PhD: Determinants of Population Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa

Research / Academic


According to the most recent population predictions, sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is expected to experience an unprecedented population growth in the coming decades. As a PhD candidate you will conduct quantitative multilevel research into the determinants of fertility in SSA at the individual, household and context levels, using one of the largest databases for the region. In addition to traditional determinants of fertility, like economic and cultural factors and availability of reproductive health services, the focus is also on the growing influence of the social media. The project requires a candidate with excellent knowledge of and experience in working with large databases, coding and recoding of variables, quantitative research methods, and visualisations and programming using statistical programs such as SPSS, STATA, R and GIS. You will write a number of scientific articles that will be combined to form a PhD dissertation, participate in conferences, workshops, seminars and other scholarly activities, and contribute to the database work at the Global Data Lab.


  • a Master’s degree in economics, sociology, demographics or another relevant discipline with excellent grades;
  • excellent analytical skills and interest in and knowledge of theories and literature in the field of human fertility;
  • excellent knowledge and experience in working with large databases, coding and recoding of variables, creating visualisations, and using statistical programs such as SPSS, STATA, R and GIS;
  • ability to work both independently and as a team player;
  • an excellent command of written and spoken English, as evidenced by a writing sample.

Salary Benefits:

  • employment: 0.8 - 1.0 FTE
  • the gross starting salary amounts to €2,325 per month, and will increase to €2,972 in the fourth year (P scale), for a contract of 1.0 FTE
  • in addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • duration of the contract: 5 years (0.8 FTE) or 4 years (1.0 FTE)
  • you will be appointed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (or 3.5 years based on 0.8 FTE)
  • UFO job profile: PhD Candidate (Promovendus)
  • you will be able to make use of our Dual Career Service where our Dual Career Officer will assist with family related support, such as child care, and help your partner prepare for the local labour market and with finding an occupation

Intended start date is 1 June 2019.

Are you interested in our excellent employment conditions?

Work Hours:

30.4 - 38 hours per week


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