Postdoctoral research Fellow in Political Economy II

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences – Department of Political Science

Publication date
6 April 2017
Level of education
Salary indication
€3,427 to €4,691 gross per month, based on 38 hours per week
Closing date
3 May 2017
26,6 hours per week
Vacancy number

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG) of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is the largest educational and research institution in the social sciences in the Netherlands, and one of the highest-ranked such institutions in Europe. The Faculty serves 7,500 students in numerous Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes in Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology, Communication Science, Psychology, Social Geography, Planning and International Development Studies, and Educational Sciences. The academic staff is employed in education as well as research. There are over 1,100 employees at the Faculty, which resides in a number of buildings in the centre of Amsterdam.

The Department of Political Sciences is one of the departments of the FMG. The College of Social Sciences (CSW) and the Graduate School of Social Sciences (GSSS) are responsible for the under-graduate and graduate teaching programmes in Political Science. The research within the Department is conducted in research programmes of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR). The AISSR unites the social science research of the UvA, and is one of the largest research institutes in Europe.

Project description

The Department of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam invites applications for a two-year postdoctoral research fellowship. The position is part of the research project ‘Why we measure the economy the way we do’, led by prof. Daniel Mügge and funded by the Dutch National Science Organisation (NWO). More information about the project can be found on the project website.

Put simply, the Vidi project investigates why we measure macroeconomic quantities - for example economic growth, unemployment or inflation figures - in one way rather than in another. Its premises are that there are usually several alternative plausible measurements and that the choice for one particular formula carries significant distributive implications. Therefore, the Vidi project as a whole investigates the factors that have driven choices for specific measurement approaches, in particular in the OECD countries and at the European level.

Beyond the distributive implications, macroeconomic indicators also matter as yardsticks for policymaking empowering citizens to evaluate economic trends or the performance of politicians in office. The interpretation of economic information and specific indicators such as GDP figures or unemployment rates is not straightforward, however. How macroeconomic figures matter to citizen behaviour depends entirely on how citizens interpret these figures – how, for example, they make sense of public debt or inflation statistics. Past research has indicated that the average citizen understandings of these concepts and their importance and causal connections can deviate significantly from expert interpretations.

This postdoctoral researcher project builds on that insight. Using a variety of social-scientific methods, it sheds light on how citizens interpret macroeconomic indicators and information and how, in light of these interpretations, these indicators are relevant to politics or economic dynamics.


  • Conducting research within the framework of the above-described project;
  • publishing, in part together with the project leader, the results of the research in high-quality academic outlets;
  • contributing to the organisational aspects of the project and to knowledge valorisation activities;
  • contributing to and initiating bids for further external research funding;
  • supervision of the PhD and MA students in Fickle Formulas, helping them with theoretical and practical guidance where necessary;
  • regularly present intermediate research results at international workshops and conferences, and publish them in proceedings and journals;
  • willingness to spend up to 20 per cent of the time, including preparation time, on teaching the BA or MA programme. Teaching requirements depend on demand in the respective educational programmes.


  • A completed doctoral thesis in political science, communication science, sociology, or another field with clear relevance to the research project;
  • some experience with quantitative methods and, potentially, with survey research;
  • an ongoing programme of research and publications, focused on international peer-reviewed journals and/or books published by internationally recognised academic presses;
  • evidence of affinity with political economy.

Further information

Additional information about the vacancy may be obtained from:

Information about the overall project is available through the:


The appointment is for a 0.7 fte position (26.6 hours per week). In consultation with the teaching directors of the BA and MA programmes that the political science department services, there may be opportunities to combine this position with teaching tasks.

Based on a full-time appointment (38 hours per week) the gross monthly salary will range from €3,427 to €4,691 gross (scale 11) depending on experience. The salary will be increased by 8 % holiday allowance and 8,3 % annual bonus. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO) is applicable. The appointment will be temporary for 18 months and will begin in the autumn of 2017.

Job application

Applications should comprise a letter of motivation, a full CV including a list of publications and contact details of three referees, and a statement of how the candidate would envision investigating the issues laid out above (1,000 words max). These should be sent electronically in one document, preferably as a pdf-file. Please do not send us additional documentation at this stage. The deadline for applications is 3 May 2017. Please send your application to with vacancy number 17-164 as subject.

Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered. #LI-DNP

No agencies please

Published by  University of Amsterdam