PhD Position on Mobility in Context: Migration Trajectories in a Border Region Context

PhD Candidate, “Mobility in Context: Migration Trajectories in a Border Region Context”, Department of Political Science affiliated to the Graduate School Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Specifications – (explanation)

Location Maastricht University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Grote Gracht 90-92, 6211 SA Maastricht
Function types PhD positions
Scientific fields Behaviour and Society
Hours 38.0 hours per week
Salary € 2125 – € 2717
Education University Graduate
Job number AT2015.125
About employer Maastricht University (UM)
Short link

Deadline for applications: 15 September 2015

Job description

Maastricht University has recently founded a new Institute for Transnational and Euregional Cross Border Cooperation and Mobility (ITEM). ITEM is an initiative developed by the interfaculty Maastricht Centre for Citizenship, Migration and Development (MACIMIDE), in cooperation with the province of Limburg and the municipality of Maastricht as part of the “Limburg Knowledge/Axis” cooperation. Within the scope of MACIMIDE researchers of various UM faculties collaborate closely in the research fields of migration and development issues, citizenship, nationality and integration, international family relationships, European and international immigration law and right of asylum, work mobility, social security, tax law and pensions. The goal of ITEM is to increase cross-border mobility and to analyse the functioning of a regional labour market in the Maas-Rhine Euregion. ITEM aims to achieve these goals by means of research, consultancy, education, training and expert meetings.

This PhD project analyses the migration trajectories of immigrants in a border region context, with a specific focus on the province of Limburg. In the project we analyse the mobility pathways among migrants once they arrive in the destination context; whereas some stay, others move on, to another region in the Netherlands or abroad and, finally, again others may migrate, but return afterwards, or find themselves in an in-between cross-border life situation. We look at various types of immigrants, ranging from students, highly-skilled and unskilled labour migrants, family migrants and refugees, coming both from within the European Union and beyond.

The project focuses on migration trajectories in the context of individual life courses, legal status transitions (such as citizenship acquisition) and economic and demographic characteristics of border regions. Furthermore, we look at the relevance of contextual factors at municipality or neighbourhood level to determine whether social capital (e.g., social contacts, participation in society, institutional trust) influences why some municipalities are more successful in ‘binding’ immigrants than others. The project employs a quantitative methodology, analyzing longitudinal register and survey data from Netherlands on foreign-born residents and natives with a focus on comparing municipalities within Limburg and within other regions in the Netherlands.

The PhD project involves scientific collaboration with Statistics Netherlands.


  • A sociologist or demographer with an MSc degree and with affinity for the relation between public policy and society, or a political scientist with a strong interest in sociology and demography.
  • The successful candidate will have a strong background in statistical research methods.

Conditions of employment

  • We offer a dynamic and challenging job in an internationally-oriented organisation where young people receive an advanced education and scholars conduct exciting research.
  • We offer a 4 year full-time appointment as PhD student.
  • The first year will be a probation period, after a positive assessment the position will be extended with another 3 years.
  • Your workload will be the normal workload for the position of PhD students. Currently this implies 80% research activities en 20% teaching activities.
  • You will be employed by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Compensation will be according to standard salary levels for PhD students starting with a salary of € 2.125,- with a yearly growth to € 2.717,- gross a month (based on a full-time appointment.)
  • Each year the standard salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%.
  • You have to be willing to move to (the vicinity of) Maastricht. If you do not already live in Maastricht (or its direct surroundings) you will be eligible for an allowance for moving costs. If you do not already live in Maastricht (or its direct surroundings) you might be eligible for an allowance for alternative housing.
  • Other secondary conditions include e.g. a pension scheme and partially paid parental leave. You will be provided with shared office space and a PC.
  •  Contract type: Temporary, 4 years


Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 16,000 students and 4,000 employees. Reflecting the university’s strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Humanities and Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS) has a staff of about 250, and over 1,800 students. All programmes are offered in English. Students come from all over the world. FASoS offers two 3-year Bachelor programmes: Arts and Culture, and European Studies, eight different 1-year Master programmes and two 2-year research Master programmes. Its Graduate School takes in around 10 PhD students each year. Research is organised around four programmes: Politics and Culture in Europe; Maastricht University Science, Technology and Society Studies; Arts, Media and Culture; and Globalisation, Transnationalism and Development. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is housed in several recently renovated 18th-century buildings in the historic city centre of Maastricht.

Graduate School
Our Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences offers the opportunity to pursue a PhD in the interdisciplinary field of arts and social sciences. You receive a coherent program of introductory courses, intensive supervision and frequent discussion with the senior researchers inside and outside the Faculty. The Programme can be characterized by its international and interdisciplinary nature and the emphasis on cultural and societal issues of the modern world.

The School focuses on four themes:
1. Politics and Culture in Europe.
2. Science, Technology and Society Studies.
3. Globalisation, Transnationalism and Development.
4. Arts, Media and Culture.

Further information on the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and its Graduate School may be accessed on:

Additional information

Starting date: preferably 1 December 2015 (or as soon as possible thereafter).

For more information and application:

Any inquiries about the position or the project may be addressed to:
Prof. Maarten Vink /
Prof. Hans Schmeets /

For more information about the Institute for Transnational and Euregional Cross Border Cooperation and Mobility, see: more information about the Maastricht Centre for Citizenship, Migration and Development, see: https://macimide.maastrichtuniversity.nlMaastricht University’s Terms of Employment are laid down in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local university provisions apply as well. For more information please see the website:, employees, A-Z