Call for PhD applicants in Economics, Geography and Social Sciences (f/m) – Ref: 21-29

Updated: 23 days ago

The Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER) calls for

PhD applicants

in Economics, Geography and Social Sciences (f/m) – Ref: 21-29

LISER is looking for motivated and qualified candidates who are interested in developing, with the help of our supervisors, an application for an individual AFR PhD grant by the Luxembourg National Research Fund .

The doctoral project represents an excellent opportunity for qualified students to contribute to the knowledge in public policies, empirical research and/or micro-economic and spatial modelling.

If selected for an AFR, the PhD candidates will be offered a LISER work contract and will work on their PhD thesis with supervisors in one of the Institute’s research departments.

We particularly welcome applicants who would like to develop a PhD project along the research areas listed below, in collaboration between LISER, the University of Luxembourg or other universities abroad:

• In the Living Conditions Department:

– Attitudes and beliefs about redistribution, inequality and taxation (Supervisor: Javier Olivera );

– The political economy of healthcare (Supervisor: Eugenio Peluso );

– Social mixing, migration and inequality (Supervisor: Eugenio Peluso ).

• In the Urban Development and Mobility Department:

– Dynamic exposure to air pollution at a country scale (Supervisor: Hichem Omrani );

– Studying long-term impacts of COVID-19 as of function of disease severity and patient’s comorbidities (Supervisors: Olivier Abdallah and Hichem Omrani ).

Your profile

– Candidates should have (or expect to achieve) a Master degree in economics, sociology, geography, or other social or data science disciplines, and be ranked among the 20% top students of their cohort. Candidates should have a GPA of at least 3.5 (5-point scale);

– Excellent verbal communication and academic writing skills in English;

– Enthusiasm for research and critical thinking.

Our offer

For successful AFR applicants, we offer:

– An exciting multi-disciplinary and international research environment with ample opportunities to exchange with scholars from related disciplines;

– A highly competitive salary for a full-time PhD position for a period of maximum 4 consecutive years (3+1 years);

– A package of mentoring, training and career development as well as access to a wide range of courses and seminars.

Doctoral candidates are encouraged to actively engage in specialised as well as transferable skills trainings and to develop their scientific profile and network through participation in high-level international conferences. Moreover, LISER supports enrolment in language courses for candidates interested in learning other languages, especially French, the second most widely spoken language in the Institute.

About the departments

The Living Conditions Department studies the multiple dimensions of individuals’ and families’ lives which are at the heart of both the causes of and consequences of inequality. Such dimensions span from early childhood to old age through educational attainment, marital decisions and family formation, fertility choices, and labor market outcomes up to and including retirement. Quantitative, typically survey-based research, examines household income, wealth, inequality, poverty and social inclusion from a variety of perspectives. The impact evaluation of socio-fiscal, family, educational, health, pension and wider social policy on living conditions is an integral part of the department’s research agenda.

The Urban Development and Mobility Department plays (inter)nationally a prominent role in academic and societal inter- and transdisciplinary research. In research, it focuses on the understanding of urban life and functioning of urban areas and in identifying effective pathways at the individual and urban level to stimulate urban vitality and livability. Key domains of research are: housing, mobility, health, financing, smart and sustainable urbanization, cross-border challenges, and qualitative and quantitative research methods, including GIS.

The Labour Market Department’s research revolves around two key themes, namely (i) the impact of public policies on employment in a context of international labour mobility, and (ii) the impact of societal challenges (digitalization, workforce diversity and sustainable development) on the relations between employers and employees. The department is multidisciplinary and makes use of theoretical, quantitative and qualitative methodologies.

LISER also hosts a Data Centre and collects a wide range of survey data on households and individuals. LISER is collecting the national components of the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions, the Survey on Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe, and the Household Finance and Consumption Survey, exploitation of which is strongly encouraged for cross-national, comparative research. Research in the survey and data management unit focuses in particular on innovative survey and/or data management methodologies.

Beyond its established departments, the Institute invests in several interdisciplinary research fields: Health, migration and cross-border related research, behavioral and experimental economics as well as the digital transformation of society.


LISER is a publicly funded research institute located in Luxembourg and dedicated to applied empirical research in economic, social and spatial sciences. Multi- and interdisciplinarity is a key element for stimulating scientific innovation. The Institute attracts top researchers from all over the world and high-level student training is a vibrant part of the Institute’s activities. The Institute‘s staff consists of about 180 employees (including a survey and data center), more than 50% of the staff being researchers, mainly from the fields of economics, sociology, and geography.

The Institute is located on the new Belval campus in the south of Luxembourg, which hosts the University of Luxembourg and a substantial part of the country’s publicly funded research facilities, i.e. LISER, the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS ) cross-national data center, the Luxembourg institutes of Health (LIH ) and of Science and Technology (LIST ). The University has outstanding high performance computing facilities available for use by associated researchers in the Luxembourg Institutes.

Luxembourg with its 600,000 inhabitants is one of the wealthiest countries in the world and provides a stimulating mixture of modern culture and tradition. In addition to excellent health, education (public, private and high level international schools) and recreational services, the country offers a rich variety of cultural activities, museums, music, art and theatre. The official languages are French, German and Luxemburgish.

Information for foreign researchers interested in Luxembourg research is accessible via the national EURAXESS platform.

How to apply?

Please submit your complete application via including:

– a detailed CV;

– a cover letter outlining your thematic interest, motivation and suitability for the PhD project, and stating the exact project title and the name of the lead supervisor;

– a relevant written document (e.g. a working paper, a chapter from your MA/MSc thesis, a seminar paper);

– 2 letters of recommendation from academic referees (to be uploaded with the application documents or sent separately to );

– Copy of relevant diplomas and transcripts.

Deadline for applications: January 2nd, 2022 at midnight CET.

LISER particularly encourages female researchers to apply.

Candidates will be notified of the outcome of their application during the month of January 2022. The shortlisted candidates will be invited for virtual interviews soon thereafter.

The deadline for submitting the AFR grant applications is set to early March 2022 (exact date to be confirmed, usually around the 10th) and the applicants will be informed by July 2022 whether the application has been accepted for funding.

For administrative matters, please contact

LISER is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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