Three Doctoral Student (PhD student) Positions for the research project “Stereotypes of Civil Servants” (1.0 FTE)

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Three Doctoral Student (PhD student) Positions for the research project “Stereotypes of Civil Servants” (1.0 FTE)

Job description

At the Utrecht University School of Governance, we open up three doctoral student positions (positions to pursue a PhD doctorate). The participating students are expected to earn doctoral degree from Utrecht University if they meet the university academic requirements. The three positions are available in the NWO (The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research) VIDI project “Lazy Bureaucrats? Studying stereotypes of civil servants and its effects across countries” .


Civil servants are often portrayed as ‘lazy’, ‘incompetent’ and even ‘evil’. These negative stereotypes could make the public sector less attractive to highly skilled workers and calling bureaucrats ‘lazy’ might generate a self-fulling prophecy, indeed turning civil servants into less hard-working and motivated employees. Empirical knowledge about these issues is scarce, this research project will:


  • Identify stereotypes of civil servants in countries with markedly different administrative traditions (South-Korea, Canada, the Netherlands);
  • Determine how stereotypes effect the work performance of civil servants;
  • Analyze how the relationship between stereotypes and performance is strengthened or weakened by the coping strategies used by civil servants to deal with stereotypes.

    The project takes an interdisciplinary and multi-method approach to achieve these objectives. It combines insights from public administration and psychology to study stereotypes. It combines representative population surveys, qualitative inquiry and embedded survey experiments.


    The three doctoral students will be part of a core team at Utrecht University. They will be located in Utrecht, but cooperate with international colleagues from South Korea (Prof. M. Jae Moon of Yonsei University, South-Korea) and Canada (Prof. Etienne Charbonneau of University of Quebec, Canada) via email, Skype, and a three-month visit. The doctoral students will work and live in the Netherlands for the overall period of four years, but will stay at their study site for around three months.


    There is one doctoral student position for studying stereotypes in the Netherlands, one for Canada, and one for South-Korea.


    The doctoral student’s tasks will consist of:

    • reading the relevant literature;
    • designing and conducting research;
    • analyzing data;
    • writing scientific articles for peer-reviewed journals;
    • presenting at national and international scientific conferences;
    • participating in regular project team meetings with all partners to ensure project alignment;
    • providing education (max. 0.1 FTE) at Utrecht University School of Governance, for instance supervising theses or giving lectures themselves;
    • following courses for doctoral students (max. 0.1 FTE) via the Netherlands Institute of Governance (our national research school);
    • analyzing stereotypes in one of the selected countries.


    We are looking for new colleagues with:

    • a completed (Research) Master’s degree in Public Administration, Organizational Science, Psychology, Sociology, or Economics;
    • grades ranking him/her among the highest in their cohort;
    • strong quantitative survey and quantitative experimental skills;
    • affinity with the core themes of stereotypes, bureaucrats, public management, civil-state interactions;
    • interest in multidisciplinary research;
    • academic writing skills;
    • a preference for working in an academic community, with collaboration in both research and education;
    • for the ‘Dutch case’ PhD: good command of English and Dutch;
    • for the ‘Canadian case’ PhD: good command of English and French;
    • for the ‘South-Korean case’ PhD: good command of English and Korean.


    We offer a temporary 1.0 FTE appointment, preferred starting date is September 1st 2019 for the duration of one and a half year, extendable by a further two and a half years upon satisfactory performance. The gross salary per month for the position of a PhD candidate (on a full-time basis) is from €2,325 (first year) until €2,972 (fourth year) per month (scale P, Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities). Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end allowance of 8.3% per year. In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions  (multiple choice model). Here you'll find more information about working at Utrecht University .

    About the organization

    A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University , the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Institutions for Open Societies, Dynamics of Youth, Life Sciences and Sustainability. In addition to these overall themes, the university stimulates interdisciplinary research through ‘focus areas’. Utrecht University is well-connected to society and contributes to todays and tomorrows societal challenges.


    The Utrecht School of Governance  (USG) is one of the departments of the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance (LEG). In research, education and consultancy, the Department focuses on the governance and organization of public issues and consistently ranks among the top schools of Governance worldwide. The Department is strongly linked to the overall theme of Institutions for Open Societies, as well as the focus area Professional Performance. The Department offers a Bachelor programme, Master programmes and executive Master programmes, including a Public Management Master.

    The project is part of the Public Governance and Management research unit, at the Utrecht University School of Governance. The Utrecht University School of Governance is the international hub in studies of public management and the doctoral students will be collaborate with leading scholars in the field of public management. Furthermore, our school has a strong record employing experiments and behavioral insights. With the Lazy Bureaucrats project we aim to build on those strong foundations and to innovate our research with new methods, theories and insights.

    Additional information

    For more information please contact the principal investigator, Prof. Lars Tummers, via Esther Verheijen ( ).


    You can apply until 8 May, by pressing the button below. Please provide 1) a letter of motivation, 2) a cv including course grades, 3) two letters of reference, and 4) please indicate for which of the three positions you apply by highlighting either ‘Dutch case’, ‘South-Korean case’ or ‘Canadian case’.


    Please apply via the button below.


    Closing date for applications is 8 May 2019


    Acquisition as a result of this advertisement is not appreciated.

    The application deadline is 08/05/2019
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