Tenure Track Assistant Professor in Social Research Methodology

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Tenure Track Assistant Professor in Social Research Methodology
  • Doctorate
Are you a passionate and committed researcher, an experienced lecturer and an expert in cutting-edge quantitative methods? Would you like to be involved in frontier research in social research methodology and work with highly qualified researchers on timely and pressing social issues in an academic environment? If so, we hope that you will apply to become our new colleague in the Department of Sociology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

FTE: 0.8 - 1

Job description

The Assistant Professor will be involved in research (80%) and teaching (20%) on a tenure track contract of five years, starting in September 2020. The main responsibility of the newly hired tenure track Assistant Professor is to contribute methodological expertise to the ERC Consolidator project “Righting the Wrongs. A Life Course Dynamics Approach for Non-Standard Employment” (DYNANSE). This ERC project develops a method for measurement error correction in the study of employment sequences with latent variable modelling. The successful candidate will collaborate with the Principal Investigator of the project (Dimitris Pavlopoulos) as well as with renowned methodologists in the field to develop the method and apply it in register data from several countries.  Moreover, the new Assistant Professor will be involved in the teaching of statistics and methodology courses at BSc, MSc and Research Master study programs of the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Your tasks
  • Carry out research on measurement error modelling with latent variables for the ERC project “Righting the Wrongs. A Life Course Dynamics Approach for Non-Standard Employment”
  • Conduct high-quality research and develop a distinctive research line in the field of quantitative methodology. Knowledge about and commitment to open science in practice are expected
  • Be an active member of the ERC project team and provide methodological support to the rest of the ERC project-team and co-supervise the PhD candidates of the project
  • Take an active role in the collaboration with the National Statistical Institutes that are part of the ERC project (Italy and Norway). The successful candidate should be willing to spend a small number of months of her/his appointment (possibly split in multiple periods) abroad to promote this collaboration.
  • Teach courses in statistics and methodology in courses of the curricula of the Faculty of Social Sciences


  • A PhD degree in statistics or social sciences 
  • High-quality publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • Expertise in classical test theory and latent variable modelling and preferably familiarity with longitudinal latent variable modelling
  • Examples of academic service in (inter)national contexts. Familiarity with register data and experience in collaboration with National Statistical Institutes will be considered an asset
  • Experience in teaching courses in statistics and methodology
  • Holds a Basic Qualification of Education (BKO) or is willing to acquire it within two years
  • Excellent oral and written command of English and Dutch. Non-Dutch speakers should be willing to develop a working proficiency in the Dutch language within 3 years
  • Team spirit and good communication skills

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially engaged organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €3,637 (scale 11) and a maximum €5,656 (scale 12), depending on your experience. The job profile is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE. If the tenure track is successfully completed in five years time, the candidate is promoted to a permanent position of an Assistant Professor (Universitair Docent 1) and will be involved in teaching (70%) and research (30%) at the Department of Sociology.

Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package
  • good growth opportunities
  • a wide range of sports facilities which staff may use at a modest charge
  • discounts on collective insurances (healthcare- and car insurance)
  • possibility to save holiday hours, for sabbatical leave
  • good paid parental leave scheme, child daycare facilities available on campus

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. And to be a university where personal education and societal involvement play a leading role. Where people from different disciplines and backgrounds work together on innovations and on generating new knowledge. Our teaching and research embrace the whole spectrum of science – from the humanities, the social sciences and the pure sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,500 students. We employ more than 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible, located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

Diversity is one of our university’s core values. We are an inclusive community, and we believe that diversity and international activities enhance the quality of education and research. We are always looking for people who can enhance diversity on our campus thanks to their background and experience.

Faculty of Social Sciences
The Faculty of Social Sciences examines the major social problems of our time from multiple perspectives. From bullying at school to dealing with illegal immigration, from the rise of populist politicians to creating a self-reliant society. Only at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam you will find all the academic disciplines needed to understand these 'wicked problems': alongside the traditional disciplines such as sociology, anthropology and politics, we also research and teach the new social sciences such as communication science and management & organization science. We do not settle for easy answers in our teaching and research. Our researchers and students are critical thinkers and doers who work together to devise surprising solutions to the problems of today.

Working at the Faculty of Social Sciences means working with colleagues from a range of academic disciplines in an inspiring and personal work and study environment with excellent research facilities. We employ more than 250 staff members, and we are home to around 2,500 students.

About the department
The department of Sociology hosts over 50 fte of academic staff and organizes the bachelor and master education in sociology, as well as courses in methodology in social sciences at the Faculty of Social Sciences. In the coming two years, our bachelor program will be renewed to include more transdisciplinary courses in which students learn from involvement with societal stakeholders. Education in the methodology of social sciences is also undergoing a series of innovations to meet the new challenges of working with big and small data. The Bachelor and Master programs in Sociology deal with the themes of diversity, social inequality, social networks and social capital, social conflict and change, and in- and exclusion. The research of the department is organized in the research program Participation in Society (PARIS) that includes five theme groups: ‘Social Context of Aging’, ‘Social Inequality in the Lifecourse’, ‘Identities, Diversity and Inclusion’, ‘Social Conflict and Change’ en ‘Philanthropic Studies’.


Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae (including a list of publications and examples of academic service) and cover letter until 15 March 2020. There will be two rounds of job interviews.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy or the ERC project, you may contact:

Name: Dimitris Pavlopoulos
Position: Associate Professor and ERC Project Principal Investigator
E-mail: d.pavlopoulos@vu.nl
Telephone: +31 20 59 89254

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