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PhD Candidate for applied research in the field of social insurance and pensions

The Department of Economics of the institute Tax Law and Economics of Leiden Law School is looking for a PhD Candidate for applied research in the field of social insurance and pensions (2 positions, 1 ...

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Begijnhof, Leiden, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur
€ 2222 - € 2840 per maand


One of the PhD candidates will work on the research program “Self-reliance and social insurance over the life cycle”.
The other PhD candidate will participate in the research program “Reform of Social Legislation”.

The research program “Self-reliance and social insurance over the lifecycle” analyses the response of individuals to reductions in the coverage of public social insurance schemes, such as unemployment insurance, disability insurance, social assistance and pension schemes. Recurrent questions for these schemes concern the ability of individuals and families to respond to reforms, both by increasing their working hours and increase private savings. The research program has received funding from Instituut Gak for the period 2017-2023. During this period, a team of PhD candidates and Postdoc researchers will conduct empirical analyses that may employ country-level data or micro-data of individuals and families to reveal the effect of reforms on the adequacy of social insurance and the work and savings behaviour of individuals.

The research program “Reform of Social Legislation” is a multi-disciplinary platform that examines the consequences of social tendencies for the legislation and institutions in the fields of social security and the labour market. For the current vacancy, the PhD will mostly conduct empirical analyses on the socio-economic effects of several insurance programs.

Both PhD candidates will be employed at the Department of Economics. The PhD theses will be supervised by Prof. Koen Caminada, Prof. Kees Goudswaard and Prof. Pierre Koning.

The positions comprise the following tasks:

  • Conduct innovative research, either within the framework of the research program “Self-reliance and social insurance over the life cycle” or within the framework of the research program “Reform of social legislation”;
  • Write a PhD Thesis;
  • Submit research results for publication in academic journals;
  • Present papers at international conferences;
  • Actively disseminate the research findings;
  • Organise and participate in seminars, workshops and conferences of the research program, as well as the research program “Reform of Social Legislation” of Leiden Law School ;
  • Teach in the programme of the Department of Economics;
  • Follow PhD courses based on an individual training plan.


  • A Master’s degree in economics or econometrics, or another applied behavioural science;
  • Excellent skills in quantitative research methods and in writing, demonstrated by a master’s thesis and/or publications;
  • An explicit interest in research in the field welfare state economics;
  • A curious, enterprising and creative mind and excellent analytical skills;
  • Teaching experience is not a requirement per se, but is considered an advantage;
  • An excellent command of the English language;
  • Knowledge of the Dutch language is considered an advantage for both PhDs.


We offer full-time positions for 38 hours per week. The appointment as a PhD candidate will be for a period of four years (initially for a period of one year with an extension of three years after positive evaluation of progress and skills development) leading to the successful completion of a PhD thesis. The starting date of the appointment is negotiable. Salary range from €2,222 to €2,840 gross per month on a full-time basis (pay scale P), in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. More at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at/job-application-procedure-and-employment-conditions.

Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.

Additional information

Enquiries can be made to Prof. Pierre Koning.

Please submit online your application no later than 9 March 2018 via the blue button of our application system.
To apply for this vacancy, please ensure that you upload the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number:

  • A cover letter stating your motivation for this position;
  • A CV;
  • A letter of recommendation.

The selection procedure will take place during March. You are kindly requested to be available in this period.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.


Leiden is a typical university city, hosting the oldest university in the Netherlands (1575). The University permeates the local surroundings; University premises are scattered throughout the city, and the students who live and study in Leiden give the city its relaxed yet vibrant atmosphere.

Leiden University is one of Europe's foremost research universities. This prominent position gives our graduates a leading edge in applying for academic posts and for functions outside academia. More at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at.

Leiden Law School

The Department of Economics is part of Leiden Law School (ranked #1 in the Netherlands for the subject of law and #24 in the 2016 QS World University Rankings by Subject). With over 5,000 students and 450 members of staff, Leiden Law School is one of the largest faculties in the Netherlands. Yet, in all its diversity, it is still known for its ability to provide education on a small scale. The Faculty focuses on multi-faceted high-level teaching and research, both nationally and internationally. It does so by working with talented people and stimulating and supporting them in their professional and personal ambitions. The Faculty is housed in the beautifully restored Kamerlingh Onnes Building on the Steenschuur in Leiden. Working for the Leiden Law School means working in an inspiring scientific environment.

In the broad field of applied economics, the activities of the Department of Economics are concentrated on socio-economic policy, law and economics and the economics of taxation. The department provides courses for a number of study programs, such as law, public administration, liberal arts and political science. Moreover, the department participates in a dual bachelor’s program (Economics, Governance and Management) and a dual master’s program (Economics and Governance), both hosted in The Hague.