Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Health Economics

Erasmus University Rotterdam - Erasmus School of Economics

The Health Economics group at the Erasmus School of Economics invites applications for a 3-year Postdoctoral Research Fellow. The candidate is expected to contribute to a NORFACE-funded project, investigating gene-environment (GxE) interactions in the generation of health and education inequalities across the life course. The research is led from Erasmus School of Economics (Dr. Hans van Kippersluis), in collaboration with colleagues based at the University of Bristol (Dr. Stephanie von Hinke), the University of Tartu (Dr. Tonu Esko) and the University of Zurich (Dr. Pietro Biroli). 

The project will combine methods from genetics and social science, testing (i) whether children born into advantaged environments are better able to reach their genetic conditioned education potential, and (ii) whether privileged environments protect against genetic susceptibility to risky health behaviours, such as smoking and drinking. The Post-Doctoral Fellowship will exploit natural experiments to deal with possible endogeneity of the environment in GxE, using data such as the UK Biobank, the Estonian Biobank, Understanding Society, and the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). 

The appointment is for three years. The position is research focused with a reduced teaching load.

Economics at Erasmus
ESE is one of the largest economics schools in Europe. ESE strives to maintain the strong tradition of Dutch universities in Economics and Econometrics. In the most recent QS World University Rankings, ESE is rated 12th in Europe and 44th in the World. In the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, Erasmus is rated 4th in Europe and 17th in the world. 

Job description:
The successful candidate will be expected to do some, or all, of the following duties:

  • Critically review relevant literature;
  • Undertake analyses of large datasets, including managing and preparing the data;
  • Use and interpret statistical and econometric analyses;
  • Lead on the write-up of research for working papers, journal articles and policy briefings;
  • Disseminate the results at seminars, conferences, and other forums, including public engagement and outreach activities and liaise with potential policy makers;
  • Assist in the identification and development of potential future areas of research and the development of proposals for independent or collaborative research projects.

As this is an interdisciplinary project, appropriate training will be available if necessary to ensure the fellow is well-trained in economics, econometrics, epidemiology, and genetics. This will allow the Fellow to work and collaborate across disciplines.

The candidate will benefit from the expertise of others involved in the NORFACE-funded project at Erasmus University (Professor Eddy van Doorslaer, Dr. Hans van Kipperluis, and Dr. Niels Rietveld) as well as partners at Bristol University, University of Tartu, and University of Zurich.

The successful candidate should have strong quantitative skills and an ability to handle and manage micro data sets. A PhD in a quantitative subject is required, ideally in economics or a related discipline, though we are happy to consider applicants with other quantitative backgrounds, or those working in genetics or epidemiology. The ability to write up research work for publication in high profile journals (reflected either by papers published or promising unpublished research papers) and engage in public dissemination of results is essential. 

Appointment and salary
The appointment will be to the position of postdoctoral research fellow for a period of 3 years. The preferred starting date is March 1, 2018. Remuneration will be in accordance with scale 11 set by the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU). Fulltime work (38 hours per week) will pay € 3.457 per month gross in the first year. In addition, there is an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%, and an 8% annual leave pay.

Qualified applicants should send by mail or email a letter of application, curriculum vitae, an example research paper and the names and addresses of two references to: Mrs. Manuela Ettekoven-de Vaal, Department of Applied Economics, Tinbergen Building, P.O. Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The deadline for applications is November 1, 2017. For more information about this position, you may contact dr. Hans van Kippersluis (

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* Salary has been converted at the prevailing rate on the date placed