Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam: PhD position in Financial Economics

PhD position in Financial Economics

Are you a highly motivated student interested in doing research in financial economics? The Finance department at the School of Business and Economics, Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam seeks a PhD candidate who is interested in financial decision making.


FTE: 1

Job description

You will conduct independent, high-quality research and work cooperatively as part of a diverse team of researchers, and will be supported by high-level industry experts. The project that you will be part of aims at improving our understanding of the foundation of risk preferences. This PhD position is a full-time position for a period of four years. You will spend 80% of your time on research and 20% on teaching (BSc-level tutorials and thesis supervision). Applicants with a quantitative background but little knowledge of finance will find no trouble with the teaching requirement. The exact details of your schedule will be determined in close consultation between you, and your supervisors. It is possible to work remote, but travelling to Amsterdam for meetings and teaching activities should not be problematic. The school provides opportunities to attend conferences, go on an exchange, meet other international researchers, and participate in various training modules that support PhD candidates’ knowledge and skills development.

Your duties

    • Perform high-quality research in the field of financial decision making, specifically risk preferences
    • Follow relevant PhD-level courses at the Tinbergen Institute or the Amsterdam Business Research Institute
    • Assist in teaching activities of the finance department (e.g., bachelor theses supervision).


    • Applicants should have a master’s degree in Economics, Finance, or a quantitative discipline (econometrics, mathematics, physics).
    • Applications must have quantitative and qualitative research skills (please enclose an example of your previous research, e.g. master thesis). A research degree (e.g., MRes, MPhil) is not required, but solid research training will be considered an advantage.
    • Applicants should be proficient in written and spoken English.

Research Group

    • Prof. Dr. Martijn van den Assem (supervisor)
    • Dr. Marieke Bos (co-supervisor)
    • Dr. Martijn de Vries (co-supervisor and coordinator)
    • Rogier Potter van Loon (Aegon/TKP-pension)

Advisory team

    • Rob van de Goorbergh (Head of Research & Analytics, APG Asset Mangement)
    • Mark Irwin (Pension specialist, Ortec)
    • Stefan Lundbergh (Director Insights, Cardano)
    • Maarten van Rooij (Senior Economist, Dutch Central Bank)
    • Roel Mehlkopf (Pension fund advisor, Cardano)
    • Ellen Kraft (Pension communication specialist, NN)

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2,541 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €3,247 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment.The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a duration of 4 years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

    • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment,
    • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus,
    • solid pension scheme (ABP),
    • contribution to commuting expenses,
    • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

School of Business and Economics
The School of Business and Economics (SBE) provides high-quality education and excellent research in business administration and economics with a focus on contributing to the social, economic and ecological challenges of our time. Whether it is the use of robots in society or big data, labour market participation or flexibility in the labour market, traffic jams or the housing market, flash crashes in the stock market or choice behaviour in gambling, leadership or change management: we believe in goal-oriented scientific research and understand that progress in academics, the business community and society is achieved through cooperation, openness and social responsibility.At SBE, all of our highly-motivated colleagues work together closely in a stimulating, dynamic and international environment to achieve our collective goal of encouraging society to make informed choices. Approximately 7,000 Bachelor’s and Master’s students and 1,700 executive students are enrolled at the School, and employs roughly 600 people.

Finance department
With more than 30 faculty members the department of Finance conducts world-leading research in major fields of Finance. Being located in Amsterdam’s financial center, the “Zuidas”, we also have close connections to the financial industry and policy makers in the Netherlands. In teaching, we cover a range of programmes. Our flagship programmes are the MSc Finance, which has been ranked as best Finance Master in the Netherlands by the national student survey for 5 years in a row, the Financial Management programme and three selective MSc Duisenberg Honours Programmes. We also teach finance courses in different Bachelor programmes and the department of Finance regularly contributes to specialized research-oriented master programmes of theTinbergen Institute (MPhil Finance). Our group has a diverse cultural background and works in a very international environment.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload the following documents:

    • Curriculum Vitae
    • One page letter explaining your motivation for pursuing a PhD
    • Academic diplomas (in the original language and with a certified translation in English)
    • Academic transcripts (lists of grades, in the original language and with certified translation in English)
    • One letter of recommendation
    • Academic paper (e.g., Master thesis or article)
    • IELTS/TOEFL test results (for non-Dutch citizens who are not English native speakers and for whom the language of instruction during the MSc was not English)
    • If available: GMAT/GRE test results (for applicants with a master diploma from a university outside the Netherlands)

We review the applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled.Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions

If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:
Name: Dr. Martijn de Vries
Position: Assistant Professor
E-mail: m.vries@vu.nl

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