PhD Student Methodology and Statistics

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Job description

PhD Student Methodology and Statistics
Sociological cross-cultural survey studies often ignore the problem of
cross-cultural equivalence, thereby tacitly assuming that concepts and
terminology are being equally and equivalently evaluated by members in
all respondent groups. However, this approach of comparing responses to
multilingual survey questions by members of different non-western
immigrant groups within a multicultural society, such as The
Netherlands, inevitably raises an important methodological issue: are
responses to survey questions from culturally diverse such populations
really comparable? This project sets out to investigate to what extent
comparability holds for instruments included in the publicly and
scientifically important Dutch survey Sociale Positie en
Voorzieningengebruik van Allochtonen (SPVA) This longitudinal survey
concentrates on the socio-economic and socio-cultural position of the
four largest ethnic minority groups in the Netherlands: Turks,
Moroccans, Surinamese and Antillians/Arubans. The research uses a
mixed-methods research design. The survey is first analyzed with
statistical methods for bias detection. Cognitive survey methods
combined with focus groups act as a follow-up that provide information
about respondents’ underlying thought processes and assists in
interpreting the statistical results.

Applications are invited for an appointment as a PhD in methodology and
statistics at the department of Methodology and Statistics. As a PhD
you will do a literature search, perform methodological and statistical
research activities including questionnaire development, organization
and moderation of focus groups, and quantitative and qualitative data
analysis. The PhD will present papers at conferences and write papers
for international journals to be included in a Ph.D. dissertation.


University Graduate
We are looking for a
strong candidate with an outspoken interest in quantitative and
qualitative data analysis for the social and behavioural sciences.
Experience with the organization and/or moderation of focus groups will
be considered an advantage.

The ideal candidate has a doctoral or master degree in the social or
behavioral sciences. Also, the candidate has to speak and write both
Dutch and English at a level that is sufficient for doing and reporting
on scientific research. Candidates from other scientific areas need to
have some interest in problems and research typical of social or
behavioural science. Moreover, the candidate is ambitious, able to work
independently but willing to cooperate with the colleagues in the


Tilburg University is a modern, specialized
university. The teaching and research of the Faculty of the Social
Sciences are organized around the themes of Health, Organization, and
Relations between State, Citizen, and Society. The faculty’s inspiring
working environment challenges its workers to realize their ambitions;
involvement and cooperation are essential to achieve this.

The Department of Methodology and Statistics is
responsible for teaching methodology and statistics to students of the
Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Central in its research
program are the study, development, and application of latent variable
models. Among these models are latent class models, item response
models, and linear structural equation models. One of the recent themes
is reliability of individual classifications using short scales. The
Department’s research program is part of the national graduate school
Interuniversity Graduate School for Psychometrics and Sociometrics

Conditions of employment

Estimated maximum salary per month: eur 2000 – 2500
Duration of the contract: 1 + 3 years
Maximum hours per week: 38

Additional conditions of employment:
The job is initially for one year, but the purpose is to extend the
contract with three years, depending on the performance in the first

Additional Information

Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from:

prof. dr. J.K. Vermunt
Telephone number: 00 31 13 4662748
E-mail address:

dr. J. Gelissen
Telephone number: 00 31 13 4662974
E-mail address:

Or additional information can be obtained through one of the following links.

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You can apply for this job before 13-10-2006 by sending your application to:

Tilburg University
Fac. of Social and Behavioural Sciences
M.H. M. van Ieperen, managing director
P.O. Box 90153
5000 LE Tilburg
The Netherlands
E-mail address:

2006-10-13 00:00:00.0

When applying for this job always mention the vacancy number AT 400.06.16.
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