PhD Position in Accounting (1,0fte) at Tilburg University CentER Graduate School of Business

PhD Position in Accounting (1,0fte) at Tilburg University CentER Graduate School of Business

Published Deadline Location
28 Sep 31 Dec Tilburg

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Tilburg School of Economics and Management has a job opening for a PhD Position in Accounting (1,0fte) at Tilburg University CentER Graduate School of Business. Topic: Towards Sustainable SMEs: Measuring, Improving and Reporting Impact.

Job description

The Tilburg School of Economics and Management (TiSEM) has a PhD position in Accounting offering a PhD degree in business at the CentER Graduate School of Business. This position is funded by a Regional Deal grant of the Dutch Government and the Tilburg University Academic Collaborative Center Broad Prosperity.  The PhD position will be based in the Accountancy Department Research Group of TISEM, which is a high-quality and high-impact research group of TiSEM with 15 active researchers at the assistant, associate or full professor level and currently with 8 PhD students. Faculty cover a wide range of research topics and methods and belong to the top 5 research groups in Europe. 

The task
For this PhD position, you will focus on research that addresses the pressing need for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to measure, improve, and report their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance. SMEs, a significant part of the economy, are increasingly required by larger companies to disclose their sustainability practices within supply chains, and banks are demanding ESG reporting for financing decisions. However, many SMEs lack the expertise and urgency to comply with these obligations. The research highlights that the complex nature of ESG measurement and reporting,  as mandated as of 2024 in the European Union via the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), requires timely preparation and hands-on tools for SMEs. Collaborative efforts aim to equip SMEs with the necessary knowledge and tools to remain strong partners in global supply chains and foster economic and societal value propositions while enhancing regional prosperity and governance. The PhD project consists of several sub-projects, such as case and field studies to develop best practices, survey research to understand the barriers SMEs face when it comes to measuring and reporting ESG performance, and developing a sustainability barometer that provides periodic updates on the region's sustainability status. The aim is to publish about those projects in high-quality academic journals.

The PhD candidate will be embedded in the research group of the Accountancy Department and will be enrolled as a PhD candidate in the world-class CentER PhD Program, where she/he will take about 36 European credits of courses as part of working towards the PhD degree. For the candidate, two advisors will be assigned for supervising the PhD research. Upon successful completion of your courses and your research work, as demonstrated by a submitted and approved PhD dissertation and the subsequent defense, you will be awarded a doctoral degree by Tilburg University. In addition to conducting research, you will spend at most 20% of your time teaching and/or assisting with teaching in our Master and Bachelor programs. 
A PhD dissertation at CentER requires the design and execution of 3 studies. The execution of the research work itself typically involves the conceptualization of the research questions and ideas, data collection, qualitative and/or quantitative analysis of the data, and writing and presenting of academic papers. Since the PhD project will require interaction with companies for getting access to data, stakeholder management may be an important part of your tasks.


Tilburg University


  1. An academic Master’s or MPhil/Research Master’s degree in business. The candidate should have an interest in Accounting, Finance and Sustainability and preferably possess already good quantitative skills.
  2. Completed the previous degree with an excellent GPA (top 20% of class as guideline)
  3. Excellent command of English both written and spoken; Proficiency in Dutch is necessary  given the interactions with the SMEs and stakeholders in the region.  
  4. Ambition to perform top-level research and occasionally teach, ability to work autonomously and within a team, and interest in interacting and delivering within a group in an international environment.
  5. A genuine interest in accounting measurement and reporting implications of sustainability topics, with special attention to the context and implications of the European Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive. 
  6. For candidates with a Master degree from a university outside Europe: a recent GRE or GMAT test score of at most two years old. A GRE or GMAT is also strongly recommended for candidates that have completed a Master’s degree in Europe that is not research-oriented, as this will strengthen a candidate’s credibility.
  7. If you have any of the following additional skills or evidence of skills, please include them specifically in your application, as they can be of value in the selection process:
    a. Knowledge of Python / R programming and/or other evidence of data science skills
    b. Evidence of prior research work, exemplified by a master’s thesis, or academic papers.
    c. Excellent academic writing skills (a writing sample of a thesis or paper can serve as evidence)

Conditions of employment

Tilburg University is rated among the top Dutch employers and has excellent terms of employment. The appointment will be for the total of 48 months. The selected candidate will initially be appointed for 16 months, with an extension for the following 32 months based on a positive evaluation. The evaluation will take place after about 12 months.

During the first part of your appointment, you will receive extensive training in theory and methods by taking several PhD-level courses. There is also a travel budget for attending PhD level courses outside of CentER, work visits and conferences. The training can be adapted to the previous educational achievements of the PhD candidate by mutual agreement with the supervisors. For the remaining period, 80% of the position’s time will be dedicated to the completion of your PhD research, and 20% to the acquisition of academic skills through teaching courses and supervising master/bachelor theses within the department.

The appointed PhD candidate will be an employee of Tilburg University.  The starting gross salary is 
€ 2,770 per month (for a full-time appointment) in the first year, up to € 3,539 in the final year. In addition, there is a holiday allowance (8% of the annual salary, in May), and end-of-year bonus (8.3% of the annual salary, in December). 

All university employees are covered by the so-called civil servants pension fund (ABP). Researchers from outside the Netherlands may qualify for a tax-free allowance equal to 30% of their taxable salary. The university will apply for such an allowance on their behalf. The university offers very good fringe benefits (it is one of the best non-profit employers in the Netherlands), such as an options model for terms and conditions of employment and excellent reimbursement of moving expenses.


Tilburg University

Tilburg University is one of Europe’s leading universities in the fields of business and economics, ranking #5 in Europe in the field of Business Research (UT Dallas World Ranking) and #27 in Economics & Business Worldwide (US News Ranking 2023), #1 in Accounting & Finance (Netherlands) and #29 (worldwide) in the Shanghai Global Ranking.  The School of Economics and Management has 7,600 students (21% international) and 410 academic staff (54% international).  The campus provides a green, academically centered environment with modern facilities and convenient local transportation.  Tilburg’s central position in the Benelux offers excellent regional and international access.  Major airports nearby include Amsterdam (Netherlands), Brussels (Belgium) and Düsseldorf (Germany).  English is the working language of the university.

Tilburg School of Economics and Management
Tilburg School of Economics and Management (TiSEM) is the university largest faculty.  TiSEM offers well reputed academic research and education. Its research belongs to the European top. The education programs, of which the majority are offered completely in English, are on the international map with the AACSB accreditation awarded in 2002. Employees and students form an ambitious international community.

Tilburg School of Economics and Management


  • PhD
  • Economics
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3538 per month
  • University graduate
  • 21883



Warandelaan 2, 5037 AB, Tilburg

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