Post-doctoral Researcher, ‘Mobility Trajectories of Young Lives’, 0.80 fte, 3-years

Applicants are invited for a 3 year Post-doctoral Researcher position within the project ‘Mobility Trajectories of Young Lives: Life Chances of Transnational Youth in Global South and North (MO-TRAYL)’. The project is funded by an ERC Consolidator Grant. Principal investigator: Prof. Valentina Mazzucato

Reference number: AT2016.77

Research project

The objective of MO-TRAYL is to develop a better understanding of the relationship between young people’s mobility trajectories and their life chance outcomes as defined by their educational performance, psychological well-being and transitions into adulthood. MO-TRAYL focuses on Ghanaian youths and will map their mobility trajectories between their or their parents’ home country (Ghana) and the country in which they reside (The Netherlands, Belgium or Germany). MO-TRAYL consists of 6 interlinked projects. The post-doctoral project is primarily quantitative in nature and involves the development and administration of a questionnaire amongst secondary school students and data analysis using advanced quantitative techniques. Other projects in MO-TRAYL will use ethnographic methods with which the post-doc researcher is required to have some affinity.

Job description

This is an opportunity to join a team of researchers working on cutting-edge research on transnational families based in the Global South and North. The post-doctoral researcher will:
• Together with other researchers, develop a questionnaire and protocols for its administration.
• Organize and carry out quantitative data collection in secondary schools in selected cities in Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands.
• Coordinate quantitative data collection in Ghana.
• Analyse quantitative data using advanced regression techniques.
• Develop visualizations of youth mobility trajectories.
• Help to coordinate the overall project including the organization of workshops and conferences.
• Act as daily supervisor for at least one of the PhDs working on the project.
• The post-doc can dedicate a small percentage of her/his time to teaching at the BA and MA levels, should the candidate aspire to this.


We are looking for candidates who:
• Have a PhD degree in international development studies, economics, sociology, education science, or psychology with proven expertise in migration issues.
• Preferably have experience conducting research in a developing country.
• Have experience with organizing and conducting primary quantitative data collection, from questionnaire design to survey implementation.
• Experience working with youth between the ages of 15-23 is a pre.
• Have conducted analyses involving advanced regression techniques such as multi-level regression, event history analysis, and sequence analysis.
• Have a strong publication record in international refereed journals.
• Preferably have experience with writing grant applications and project proposals.
• Have experience with organising workshops, lecture series, and/or similar events.
• Have an excellent written and spoken command of English, as demonstrated by publications in English-language journals and presentations at international conferences.
• Are team-players and willing to contribute proactively to the development of the MO-TRAYL project.
• Have good organisational skills.
• Have experience with multi- or interdisciplinary research.
• Preferably be fluent in at least one of the languages of the case study countries.

Maastricht University

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 about 250 staff members, and over 1,800 students. Research at FASoS is organised around four programmes: Globalisation, Transnationalism and Development, Politics and Culture in Europe; Maastricht University Science, Technology and Society Studies; and Arts, Media and Culture. Its Graduate School takes in around 10 PhD students each year.
More than 75% of the students are non-Dutch (almost 100 different nationalities). All programmes are offered in English and some are also offered in Dutch. FASoS offers two 3-year Bachelor’s programmes: Arts and Culture and European Studies. It also offers six 1-year Master’s programmes and two 2-year research Master’s programmes.
The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is housed in several recently renovated 18th-century buildings in the historic city centre of Maastricht.

What we have to offer

We offer a dynamic and challenging job in an internationally-oriented organisation where young people receive an advanced education and scholars conduct multi- and interdisciplinary research. The post-doc will have the unique opportunity to carry out research within the Globalisation, Transnationalism and Development research programme and contribute to the development and outreach of the MO-TRAYL project. She / he will be part of an international network of top universities and renowned scholars within the field.

We offer a 0.80 fte appointment as Post-doctoral researcher for 3 years. The first year will be a probation period and after a positive assessment the position will be extended for the remaining 2 years. Your position as Post-doctoral researcher (Onderzoeker 3) will consist of 100% research with the possibility of conducting a small share of teaching, should the candidate aspire to this.
Remuneration will be according to standard salary levels, depending on education and relevant work experience. This implies a gross monthly salary of about € 3,044.00 per month, scale level 10 (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%. After a positive assessment a promotion to scale 11 is possible in the 2nd year. You should 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.

Starting date: preferably September 1, 2016 or as soon as possible thereafter.


Any inquiries about the position or the project may be addressed to:
Prof. Valentina Mazzucato (

Maastricht 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.


Interested candidates are invited to supply us with:
1. A letter of motivation stating the candidate’s qualifications and reasons for interest in the position.
2. Their CV, incl. a list of publications.
3. A short (1-2 A4) description of how they would approach this post-doctoral project including what they think might be some of the challenges.
4. PhD degree certificate.
5. A grade transcript of previous education at Master level.
6. A copy of two publications or conference papers.
7. The contact information of two references (including e-mail, phone number, mailing address, and relationship to the applicant).

The deadline for submitting your application is 20 April 2016.

Selected candidates will be invited for an interview in the first half of May.

Please send your application electronically to the Secretariat of the Faculty Office: