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PhD position "Foreign students and graduates in European border regions"

You are invited to apply for a 4 year PhD position in the project “LIMES – the hardening and softening of borders”. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 847596.

6 maanden geleden


Grote Gracht, Maastricht, Limburg
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht



Previous research indicates considerable additional costs of both job search and recruitment of personnel across the border. From an economic point of view, when borders are abolished an optimal re-allocation of skills results into productivity increases. The PhD candidate is expected to study the impact of various additional costs that are involved with cross-border mobility or migration due to for example:

• Informational and network costs on job search and recruitment across the border.

• Commuting costs due to lack of adequate transport infrastructure when crossing borders.

• Costs involved with different tax, pension and social security systems between neighboring countries.

• Costs involved with impediments in diploma recognition and other institutional differences between neighboring countries.

• Costs due to different cultures and languages across the border.

For the project ‘Foreign students and graduates in European border regions’ the PhD candidate should analyse whether excess demand and supply of manpower in specific occupations within border regions are drivers for cross-border mobility. We would like to know if occupations that require country-, sector- and occupation-specific vocational education and training (VET) are more hindered by cross-border barriers than less-intensive VET-occupations.

Finally, the PhD candidate should be willing to engage in a secondment during a period of (at most) 6 months at the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) in Bonn.

The PhD is based at the Research for Education and the Labour Market (ROA) of the School of Business and Economics (SBE) and is expected to collaborate with researchers from the Institute for Transnational and Euregional cross border cooperation and Mobility (ITEM) and the Maastricht Centre for Citizenship, Migration and Development (MACIMIDE).

Supervision team:

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Frank Cörvers, leader of the Human Capital in the Region research programme, ROA (Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market), Maastricht University School of Business and Economics
Co-supervisor: Dr. Christoph Meng, Senior Researcher Education and Occupational Career, ROA (Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market), Maastricht University School of Business and Economics
External supervisor: Prof. Dr. Harald Pfeifer, Head of Research Department Economics of VET, Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB)

Because the PhD candidates work in a larger research project, team work is essential. In addition to individual work on their dissertations, the PhD candidates will contribute to regular project team meetings and joint academic publications. The PhD candidates will receive extensive training, including regular supervision, training by the Graduate Schools of the relevant faculties, and the partner organisations, where they can benefit from a secondment.


Candidates will be judged on the basis of the requirements outlined below. Candidates should make sure that their application letter demonstrates how they meet these requirements:

• Knowledge and interest on the topics covered by the relevant PhD project;

• Advanced skills in research design and relevant quantitative analysis, as demonstrated in education and/or work so far;

• Strong analytical skills;

• Outstanding writing skills;

• Show an obvious interest in academic research, particularly qualitative research methods;

• Have the capability of autonomously conducting original research as well as working in a team;

• Fluency in English; knowledge of other languages such as the official UN languages is an asset.


We offer a dynamic and challenging job in an internationally-oriented organisation where people receive an advanced education and scholars conduct exciting research. You will be part of an international network of top universities and renowned scholars within the field.

We offer a 4-year full-time appointment as PhD candidate in one of the 13 research projects under the umbrella of LIMES.

The first year will be a probation period, after a positive assessment the position will be extended with another 3 years.

Remuneration will be according to standard salary levels for PhD students starting with a salary of € 2.325,- with a yearly growth to € 2.972,- gross a month in year 4 (based on a full-time appointment.)

Each year the standard salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%.

You have to be willing to move to (the vicinity of) Maastricht. You will be eligible for an allowance for moving costs. You may also be eligible for an allowance for alternative housing. Other secondary conditions include e.g. a pension scheme and partially paid parental leave.

You will be provided with shared office space and a PC.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website http://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl > Support > UM employees.

Additional information

Further information is available on the website https://limes.maastrichtuniversity.nl/:

  • Selection process, application form and instructions
  • Host institution, partners involved, employment conditions
  • Set-up of the Programme, staff and contact points
  • Training and secondment programme
  • Information on the ethical and legal standards
  • FAQs

This vacancy has been re-opened until 30 September 2019. This does not affect the assessment procedure of applicants of the first application round, who will receive feed-back on their application on 7 October