Netherlands: PhD candidate in Genoeconomics at University of Amsterdam.

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Job description

The Amsterdam Business School is part of the Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Amsterdam. The Faculty has a student population of over 5,000 students, of which some 600 are non-Dutch. The University is located in the centre of Amsterdam in modern facilities. Amsterdam is a very friendly city with a high quality of life. Almost everyone in the Netherlands speaks good English.

The position will be hosted by the new Entrepreneurship and Innovation Section at the Amsterdam Business School. The group collaborates closely with genoeconomics group at theErasmus School of Economics, as well as with the competence clusters for behavioural economics and for brain & cognition research at the University of Amsterdam. The PhD candidate will be supervised by Prof. Dr. Philipp Koellinger, who is also the co-director of the Erasmus University Rotterdam Institute of Biology and Economic Behavior (EURIBEB) and a principal investigator of the Social Science Genetic Association Consortium (SSGAC).

Project description

Several PhD positions for genoeconomics are available as part of a joint research initiative of Erasmus University Rotterdam and the University of Amsterdam. Genoeconomics is a newly emerging research field that investigates the molecular genetic architecture of economic preferences (e.g. risk preferences, time discounting) and important lifetime outcomes (e.g. educational attainment, happiness, self-employment). This research could be transformative for the social sciences by providing new tools and insights to study the causes of behaviors and outcomes. Furthermore, the results of this research can inform medical research by identifying relevant causal pathways for disease outcomes (e.g. cognition-related or cardio-vascular diseases) that can help to identify individuals at risk early on.

The candidate will work with data from different sources, including the Rotterdam Study, the Health and Retirement Study, the Swedish Twin Registry, and the Social Science Genetics Association Consortium. The length of the appointment is 4 years. The position is affiliated with the newly established Erasmus University Rotterdam Institute of Biology and Economic Behavior (EURIBEB) and can be located at the Erasmus School of Economics or the Amsterdam Business School. The candidate will be part of a team that is leading this research effort, including Albert Hofman (Epidemiology), Roy Thurik (Economics), Patrick Groenen (Econometrics), and Philipp Koellinger (Economics & Business). Furthermore, the candidate will work closely with the principal investigators of the Social Science Genetics Association Consortium (Daniel Benjamin at Cornell, David Cesarini at NYU and Philipp Koellinger at the University of Amsterdam) and Magnus Johannesson at the Stockholm School of Economics. The team is internationally leading the development of this new interdisciplinary research field. The outcome of the project will consist in a number of research papers that will form the contents of the PhD dissertation. The project is designed to result in publications in leading academic journals in the areas of economics, medicine and genetics.


Candidates should have a recently completed Master’s degree with excellent results in economics, econometrics, computer science, psychology, behavioral genetics, epidemiology, or another field that provides a sufficient background in statistics. Good computer skills and some knowledge of programming languages are an advantage. Furthermore, curiosity and an interest to work in an interdisciplinary environment are regarded as assets. The necessary skills for using the appropriate statistical methods can be learned during the first year of employment.

Conditions of employment

The PhD position is a fully salaried position, meaning that appointed PhD candidate is an employee (promovendus) of the University of Amsterdam. Successful candidates are appointed on a full-time basis for a total of 4 years. Candidate’s performance is evaluated after 18 months and if positive, the contract is extended for another 2.5 years.

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