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  3. PhD Position in Accountable Governance (1.0 FTE)

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PhD Position in Accountable Governance (1.0 FTE)

The Utrecht School of Governance is looking for a PhD Candidate in Accountable Governance. Are you interested? Then please read the full profile and apply.

meer dan 2 jaar geleden


Domplein, Utrecht, Utrecht
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 40 uur
€ 2222 - € 2840 per maand


At the Utrecht School of Governance (USG) a PhD Position is available within the NWO-VIDI-project 'Calibrating Public Accountability'. The overall research project aims to innovate accountability research by connecting insights from psychology to the study of the governance and accountability of public sector organizations. The project is organized around a theoretical model, derived from psychology, which will be tested and connected to real-world contexts of public administration. The PhD candidate will be part of the core team in Utrecht, cooperating with international colleagues and public sector organizations in the Netherlands. Various research methods (survey, experiments, qualitative-ethnographic) will be deployed which will lead to theoretical innovation and practical lessons on how to improve the governance and accountability of public sector organizations.

The PhD candidate will build on the insights already generated in the project and should fit in the existing team. It is simultaneously important, though, that the PhD candidate can develop her/his own perspective and approaches to this research project.

The aim is to focus on the impact of external accountability on decisions and behaviors inside public sector organizations. This project aims to understand how external accountability to central government shapes decisions and behaviors inside various public organizations, such as for instance government agencies, cultural institutions (such as museums) or housing corporations. Accountability can be a source of frustration but can also stimulate people and organizations to improve themselves. With this project, we aim to unravel when and how external accountability can help public sector organizations to improve themselves.

In this project you will reach beyond what public managers and employees write or say about accountability but observe and analyze in-depth what they actually do, including strategic behaviors. This can be studied with different research methods: we are open to different methodological approaches, ranging from experiments to surveys, case studies or ethnographic fieldwork. It is possible to conduct some of the research abroad.

Your tasks will consist of:

  • reading the relevant literature;
  • designing, coordinating and conducting research;
  • analyzing data;
  • writing scientific papers for peer-reviewed journals;
  • presenting at national and international scientific conferences;
  • participating in regular project team meetings with all partners to ensure project alignment;
  • teaching (max. 0.1 FTE).


We are looking for a new colleague with:

  • a completed (Research) Master in Public Administration, Governance and Organization, Political Science, Sociology or Organizational/Social Psychology;
  • affinity with the core themes public accountability, public sector governance or decision-making in organizations;
  • methodological skills in qualitative/ethnographic, quantitative or experimental research is an advantage;
  • interest in multidisciplinary research;
  • good command of English language;
  • academic writing skills;
  • good social, organizational and communicative skills;
  • a preference for working in an academic community, with collaboration in both research and education.


We offer a temporary position (1.0 FTE) for one and a half year. The preferred starting is 1 September 2018. The position is extendable by a further two and a half years upon satisfactory performance. The gross salary ranges between €2,222 and €2,840 (scale P according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) gross per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8 % and a year-end bonus of 8.3 % per year. We offer a pension scheme, (partly paid) parental leave, collective insurance schemes and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information is available at: working at Utrecht University.

Additionele informatie

For more information please contact the leading investigator, dr. Thomas Schillemans via t.schillemans@uu.nl. A general description of the research programme is available through the project website.