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Phd Candidate In Quality Of Big Data And Administrative Data

Are you a passionate and committed researcher and an expert in cutting-edge quantitative methods? Would you like to be involved in frontier research on the quality of big data and administrative data and work with highly qualified researchers in an academic environment? If so, we hope that you will apply to become our new colleague in the Department of Sociology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

ongeveer 2 maanden geleden


De Boelelaan, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
32 - 40 uur
€ 2395 - € 3061 per maand


The PhD candidate will be hired for a 4-year full-time contract (alternative 5-year 0.8fte contract) starting in January 2021. The main responsibility of the newly hired PhD candidate researcher is to study the quality of large newly available data sources: big data and administrative data. While existing research on the quality of these data sources has focused primarily on non-participation leading to selection errors, this project extends this to include the effect of other sources of error such as measurement error and linkage error. The successful candidate will develop statistical methods that incorporate these types of error in the study of data quality and will apply the developed methods to datasets that are available at Statistics Netherlands (CBS) on issues related to pressing social issues (e.g. employment). For this purpose, (s)he will collaborate with methodologists from the Vrije Universiteit and Statistics Netherlands. Moreover, the new PhD candidate will have light teaching tasks (10% concentrated in the second and third year) in BSc or MSc courses in Statistics and Methodology at the Faculty of Social Sciences.

This vacancy is a part of the collaboration of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam with Statistics Netherlands (CBS). CBS is the primary source of official statistics in the Netherlands, producing important numbers that are used daily by the government, politics, and the media, for example through CBS StatLine.

Your duties

  • Develop statistical methods for the quality of big data and administrative data and apply them to real data
  • Conduct high-quality research in the field illustrated by international publications, presentations in conferences and communication of research results to the wider public
  • Support ‘open science’ and work in a reproducible way and share tools and data with the wider scientific community
  • Follow courses at the PhD level at the Graduate School of the Faculty of Social Sciences or elsewhere to collect 30 ECTS
  • Visit regularly Statistics Netherlands (CBS) in the Hague to collaborate with CBS staff


  • MSc degree in Statistics, Econometrics or a degree in Social Sciences or Economics that includes an excellent background in statistics
  • Solid background in methodology and statistics; experience with log-linear and latent class models will be considered an asset
  • Ambitious and able to work independently and in a team
  • Ability to collaborate with academics and non-experts and to present complex statistical models to the latter group clearly
  • Excellent knowledge of the English language. Knowledge of (or willingness to learn quickly) Dutch is not required but will be considered an asset


A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2,395 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €3,061 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a duration of 4 years.

Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package
  • a wide range of sports facilities which staff may use at a modest charge, discounts on collective insurances (healthcare- and car insurance)
  • good paid parental leave scheme
  • child daycare facilities available on campus

Additional information

Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until November 15, 2020.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Dimitris Pavlopoulos
Position: Associate Professor
E-mail: d.pavlopoulos@vu.nl
Telephone: +31 20 59 89254

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