Postdoc Data engineer Project FIRMBACKBONE

Updated: 7 months ago
Deadline: ;

Would you like to work on building a comprehensive data source for Economics research? Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU). 

FTE: 0.8 

Job description

As a Postdoc Data Engineer, you are part of the project


(FBB). FBB is initiated and carried out by Utrecht University (UU) and Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam. The project is funded by PDI-SSH. The goal of FBB is to build an organically growing, longitudinal data infrastructure with information about Dutch companies for scientific research and education.

The digitization of society and our economy has enabled new methods of collecting and analyzing data from companies. Such digital data is both detailed (i.e. deep) and long (i.e. over time) in size. It offers great potential for creating new economic insights and applications. However, currently there is no comprehensive and longitudinal data source on Dutch companies that academic researchers and students can use. Common complaints are that such data are too expensive for researchers to obtain and not user-friendly. Having this data more accessible would greatly contribute to research in (applied) Economics and adjacent areas, such as strategy, management, entrepreneurship, economic geography, and history.

We are creating a 'backbone' that contains a list of publicly accessible company names and numbers. We will enrich the data with additional public information by, for example, web scraping of company websites and by working together with data suppliers. As soon as FBB is ready, it will be accessible via SANE, the Secure Analysis Environment of ODISSEI and SURF. Cooperation with ODISSEI ensures adequate data protection, governance and long-term sustainability of the project.

Your duties
  • you further develop applications (use cases of FBB)
  • you develop of data-pipelines
  • you work on webscraping
  • you add users of FBB

You are part of an enthusiastic team of researchers, that consists of prof. dr. Wolter Hassink (UU/School of Economics, U.S.E.), prof. dr. Arjen van Witteloostuijn (VU/School of Business and Economics, SBE), prof. dr. Daniel Oberski (UU/Faculty of Social Sciences, FSW), and dr. Peter Gerbrands (UU/ School of Economics, U.S.E.). 

  • you have a PhD in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, or a related field
  • you have excellent writing and communication skills. Knowledge of Dutch is a plus
  • knowledge of and experience with R, Python, Java and/or Scala is a plus

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel  and amounts €2,960 (scale 10) per month during the first year and increases to €5,439 (scale 11) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

The appointment will be for 2,5 years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • a wide range of sports facilities which staff may use at a modest charge
  • contribution to commuting expenses

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

School of Business and Economics
The School of Business and Economics (SBE) provides high-quality education and excellent research in business administration and economics with a focus on contributing to the social, economic and ecological challenges of our time. Whether it is the use of robots in society or big data, labour market participation or flexibility in the labour market, traffic jams or the housing market, flash crashes in the stock market or choice behaviour in gambling, leadership or change management: we believe in goal-oriented scientific research and understand that progress in academics, the business community and society is achieved through cooperation, openness and social responsibility.

At SBE, all of our highly-motivated colleagues work together closely in a stimulating, dynamic and international environment to achieve our collective goal of encouraging society to make informed choices. Approximately 7,000 Bachelor’s and Master’s students and 1,700 executive students are enrolled at the School, and employs roughly 600 people.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until


Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Prof. dr. Arjen van Witteloostuijn

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