PhD Researcher in Urban Economics
Wageningen University

PhD Researcher Urban Economics

Location Wageningen

We are looking for

Do you want to use your passion for urban economics to carry out research on ‘Family assets and private housing market outcomes of migrants’ ? Are you willing to help our researchers find answers for better understanding the impacts of urban housing for migrants in the Netherlands and China? The Urban Economics Group is, in cooperation with the Development Economics Group, looking for a PhD researcher.

Wageningen University & Research, together with Utrecht University (The Netherlands), three Chinese universities and societal partners, will carry out a research programme on ‘Urban Housing of Migrants in the Netherlands and China’. The aim of the project is to improve the social integration of migrants in China and the Netherlands by obtaining a better understanding of the impacts of social housing programmes and market forces on the urban housing of different migrant groups, and by assessing the impact of innovative social housing programs on the social integration of migrants.
Funding for this project is provided by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The duration of the appointment is four years from 2020-2024, you will be based in Wageningen.

Your main tasks will be:

  1. to investigate the family assets (land, financial, social capital) of different migrant groups in China and The Netherlands and how these assets shape the housing outcomes of migrants in destination cities. In China, special attention will need to be paid to the role of ongoing rural land policy reforms;
  2. applying panel data techniques to available data sets in China and The Netherlands;
  3. doing in-depth interviews with migrants in both countries to gain more insight into the role of family resources in their housing outcomes.
In your research, you will closely collaborate with PhD researchers and staff at East China Normal University and Nanjing Agricultural University (China) and at the Department of Human Geography at Utrecht University. You are expected to present your research at international conferences and to societal partners in China and The Netherlands.  

You are expected to complete a PhD dissertation within four years.

We ask

We are looking for a PhD with the following key qualifications:

  • a (research) master degree or equivalent in economics, sociology, (human) geography or related field;
  • research experience in quantitative (e.g. panel data methods) and qualitative methods (e.g. in-depth interviews);
  • strong scientific writing skills (evident from your thesis and/or publications);
  • knowledge of, and affinity with, migration and/or housing issues;
  • affinity with working in a multidisciplinary group in an international context;
  • fluency in written and spoken Chinese and/or Dutch is preferable;
  • excellent command of written and spoken English (a minimum of CEFR C1 level). For more information about this proficiency level, please visit our special language page.

We offer

You will receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your  needs and the research team.
The gross salary for the first year is € 2.325,- per month rising to € 2.972,- in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreement (scale P). This is based on a full working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well.

In addition, we offer:

  • 8% holiday allowance;
  • a structural end-of year bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent training opportunities and secondary employment conditions;
  • flexible working hours that we determine together in good consultation;
  • excellent pension plan through ABP;
  • 232 vacation hours, the option to purchase extra and good supplementary leave schemes, e.g. the possibility to work a maximum of 2 hours per week extra for extra leave;
  • a flexible model to put together part of your employment conditions yourself, such as a bicycle plan;
  • a lively workplace on the Wageningen Campus;
  • make use of the sports facilities on campus for a small fee.
Wageningen University & Research stimulates internal career opportunities and mobility with our internal recruitment policy. There are ample opportunities for personal initiative in a learning environment. With us you get a versatile job in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere, with students and staff from over 100 countries around the world.
You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the “Best University” in the Netherlands for the 15th consecutive time.

More information

For more information about this function you can contact Prof.dr. Nico Heerink via or +31 (0) 317 485117.

For more information about the procedure you can contact Sandra Willemsen, Recruiter SSG or Bianca Aversteeg, Recruitment support via

Do you want to apply?
This can be done directly via the application button at the vacancy on our website so that we can process your personal data with your permission.

This vacancy is open up to and including the 8th of July, 2020. We want to plan the first job interviews as soon as possible after closing date.
The project will start on the 1st of September, 2020 for a period of 4 years.

Equal opportunities employer
We are an employer that offers equal opportunities. We are happy to receive applications from all suitably qualified people regardless of race, gender, functional impairment, religion / belief, sexual orientation or age.

We believe that a diverse and inclusive working environment makes us a more relevant, competitive and resilient organization. Click here for more information about working at WUR with a functional impairment.

We are

The mission of our University is to explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life. Within Wageningen University & Research, nine specialised research institutes from the Wageningen Research Foundation and Wageningen University have joined forces to help answer the most important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With approximately 30 locations, 6.500 employees, and 12.000 students, it is one of the leading organisations in its domain worldwide. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of the unique approach of Wageningen. We have been named Best Employer in Education category 2019-2020.

The mission of the Urban Economics (UEC) group is to contribute to more resilient cities in terms of social equality, economic advantages and environmental quality. Therefore, UEC focusses on two main themes: sustainable (energy & food) consumption and urban-rural interactions
We use insights from general-, urban- and behavioural economics to improve the understanding of consumer and household decision making concerning sustainability, health and well-being and the impacts at the individual, urban and regional level.

Click here for more information about working at Wageningen University & Research. More information about Wageningen Campus you can find here.

We do the recruiting for this vacancy ourselves. Please do not contact us for sales purposes.

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