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A PhD position (1,0 fte) at the Behavioural Insights Group Rotterdam

The Behavioural Insights Group-Rotterdam (BIG’R) was launched in October 2017 and is a collaboration between the municipality of Rotterdam and the Erasmus University Rotterdam. It consists of a team of passionate behavioural scientists, researchers ...

ongeveer een jaar geleden


Landelijk / geen vaste standplaats
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
40 uur


The Behavioural Insights Group-Rotterdam (BIG’R) was launched in October 2017 and is a collaboration between the municipality of Rotterdam and the Erasmus University Rotterdam. It consists of a team of passionate behavioural scientists, researchers from other disciplines, policy makers and communication professionals.
As a team we look for interventions based on behavioural sciences (e.g., nudges) to improve outcomes in several policy fields, e.g., legal bike parking, reducing violence within Rotterdam nightlife, or reducing no shows at municipal appointments; essentially making the city of Rotterdam a better place to live, work, and visit.
The PhD candidates will contribute to identifying promising behavioural interventions as well as designing and evaluating new behavioural interventions for implementation in Rotterdam. Moreover, the candidates will work on performing (cost-) effectiveness and process evaluations of these interventions. Furthermore, the candidates will work on translating the knowledge gained from these evaluations into lessons learned and best practices for policy makers.

Your tasks will consist of:
 reading the relevant literature;
 designing, coordinating and conducting (field) experiments;
 analysing data;
 writing scientific papers for peer-reviewed journals;
 presenting or lecturing in themed meetings at level of local government
 presenting at national and international scientific conferences;
 working within a multidisciplinary team from ESSB and Rotterdam Municipality;
 participating in regular project team meetings with all partners from academia and local government (e.g. policy makers);
 collaborating with municipal researchers (from department OBI);


- Master’s degree (and preferably a Research Master’s degree) in one of the behavioural sciences (e.g., Psychology)
- Excellent research and methodological skills (a strong quantitative background is required, both quantitative and qualitative background is preferred)
- Good academic writing and presentation skills;
- Excellent communication, social and organisational skills;
- Fluent in Dutch, working proficiency in English
- A proven motivation to work in Rotterdam and with its inhabitants/network partners


This is a four-year PhD-position (1,0 fte). The initial contract will be running for a term of 1 year, which - depending on performance – will be extended with a maximum of 3 years.

Additional conditions of employment for a PhD-position:
The Erasmus University offers a salary of € 2.222,- gross per month in the first year up to a maximum of € 2.840,- gross per month in the final year in accordance with the Promovendus scale of CAO NU. Salary is based on a fulltime occupation. Objective of this temporary position is the production of a thesis leading to a PhD degree. Candidates are expected to submit a yearly progress report to the faculty’s standing committee for research.

The EUR has attractive employment conditions, which include a holiday allowance of 8.0%, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% and 232 hours leave per year based on a full-time appointment. In the case of an 8-hour workday, you build weekly 2 hours extra of leave on. Furthermore, the EUR is connected to the ABP for pension provision and we provide partially paid parental leave. Also, employees can use EUR facilities, such as the Erasmus Sports Centre and the University Library.

Additional information

Additional information about BIG’R, the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Science and the Municipality Rotterdam can be obtained through one of the following links:
www.eur.nl/essb www.rotterdam.nl

Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from prof. dr. Semiha Denktaş (denktas@euc.eur.nl).

All applications must include (use PDFs where possible):
1) Your curriculum vitae and motivation letter;
2) The final grade lists of your Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees;
3) An example of a text written by you (for example your Master thesis);
In addition, please provide the names of two academic and/or professional referees.
The deadline to submit your complete application is: 1 December 2017, by e-mail to: application.dpecs@essb.eur.nl. Please mention “PhD candidate BIG’R”. Screening will start immediately and continue until the position is filled. Selected candidates will be invited to an interview with a selection committee.


Erasmus University Rotterdam is a modern, highly ranked, international research university, based in the dynamic and diverse city of Rotterdam. We were founded in 1913 and nowadays host 23.000 students. Our faculties and institutions work on global, national and local social challenges in the areas of: healthy development, wealth, governance, culture.

The quality of research at Erasmus University, named after Rotterdam-born humanist and theologian Erasmus, is reflected in its consistent top-100 position in most major universities rankings. On the lively, modern campus, students and scholars of more than 100 nationalities are constantly encouraged to develop their talents and meet their ambition. www.eur.nl/english

Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Science
The Erasmus School of Social and and Behavioural Science (ESSB) is home to a vast diversity of scientific disciplines: public administration, pedagogical sciences, psychology and sociology. In addition, the Erasmus University College, IHS, and two research institutes RISBO and DRIFT are linked to the faculty. This diversity is also reflected in the content of the (international) bachelor's and master's programs and in research. Our activities are always focused on people and society. At the ESSB fundamental, internationally oriented research is of paramount importance. In addition, social research for professionals, policy makers, and the society is part of our research activities. ESSB offers a stimulating research environment, and its researchers have received major national and international research grants. Appealing guest researchers and ambitious PhD candidates come along to conduct their research. Our education is small-scale and works with innovative forms of education such as Problem-Based Learning (PBL). Both the Dutch and English programs are highly ranked by students and alumni. ESSB is home to over 2500 students and 300 staff-members.

Department of Psychology, Education & Child Studies
The department of Psychology, Education & Child Studies (DPECS) houses innovative and highly ranked bachelor- and master programs. With the innovative didactical approach of Problem-Based Learning, small-scale education was introduced in Rotterdam. Our researchers publish in highly ranked journals and belong to the top of their fields. The well-equipped Erasmus Behavioural Lab makes it possible to conduct innovative research, and to train students in research and professional competencies.