Postdoc on Quantitative Analyses of Platform Worker Autonomy

Research / Academic

A growing number of people works through platforms such as Fiverr, Uber, or UpWork. They are part of the platform, or gig, economy. The viability of the platform economy for workers is heavily debated. Proponents are excited about the independence and flexibility that platforms afford. Detractors of the platform economy instead emphasize that platforms help create situations of precarity and overall platform dependence.

At the root of those discussions lies the question of how much autonomy platform workers have over the work they do. However, beyond anecdotal accounts of platform workers, there is hardly any research on how workers actually behave on platforms. Without such insight, policymakers are in the dark about the exact impact of platforms on the work landscape. This postdoc project aims to generate such insight by conducting studies of actual worker behavior using platform data.

We are looking for a candidate to fill this postdoc position for a duration of two years. The postdoc will work under the supervision of dr. Joey van Angeren and dr. Mark Boons. The starting date is flexible throughout 2024 and will be agreed upon with the suitable candidate.


  • You will design and conduct quantitative and possibly mixed methods studies of platform worker behavior.
  • You will be working with platform data, collecting additional archival data, interacting with platform workers and platform representatives, writing research papers for conferences and journals, and presenting research at conferences.
  • You will make a moderate contribution to teaching.
  • You will collaborate with industry partners and disseminate your research findings during workshops for practitioners.


  • Hold a PhD in Business Administration, Human Resource Management, Information Systems, Management, Organizational Psychology, or another social science discipline. Candidates close to completion of their PhD are also invited to apply.
  • Extensive experience with quantitative research methods and working with archival datasets; strong data analytics skills are a plus.
  • The potential to conduct impactful academic research, for instance demonstrated by the quality of publications or working papers.
  • Motivated to conduct high quality and impactful quantitative research.
  • Strong communication skills required to collaborate with industry partner(s).
  • Excellent English skills; Dutch language proficiency is a significant advantage with view on the interaction with industry partners.

Salary Benefits:

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. At Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, you contribute to education and research for a better world. In return for your efforts we offer you:

  • A salary of minimum € 3.226,00 (Scale 10) and maximum € 5.090,00 (Scale 10) gross per month, on a full-time basis. This is based on UFO profile Researcher 4. The exact salary depends on your education and experience.
  • A position for at least 0.8 FTE. Your employment contract will initially last 1 year. Afterwards, the possibility of extension for another year exists.

We also offer you attractive fringe benefits and regulations. Some examples:

  • A full-time 38-hour working week comes with a holiday leave entitlement of 232 hours per year. If you choose to work 40 hours, you have 96 extra holiday leave hours on an annual basis. For part-timers, this is calculated pro rata.
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • Solid pension scheme (ABP).
  • Optional model for designing a personalized benefits package.
  • Contribution to commuting expenses.

De Boelelaan 1105