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Call for PhD applicants in Economics, Geography and Social Sciences (f/m) – Ref: 20-1

Campus Belval , 11, Porte des Sciences, L - 4366 Esch-Sur-Alzette , Luxembourg

The Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER)

calls for PhD applicants

in Economics, Geography and Social Sciences (f/m) – Ref: 20-1

LISER is looking for highly 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 National Research Fund: www.fnr.lu/afr.

The doctoral project represents an excellent opportunity for a qualified student to make important contributions to the knowledge base in public policies, empirical research and/or micro-economic and spatial modelling.

Successful PhD candidates will work, during the PhD project, with supervisors in one of the Institute’s research departments “Urban Development and Mobility”, “Labour Market”, “Living Conditions”, or in the Interdisciplinary Research Programs in “Health and Health Systems”, “Crossing Borders”, “Behavioral and experimental economics or “Digital Transformation”.

We particularly welcome applicants who would like to develop a PhD project along the research areas listed below, in collaboration between LISER and the University of Luxembourg, or in another priority research area of the institute (see www.liser.lu):

- In the Department “Urban Development and Mobility”:

• Travel behavior and lifestyles: experiences in daily mobility and sense of places among elderly people (Supervisor: Dr. Philippe Gerber);

• From car dependency to peak car: Exploring 40 years of social, economic and geographic evolution in Luxembourg and abroad (Supervisor: Dr. Philippe Gerber);

• Travel demand management in the era of Mobility as a Service (Supervisor: Dr. Tai-Yu Ma; transport engineering);

• Dynamic exposures to air and noise pollution using citizen science and advanced ICTs (Supervisor: Dr. Hichem Omrani; computer and data science);

• Multiple property ownership over time in different countries (Supervisor: Dr. Antoine Paccoud);

• Distribution of landownership and wealth inequalities (Supervisor: Dr. Antoine Paccoud).

- In the Department “Labour Market”:

• The driving factors of field segregation in Economics: A multi-dimensional analysis of gender, salaries, seniority and attitudes (Supervisor: Dr. Eva Sierminska);

• Women in Economics (Supervisor: Dr. Eva Sierminska);

• Demographic changes and (income) inequality dynamics (Supervisor: Dr. Michel Tenikue);

• The effects of the transition to a low-carbon economy on working conditions and employment relations: the role of social dialogue (Supervisor: Dr. Adrien Thomas).

- In the Interdisciplinary Research Program in Health:

• Health, the labour market and retirement (with potential focus on mental health and/or diabetes) (Supervisor: Prof. Marc Suhrcke);

• Assessing the health effects of non-health policies, using quasi-experimental methods (with potential focus on environmental regulation and/or urban transport policies, among others) (Supervisor: Prof. Marc Suhrcke).

Your profile

- Candidates should have (or expect to achieve) a Master degree in economics, 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, critical thinking.

For successful AFR applicants, we offer:

• An exciting multi-disciplinary and international research environment with ample opportunities to exchange with scholars from related disciplines at both LISER and the University of Luxembourg;

• A highly competitive salary for the full-time PhD position for a period of maximum of 4 consecutive years (1+2+1 years);

• A package of mentoring, training and career development as well as access to a wide range of courses and seminars offered by LISER and the University of Luxembourg.

Doctoral candidates are requested to actively engage in training and to develop their scientific profile through participation in high-level international conferences. A specific budget for conference participation and training of 2000 EUR per year is awarded.

The Institute provides courses for researchers interested in learning other languages, especially French which is the second most widely spoken language in the Institute

About the departments

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.

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.
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 170 employees (including a survey and data center), more than 50% of the staff being researchers, mainly from the fields of economics, sociology, and geography (see www.liser.lu ).

The academic and public research environment: Belval Campus - Cité des Sciences, Luxembourg

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. (see http://www.euraxess.lu/)

How to apply?

Please provide the following information before 31st January 2020:

- 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);

- a detailed CV;

- 2 letters of recommendation from academic referees (to be uploaded with the application documents or sent separately to recruitment@liser.lu);

- Copy of relevant diplomas and transcripts.

Please submit your complete application via https://jobs.liser.lu/jobs

LISER particularly encourages female researchers to apply.

The deadline for application at LISER is 31st January 2020. When applying please ensure all required documents are attached. Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration.

Candidates will be notified of the outcome of their application by 15th February 2020. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interviews on site or online soon thereafter.

The deadline for submitting the AFR grant applications is 11 March 2020 (http://www.fnr.lu/funding-instruments/afr/) and candidates will be informed by June-July 2020 whether they will be funded.

Note that successful candidates will be enrolled to the University of Luxembourg as LISER collaborates closely with the University of Luxembourg doctoral schools where LISER supervisors are affiliated.

For administrative matters, please contact: Esther ZANA-NAU (Doctoral Programme Manager) at esther.zana-nau@liser.lu

LISER is an Equal Opportunity Employer