mining techniques;
  • A Research Master's degree (or equivalent in ECTS) is preferred.

If you do not yet meet the starting requirements (e.g. if you do not have a Research Master's degree or equivalent), we can discuss possibilities for a part-time pre-PhD position that offers time to catch up.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 year.

Remuneration will be according to standard salary levels for PhD students starting with a salary of €2.541,- with a yearly growth to €3.247,- gross a month (based on a full-time appointment). Each year the standard salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% of the yearly gross income.

You have to be willing to move to (the vicinity of) Maastricht. If you do not already live in Maastricht (or its direct surroundings), you will be eligible for an allowance for moving costs and a relocation reimbursement.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website > About UM > Working at UM.


Maastricht University

Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 22,000 students and about 5,000 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience. For more information, visit


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society; Economics
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • AT2022.489


Maastricht University (UM)

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