Doctoral Scholarship in Sociology of Health
University of Antwerp Faculty Social Sciences

Department: Department of Sociology

Regime Full-time

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The Department of Sociology in the Faculty of Social Sciences is looking for a full-time (100%) doctoral scholarship holder in the field of Sociology of Health.

We are looking for a PhD student in the field of the Sociology of Health. You will be part of a larger FWO-SBO project (containing two other PhD positions: one in Medical Sciences (UAntwerpen) and one in Health Economics (UGent)) which aims to test a community health worker intervention to improve access to primary health care for socio-economically vulnerable groups. This project has both a strong research and valorisation focus – aiming to ensure that our research is optimally aligned with societal needs and that the produced knowledge and output will be maximally utilised in the field.

Despite the fact that Belgium has put various reforms in place to make Primary Health Care (PHC) more affordable and accessible, inequalities in access to care are not decreasing but even getting bigger. This results in a need for innovative measures to link people who have difficulties accessing PHC, such as people living in socio-economically vulnerable circumstances, to the existing PHC system. To design a new model, the project will tap into the potential of innovations from low and middle- income countries (LMICs). Inspired by community health worker (CHW) interventions in LMICs (e.g. South Africa), this study will design and test an outreaching PHC model with a CHW intervention to address the access-to-care challenges in Flanders, Belgium. Throughout this work, the research team will closely collaborate with committed societal stakeholders to merge scientific insights with implementation knowhow, in order to optimize societal impact.


  • You will work actively on the preparation and defence of a PhD thesis in the field of Sociology.
  • You are part of a scientific research team. In this team you will carry out the following research tasks, among others:You will publish scientific articles and present your work at scientific conferences related to the research project.
    • You will prepare and conduct qualitative fieldwork abroad, among others in South Africa, as well as analyse the qualitative data collected;
    • You will support the design of a community health worker intervention;
    • You will prepare and conduct qualitative fieldwork in Belgium, alongside the execution of a Randomised Controlled Trial testing a community health workers intervention, as well as analyse the collected qualitative data
  • You will collaborate with societal stakeholders to optimise fit of the research results to practice and societal impact. As such, you will contribute to the valorisation objectives of the research project.


  • You hold a Master degree in the Social Sciences or Public Health or you will have obtained it by the time you start work.
  • You have a strong interest in (qualitative) scientific research;
  • You have flexible, autonomous, excellent communication and interpersonal skills;
  • You take initiative and full responsibility;
  • You are quality oriented, honest, creative and collaborative.
  • You are willing to travel for fieldwork abroad;
  • You are motivated and able to work in a multidisciplinary team;
  • You are fluent in Dutch and have an excellent knowledge of English, both spoken and written. Knowledge of additional languages is a bonus;
  • Your research qualities are in line with the faculty and university research policies.
  • You act with attention to quality, integrity, creativity and cooperation.

What we offer

  • We offer a doctoral scholarship for a period of one year. Following a positive evaluation, the scholarship can be renewed for a maximum of four years in total.
  • The planned start date is the 1st of January 2023 or earlier in agreement with the research team.
  • Your monthly scholarship amount is calculated according to the scholarship amounts for doctoral scholarship holders on the pay scales for Contract Research Staff (Dutch: Bijzonder Academisch Personeel, BAP).
  • You will receive ecocheques and a bicycle allowance or a full reimbursement of public transport costs for commuting.
  • You will do most of your work at the City campus, but you will also be working at the Campus Drie Eiken on a weekly basis in a dynamic and stimulating working environment.
  • Find out more about working at the University of Antwerp here.

Want to apply?

  • You can apply for this vacancy through the University of Antwerp’s online job application platform up to and including on the 8th of August 2022 (by midnight Brussels time). Click on the 'Apply' button, complete the online application form and be sure to include the following attachments: a motivation letter, your CV, a text that represents you work (preferably in English).
  • The selection committee will review all of the applications as soon as possible after the application deadline. As soon as a decision has been made, we will inform you about the next steps in the selection procedure.
  • If you have any questions about the online application form, please check the frequently asked questions or send an email to If you have any questions about the job itself, please contact or

The University of Antwerp received the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award for its HR policy. We are a sustainable, family-friendly organisation which invests in its employees’ growth. We encourage diversity and attach great importance to an inclusive working environment and equal opportunities, regardless of gender identity, disability, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse characteristics to apply.

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