Interdisciplinary PhD scholarship: Ethno-Religious identity & economic inclusion

Updated: 28 days ago
Deadline: 05 Sep 2022

Scholarship opportunities

Despite having a welfare state, economic inequality remains a policy challenge in the Netherlands. Whereas the Dutch Ministry of Education (Ministerie van OCW) has made “equality of opportunity” one of its priorities, a recent study of CBS Netherlands shows that families with a migration background are four times more likely to live in poverty than other families – even after controlling for education levels. Furthermore, this disparity has been on the rise in the last 30 years. If education levels cannot explain the widening economic inequality between different groups in society, then what is the real problem?

This project will investigate the origins of this economic inequality. It hypothesizes that, in the context of increasing regular and irregular migration flows, coupled with heightened focus and emphasis on religious identity, perceived ethno-religious identity is a significant contributing factor to economic in/exclusion, and subsequent economic inequality in the Netherlands. It will utilize a mixed methods approach to address the research question.

The supervision team consists of Prof. Erin Wilson (Faculty of Theology) and dr. Richard Jong-A-Pin (Faculty of Economics and Business). The PhD student will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Economics & Business.


The PhD student is expected to:

  • have a relevant master degree in the social sciences (e.g., economics, political economy, international relations, political science, anthropology, religious studies, sociology)
  • have strong quantitative and qualitative research skills, demonstrated through previous research projects
  • have a strong interest in social justice, religious, ethnic and cultural diversity, decolonial research approaches
  • have an interdisciplinary background, or affinity with working in an interdisciplinary team
  • be able to show perseverance, flexibility, project management and collaboration skills
  • excellent written and oral communication skills in English
  • be able to communicate with diverse audiences, including academics, policymakers and the general public, or have the demonstrated desire to develop such skills
  • be able to finish the PhD thesis in four years
  • enjoy planning and taking initiatives
  • enjoy academic writing and have the desire to publish, including previously published work (academic or non-academic)
  • be able and willing to work in Groningen, in an international and interdisciplinary environment
  • formulate a research proposal, eventually to be developed further together with the supervision team.


Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative centre of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the approximately 36,000 students and researchers to develop their own individual talents. Belonging to the best research universities in Europe and joining forces with prestigious partner universities and networks, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.

Faculty of Economics and Business
The Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) has an inspiring study and working environment for students and employees. International accreditation enables the Faculty to assess performance against the highest international standards. It also creates an exciting environment of continuous improvement. FEB's programmes, academic staff and research do well on various excellence ranking lists.

Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies
Religion matters in society. There is growing awareness of the complexity and multifaceted nature of religion in the past and present. We use a multidisciplinary approach in studying religion in all its facets, one that combines theories and methods of the humanities and the social sciences. The dynamic relationship between religion, culture and society is at the heart of our teaching and research.

The graduate schools of both faculties have available: an Interdisciplinary PhD scholarship for the topic:
“Ethno-Religious identity and economic inclusion”


The University of Groningen offers scholarships for PhD students for a period of 4 years under the condition of a positive assessment at the end of the first year. The successful candidate will receive a gross scholarship of € 2,249 per month, of which wage tax and social insurance premiums will be deducted. For more information on the RUG PhD scholarship programme and its benefits please check the website at

Starting date: November 1, 2022

An assessment will be part of the procedure, consisting of psychological tests and an interview.


The application package consists of the following separate documents:

1. a motivation letter
2. a research proposal (max 2 pages)
3. your CV
4. a scan of your diploma including transcripts
5. proof of English proficiency
6. a writing sample
7. other relevant documents.

The documents 1-6 are compulsory and please note that incomplete application packages or applications sent by email will not be taken into account.

You may apply for this position until 4 September 11:59pm / before 5 September 2022 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage:

Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers:

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


For information you can contact:

  • For general information on the application procedure,
  • Prof. Erin Wilson, for information on the content,
  • dr. Richard Jong-A-Pin,

Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.


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