PhD: Ethnographic Research on Mobile Merchants and Inclusive Public Spaces

PhD: Ethnographic Research on Mobile Merchants and Inclusive Public Spaces

Published Deadline Location
5 Mar 7 Apr Nijmegen

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Job description

As a PhD candidate you will conduct qualitative research to gain in-depth insights into the place-making capacities and mobility practices of merchants in the Netherlands, in order to create a better understanding of how marketplaces are produced as inclusive public spaces where people with very different backgrounds mingle.

The research evolves around three interrelated questions:
1) What is/was the role of mobile merchants in the production of inclusive public spaces?
2) How do merchants navigate different social, cultural and economic dynamics across different periodic marketplaces?
3) Which formal or informal institutional arrangements affect the merchants’ settlement in as well as mobility between specific marketplaces?

The PhD research is part of a larger European HERA-funded project entitled ’Moving Marketplaces (MMP): Following the Everyday Production of Inclusive Public Spaces’. It will be executed by a consortium of academic partners in the UK, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Spain (Open University, Radboud University, Université de Neuchâtel, Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona respectively) as well as associate partners including the Project for Public Space and local trade unions. Its translocal research design combines ethnographic research of two marketplaces in each country with the actual following of merchants to other trading destinations, in order to investigate the ways merchants act as social and cultural brokers within and between different marketplaces, and the institutional barriers they might encounter.

Your tasks will be to conduct translocal ethnographic research on Dutch merchants, using a mix of archive research, participant observations, informal conversations, and semi-structured interviews, possibly combined with assisting merchants in their daily work activities. You will write scientific articles and complete your PhD within four years. You will participate in conferences, workshops, seminars and other scholarly activities, and contribute to teaching.


Radboud University


  • a Master’s degree in human geography, urban studies, sociology, anthropology, humanities, or any other related field;
  • proven interests in and knowledge of theories on mobility, public space, social inclusion and/or diversity, and preferably affinity with marketplaces;
  • relevant research experience, including experience with doing fieldwork, (mobile) ethnography or any other relevant qualitative methodology;
  • an excellent command of written and spoken English, as evidenced by a writing sample;
  • proficiency in Dutch (in order to conduct empirical research in the Netherlands);
  • proactive behaviour and good skills in project planning.

Conditions of employment

  • employment: 1.0 FTE
  • the gross starting salary amounts to €2,325 per month, and will increase to €2,972 in the fourth year (P-scale)
  • in addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • you will be appointed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years
  • you will be classified as a PhD Candidate in the Dutch university job-ranking system (UFO)
  • you will be able to make use of our Dual Career Service where our Dual Career Officer will assist with family related support, such as child care, and help your partner prepare for the local labour market and with finding an occupation

Intended start date is 1 June 2019. The vacancy is subject to funding.

Are you interested in our excellent employment conditions?


Strategically located in Europe, Radboud University is one of the leading academic communities in the Netherlands. A place with a personal touch, where top-flight education and research take place on a beautiful green campus in modern buildings with state-of-art facilities.


Nijmegen School of Management
The Nijmegen School of Management (NSM) is an academic centre of research and higher education at Radboud University, focusing on institutional and managerial issues concerning complex organisations in both the public and private domain. It contains seven disciplines: Business Administration, Public Administration, Political Science, Economics and Business Economics, Human Geography, Spatial Planning and Social and Political Sciences of the Environment. The NSM strives for a multidisciplinary approach whenever possible. The NSM employs 260 FTEs, of whom 75% are academics. The NSM currently has approximately 4,500 students.
NSM’s research activities are governed by the Institute for Management Research (IMR). It aims to create knowledge for society and carries out state-of-the-art research into complex problems of governance and management in order to explain the causes of these problems, and to use that knowledge to create potential solutions. The IMR hosts researchers from business administration, economics and business economics, geography, planning and environmental sciences, and political science and public administration. The problems they study often call for a combination of knowledge and expertise from multiple disciplines, and for collaboration with societal relevant actors.
Further information on Geography, Planning and Environment
Further information on Nijmegen School of Management


  • PhD positions
  • Economics
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University Graduate
  • 27.02.19



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