PhD Candidate on Skills Demand, Skills Formation and Skills Use (1.0 FTE)

PhD Candidate on Skills Demand, Skills Formation and Skills Use (1.0 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
24 Jan 27 Feb 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 that helps us understand how the demand for skills changes, how skills develop and how skills are used in education and labour? 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.

ROA’s Research and Policy Plan relates to the changing demand for skills, the acquisition of skills over the life course and the utilization of skills (ROA’s Research and Policy Plan is described here: ROA wishes to address these topics in its research. Skills are many and matter at the macro, meso and micro level. We take a broad view on skills that include knowledge and competencies, attitudes and preferences, as well as aspects of physical, mental, and social health. These skills, and their interactions, determine performance (in school, at work, etc.) and wellbeing. The following research questions illustrate our interest:

  • Which factors of growth and skills are needed to face new ecological and technological challenges?
  • What are the complementarities and substitution possibilities between human and machine tasks?
  • How do sectors or regions in undersupply of skills need to adapt their production processes?
  • To what extent do sectors and firms need to invest in the production of skills in their own sector or region and can they make themselves more attractive to stimulate mobility to their sector or region?
  • How can education institutions respond to the changing demand for skills?
  • How do skills develop in early childhood, and in education, what are the skill requirements of jobs in demand and how to train these skills?
  • As employers face societal and economic challenges, how do they go about with incumbent workers, do they adapt their make-or buy decisions?
  • Which particular skills can best be acquired at school or in the workplace?
  • How can specific groups such as the elderly, low-educated, migrants and disabled be supported when they face shifts in demands for skills?
  • How can skills be effectively used to achieve success in education, during the school-to-work transition, and on the labour market?
  • How can skills be used for the generation of other skills?

We challenge you to write a brief research statement (1 page) based on your own interest and in which you address one or more of the above research questions.

As a PhD, you will also be involved in teaching activities (e.g., teaching of tutor group meetings, MSc thesis supervision) at SBE.


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).

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1,5 + 2,5 years.

The intended start date of the appointment is 1 September 2023.

Remuneration will be according to standard salary levels for PhD students starting with a salary of € 2,541 with annual 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. You have to be willing to participate in the PhD programme of the Graduate School of Business and Economics.

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
  • Economics
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • AT2023.42


Maastricht University (UM)

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Tongersestraat 49, 6211 LM, Maastricht

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