PhD scholarship in quantitative analysis of the impact of inequalities on democracy in Europe

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
October 22, 2022
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Negotigation
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PhD scholarship in quantitative analysis of the impact of inequalities on

democracy in Europe

(ref. BAP-2022-616)

Last modification : Wednesday, August 17, 2022

HIVA - Research Institute for Work and Society is a multidisciplinary research institute of KU Leuven. We are a team of more than 75 employees. Bringing different disciplines together under one roof and our specialisation in policy-oriented research on labour and society give HIVA a unique position within KU Leuven and beyond. Scientific quality and social relevance prevail for us.

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We offer a PhD scholarship for participation in a 4-year research project on the impact of inequalities on European democracies (INVOLVE). The research focuses on the impact of inequalities on the quality of European democracies and on the role of public policies and services in building democratic legitimacy and trust. The researcher will examine the impact of various inequalities on trust and political engagement through conducting multilevel statistical analyses using international databases (European Social Survey, International Social Survey Programme, Eurobarometer, etc.), collecting survey evidence in the project participant countries, and designing survey vignette experiments. The PhD candidate will prepare policy reports, endeavours to publish his/her research in internationally peer-reviewed outlets, and actively disseminates the research results. This is a unique opportunity to be involved in a multidisciplinary research project with international academic and societal partners, and with relevant societal results.

Parallel to the work for the research project, the researcher will contribute to the development of a PhD project under the supervision of a research manager and a PhD supervisor.

  • You hold a Master's degree (or equivalent) in quantitative social sciences (e.g. political science, sociology), political economy, welfare economics or statistics, with excellent study results as well as solid statistical skills.

  • You are familiar with and interested in the themes of democratic governance, political trust, political participation, and social inequalities.

  • You have an analytical mind, you are fascinated by numbers and statistics, and you have excellent communication skills.

  • You conduct statistical models independently, and are willing to learn more advanced statistical techniques and research methods. Previous experience with analysing data from major comparative surveys (European Social Survey, International Social Survey Programme, Eurobarometer, etc.) and experience with multilevel analysis and/or structural equation modelling is a plus.

  • You have working knowledge of statistical software packages such as Stata, R, SPSS, or similar.
  • You are sufficiently enterprising to take a creative approach, to develop and finalise a PhD project in a timely manner.
  • You have the social skills required to work in a team and establish relations with NGOs and governmental services.
  • You have some basic knowledge of Dutch or you are at least willing to learn Dutch for day-to-day communication with colleagues.
  • You have excellent oral as well as written English skills (research outputs need to be submitted in English). Knowledge of additional European languages is a plus.
  • You are prepared to travel short periods to other European countries several times a year, for consortium meetings, conferences, events, interviews, and other fieldwork. During these events, you will present your research, and engage in scientific collaboration.
  • Offer
  • A PhD scholarship, renewable each year for up to four years after positive evaluation.

  • The opportunity to contribute to innovative research with significant societal relevance and extensive learning opportunities.

  • A pleasant working and team atmosphere in a multi-disciplinary, dynamic university team.
  • Good supervision and the opportunity to specialise and follow training.
  • HIVA attaches a great deal of importance to an organisational climate in which employees can actively contribute to the institution's objectives and develop their own talents. You will work in an environment where initiative is appreciated and personal commitment is encouraged.
  • Interested?

    For more information please contact Dr. Anna Ruelens, tel.: +32 16 37 48 80, mail:

    KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

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