Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Doctorate
The Department of Spatial Economics of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is looking for
candidates with a background in (transport) economics or closely related disciplines for
a Postdoc (PD) position within the ZonMw project ‘Mobility during and after corona lockdown:
sustainability, safety, inclusion'.

FTE: 0.7 - 1

Job description

We are looking for a postdoc researcher for a large ZonMw cooperation project dealing
with mobility during and after the corona crisis lock-down measures. The mobility
consequences and challenges of lock-down and relaxation are unprecedented. The big
shocks provide, in addition the great social relevance, also unprecedented possibilities
for research.

In this project MOCOLODO (MObility during and after COrona LOck-DOwn:
sustainability, safety, inclusion) our goal is to gain insight in and offer policy
recommendations for the mobility consequences and challenges in the short and long
term. We want to learn empirically from the behavioral adjustments and structural
changes in attitudes, vehicle ownership and work organization during the lock-down,
and the behavioral effects that we expect to be able to measure in the expected
intermittent relaxation and possible re-tightening in the event of new corona waves.
These exceptional dynamics enable empirical identification of behavioral effects
considerably better than what we are used to, and thus also offer an important
opportunity to better estimate behavioral expect the current shock(s).

The research connects questions around the lock-down with long-term sustainability
and accessibility objectives. Both are high on the social agenda. Within this project, we
address three related research questions: (1) what effects do lock-down and relaxation
measures have on the spatial and mobility behavior of different groups, and on the
functioning of transport systems; (2) what this means for the effective, efficient and fair
design of the relaxation of corona measures and any new tightening; and (3) how can
this be made consistent with long-term societal goals about mobility for sustainability,
energy transition and accessibility?

The research combines behavioral research, surveys and modeling.
The project will be carried out at the Department of Spatial Economics at the Vrije
Universiteit Amsterdam. The department is engaged in economic problems in which
space plays a prominent role. The academic staff (around 60 persons) address, in their
research, urban, regional, transport and environmental challenges from a primarily
economic perspective, combining theoretical research and empirical approaches, often
enriched through multi-disciplinary collaborations.

Your duties
  • The Postdoc will be based at the Department of Spatial Economics of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and will divide her/his time between conducting research (main focus) and (if so desired) teaching
  • The Postdoc will conduct theoretical and empirical research on the theme outlined above
  • The Postdoc will work jointly with postdocs at other universities in The Netherlands, from different disciplinary backgrounds (including geography, traffic, engineering and psychology)
  • The Postdoc will also work together with representatives from various societal partners in this project, and will for example discuss (intermediate) results with them
  • The Postdoc will, if so desired, also be involved in the teaching activities of the Department of Spatial Economics


  • a university PhD degree in (transport) economics or a closely related discipline (e.g. econometrics, transportation sciences, (economic) geography) or close to completing the PhD
  • proven experience with empirical (behavioural) research
  • ability to combine creative and analytical thinking
  • ability to collaborate in groups as well as carry out work individually
  • demonstrable flexibility and strong communication skills required to collaborate with national and societal partner(s) and perform research as an embedded researcher in a field setting
  • affinity with the economics of transportation
  • proficient in written and spoken English, preferably also proficient in Dutch
  • academic writing skills

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €2,790 (scale 10)
and a maximum €4,402 (scale 10), depending on your education and experience. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.7 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for one year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial
appointment, the contract will be extended for 6-12 months (dependent on initial working time factor).

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
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package
  • good paid parental leave scheme

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. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavour – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,000 students. We employ over 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

School of Business and Economics
The School of Business and Economics (SBE) provides high-quality education and excellent research in business administration and economics with a focus on contributing to the social, economic and ecological challenges of our time. Whether it is the use of robots in society or big data, labour market participation or flexibility in the labour market, traffic jams or the housing market, flash crashes in the stock market or choice behaviour in gambling, leadership or change management: we believe in goal-oriented scientific research and understand that progress in academics, the business community and society is achieved through cooperation, openness and social responsibility.

At SBE, all of our highly-motivated colleagues work together closely in a stimulating, dynamic and international environment to achieve our collective goal of encouraging society to make informed choices. Approximately 4,200 Bachelor’s and Master’s students and 1,700 executive students are enrolled at the School, and employs roughly 500 people.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload
your curriculum vitae and cover letter until September 27, 2020.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Erik Verhoef
Position: Head of the Department and project manager

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