PostDoc ERC SG Project Genes, Policy, and Social Inequality

PostDoc ERC SG Project Genes, Policy, and Social Inequality

Published Deadline Location
3 Apr 31 May Rotterdam

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Are you joining our team at Erasmus School of Economics using large-scale genetic data to push research frontiers in economics?

Job description

Socio-economic inequalities are strong and pervasive. Multiple heritability studies have shown that genes significantly contribute to variation in important indicators of socio-economic status such as educational attainment, occupational status, and income. Also for these indicators, the psychologist Turkheimer famously concluded in 2000 “The nature-nurture debate is over. The bottom line is that everything is heritable ...”

The ERC Starting Grant project “Genes, Policy, and Social Inequality”) goes beyond the old “nature versus nurture” debate and analyzes how an individual’s genetic predisposition (‘nature’) interacts with policy-shaped environmental conditions (‘nurture’) in creating inequalities in education, occupational status, and income. By methodologically advancing the estimation of the interaction between genes and environments, this project aims to (i) show theoretically how heritability studies –despite earlier firm rejections of this position– can be informative for policies aiming to reduce socio-economic inequalities, and (ii) analyze empirically how policy changes can ameliorate socio-economic inequalities in terms of education, occupational status, and income.

Work packages in the project are linked to the two main objectives and are also defined by the three main types of genetic data used in social science genetics: Work Package 1 (WP1) focuses on genes as latent factors in family data (Statistics Netherlands), Work Package 2A (WP2A) draws on dense scans of genetic variants in population data (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms; UK Biobank), and Work Package 2B (WP2B) makes use of polygenic indices in population data (UK Biobank). As a result, Work Packages are also defined by their central methodology. Work Package 1 is organized around extended versions of the classical twin study, Work Package 2A around Genome-based Restricted Maximum Likelihood (GREML) estimation, and Work Package 2B around G×E regression analysis using polygenic indices.

Job description
We have a PostDoc opportunity for 18 months (90% research, 10% teaching) to contribute to realizing the project goals, preferably by working on WP2A or WP2B. Ideal candidates for this PostDoc position have PhD-level expertise on at least one of the main methodologies in the project. We ask applicants to briefly sketch in their application letter how they would like to contribute to realizing the project goals.


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)


Ideal candidates for this PostDoc position have PhD-level expertise on at least one of the main methodologies in the project.

Conditions of employment

We offer you an internationally oriented and varied job in an enthusiastic team, with excellent working conditions in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU).

The preferred starting date is 1 September 2024, although earlier or later starting dates can be discussed. You will be based at Campus Woudestein at Erasmus School of Economics (ESE). This position is for 1 fte. The salary is dependent on your experience and knowledge and ranges from a minimum of € 4.332 to a maximum of € 5.929 gross per month (scale 11) on a fulltime basis (38 hours), in accordance with the CAO-NU.

Everything else we offer you, you can find below!


Erasmus University Rotterdam

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) is an internationally oriented university with a strong social orientation in its education and research, as expressed in our mission ‘Creating positive societal impact’. EUR is home to 3.700 academics and professionals and almost 33.000 students from more than 140 countries. Everything we do, we do under the credo The Erasmian Way – Making Minds Matter. We’re global citizens, connecting, entrepreneurial, open-minded, and socially involved. These Erasmian Values function as our internal compass and create EUR’s distinctive and recognizable profile. From these values, with a broad perspective and with an eye for diversity, different backgrounds and opinions, our employees work closely together to solve societal challenges from the dynamic and cosmopolitan city of Rotterdam. Thanks to the high quality and positive societal impact of our research and education, EUR can compete with the top European universities.

Faculty / Institute / Central service
Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) is a leading school in economics in the Netherlands. It has a strong international reputation and aims to do outstanding research. Moreover, it provides excellent education at the BA., MA. and Ph.D. levels. Much research at Erasmus School of Economics is policy relevant, has social impact, and offers a strong research culture, ample research resources, and comparatively low teaching loads.


The health economics research group is part of the Department of Applied Economics together with research groups in strategy and behavioral economics. The Department offers a vibrant research environment with a focus on societally relevant economic questions ( Its researchers are members of the Tinbergen Institute, one of Europe's leading research institutes and graduate schools in economics, econometrics and finance ( It is also part of the Erasmus Research Institute in Management (, where its members cooperate with scholars of the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), one of the leading business schools worldwide.


  • Postdoc
  • Economics
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €4332—€5929 per month
  • University graduate
  • 4194


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

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Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, 3062PA, Rotterdam

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