PhD in Sociology (1.0 FTE)

Updated: 28 days ago
Deadline: 30 Apr 2024

We are seeking a highly motivated and qualified PhD student to join our research project PROMISE, focusing on the taboo surrounding loneliness among older migrants, as well as the cultural adaptation and evaluation of interventions. This pioneering project aims to shed light on and understand the often-overlooked issue of loneliness among older migrants, coming from non-European backgrounds. By delving into the diverse manifestations and underlying factors contributing to this loneliness, we aim to gain new scientific insights. Ultimately, we seek to understand the nature and origins of the taboo surrounding loneliness for migrants and develop culturally sensitive interventions to address it. This new knowledge will be translated into practical tools and adjusted interventions to effectively reach and support lonely older migrants.

This is a full-time position for 48 months based at the University of Groningen with a substantial amount of time to be spent at NIDI in the Hague. The initial appointment will be for a period of 1 year. After positive evaluation, the appointment will be extended for another 3 years. The successful candidate will work closely with a multidisciplinary team of researchers and stakeholders.

The tasks of the PhD candidate are

  • conduct research that results in a dissertation and is in line with the objectives and requirements of the project
  • conduct qualitative and mixed-methods research to explore the taboo surrounding loneliness among older migrants
  • conduct in-depth interviews with older migrants from diverse backgrounds, utilizing the photo-elicitation method, and their children
  • support in developing a training program for professionals and volunteers to break the taboo surrounding loneliness among older migrants and evaluation of this program
  • development of taboo-related elements in loneliness interventions
  • support in adjusting existing interventions and evaluating them
  • write and publish scientific articles reporting research findings resulting in a PhD thesis defended at the University of Groningen
  • share scientific knowledge with the general public through various communication channels.


The University of Groningen is a research university with a global outlook, deeply rooted in Groningen, City of Talent. Quality has had top priority for four hundred years, and with success: the University is currently in or around the top 100 on several influential ranking lists.

The Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences excels in teaching and research in the fields of human behaviour, thinking, learning, and how people live together. We work on societal issues and problems that people experience in daily life. Central to this is individual and societal resilience and how to increase this. To this end, we focus on the topics of migration, the environment and climate, health, upbringing and education, the protection of vulnerable minorities, and sustainable partnerships. The Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences employs over 650 staff members. For more information about the Faculty please check the link .

The Department of Sociology in Groningen provides a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree. The one-year Master's program focuses on policy issues. Students choose a specialization: Crime and Security, Health, Care and Welfare, Work and the Life-Course or Politics, Society & Policy. There is one English track: Social Networks in a Sustainable Society. In addition, there is a two-year educational master, which prepares for a career as a secondary school teacher in social studies. The Department also participates in the two-year faculty research master, which trains students to become an academic researcher.

For this position you are expected to

  • have a (research) master's degree in Sociology (or a related discipline)
  • have a good academic track record
  • proficiency in qualitative research methods and methodologies
  • fluency in English and Dutch, with proficiency in another language spoken by the interviewee groups from China, Iran, and Turkey. Dutch proficiency is an essential requirement as the PhD project focuses on and involves close cooperation with societal partners in the Netherlands, concentrating on loneliness among older migrants
  • excellent writing and presentation skills, in both English and Dutch
  • strong interpersonal skills and creativity
  • passion for research and a desire to make a meaningful contribution to addressing loneliness among older migrants
  • be enthusiastic about writing international publications and a dissertation
  • have good social and communication skills and are willing to work with other team members
  • be enthusiastic about translating scientific insights into practical guidelines and advice
  • have good organizational skills and the motivation to organize and realize data collection
  • have demonstrable competences as conceptual capacity, presenting, planning and organizing and monitoring.

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities

  • a salary of € 2,770 gross per month in the first year of the appointment, rising to € 3,539 gross per month in the fourth year for a full-time position
  • a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance
  • attractive secondary terms of employment
  • the position is classified in accordance with the University Job Classification (UFO) system; the UFO profile is PhD candidate
  • a temporary employment of 1.0 FTE for a period of four years. You will first be employed for a period of one year. After a positive result and development interview, the contract will be extended for the remaining period of three years.

Intended starting date: 1-9-2024

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