PhD on Roots and Routes to Migrants’ Economic Participation in the Netherlands (1970-2021) (1.0 FTE)


We are seeking a candidate for a PhD project titled "Roots and routes to migrants’ economic participation in the Netherlands: the constraining and facilitating impact of home and host society contexts (1970-2021)." This project utilizes a historical approach to investigate how migrants’ home and host society contexts and their interplay have facilitated or hampered the sustainable economic participation of different groups of African migrants in the Netherlands. We focus on two specific groups: Somali refugees, who have widely struggled in the Netherlands, and Ghanian economic migrants, who have experienced greater success. By "economic participation" we mean both labour market participation as well as self-employment. Economic participation is sustainable if (self-)employment is long term and income is sufficient to cover living costs (i.e., the opposite of precarious work). For more information, see the  detailed project description.

The project is part of the transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary research programme  SCOOP: Roadmaps to Resilient Societies

For this particular project, the first supervisor and daily supervisor will be from History and the second supervisor will be from Sociology. SCOOP is a research and training centre dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of sustainable cooperation as a key feature of resilient societies. SCOOP brings together researchers of the University of Groningen, Utrecht University, VU Amsterdam, Erasmus University Rotterdam, and Radboud University Nijmegen. The PhD candidate will participate in the  SCOOP PhD training programme 

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We are looking for a candidate who has:

  • (almost) finished a (Research) Master’s degree in the domain of (economic) history or sociology;
  • a solid training in (either) historical and social science research (having familiarity with both fields is a pre for this position);
  • affinity with quantitative and qualitative research methods;
  • (preferably) affinity and interest in the research field of migration and integration;
  • eagerness to work in an interdisciplinary research team and to conduct interdisciplinary research in the SCOOP programme;
  • an excellent academic record;
  • eagerness to publish international articles and write a dissertation;
  • excellent command of English in speech and academic writing skills;
  • Working Dutch language skills.

The offer

We offer a temporary position (1.0 FTE) with a starting date of 1 September 2023 for the duration of 18 months. In case of good performance and a positive evaluation, the contract will be extended for the remaining period of 30 months (48 months in total). The gross salary starts with ¤2,541 per month in the first year and increases to ¤3,247 per month in the fourth year of employment (scale P according to the Collective Employment Agreement of the Dutch Universities) for a full-time employment.

Besides that, you will receive a holiday allowance of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3%. Utrecht University also has an appealing package of  terms of employment  , including the choice for a good balance between work and private (a good arrangement for leave, among other things), possibilities for development and an excellent pension scheme. For more information, please visit  working at Utrecht University.

About the organization

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At  Utrecht University  , the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major  strategic themes  . Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

The  Faculty of Humanities  has around 6000 students and 1,100 staff members. It comprises four knowledge domains: Philosophy and Religious Studies, History and Art History, Media and Culture Studies, and Languages, Literature and Communication. With its research and education in these fields, the Faculty aims to contribute to a better understanding of the Netherlands and Europe in a rapidly changing social and cultural context. The enthusiastic and committed colleagues and the excellent amenities in the historical city centre of Utrecht,  where the Faculty is housed  , contribute to an inspiring working environment.

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact  Kate Frederick  , via

Are you an international applicant? Our  International Service Desk  can answer your questions about living in the Netherlands as  international staff and guests 

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Everyone deserves to feel  at home  at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. 

To apply, please send your curriculum vitae, including a letter of motivation, via the ’apply’ button. The application should include:

  • a cover letter explaining your interest in this position and your research focus, how your background prepares you for the research, and any other information about your circumstances relevant to assessing your suitability for the position (approx. 500 words);
  • a research proposal elaborating on your ideas and plans to carry out the PhD project (approx. 700 words);
  • a curriculum vitae. Please include the names and contact details of two referees whom we may contact;
  • an English language writing sample (e.g. a chapter from your Master’s thesis);
  • grade sheets (VWO, BA, MA).

Interviews are scheduled to take place in the second half of March.

Application deadline is the 1st of March.