PhD Scholarship ‘Worker flows, Job-to-Job Transitions and Labour Market Fluidity’

  • Contract
  • Belgium

HIVA-KU Leuven

HIVA – Research Institute for Work and Society – is a multidisciplinary research institute of KU Leuven. We are a team of over 75 employees. Bringing different disciplines together under one roof and specialising in policy-oriented research on work and society gives HIVA a unique position within KU Leuven and beyond. In all our research activities, we strive to attain the highest scientific quality and societal relevance. Within the framework of the Dynam project, the HIVA research team has been conducting innovative research into the dynamics of the labour market for over 12 years. Dynam stands for a partnership between KU Leuven and the National Office for Social Security (RSZ), together with the government agencies in the Brussels, Flemish and Walloon Regions, respectively BISA, IWEPS and the Flemish Department of Work and Social Economy. Dynam develops unique, corrected data for compiling statistical time series on the dynamics of employees, jobs, employers and transitions. The time series are updated twice a year and made available on the website Each data release is accompanied by the publication of a report outlining the basic trends. In addition, the HIVA team conducts research on various topics related to the functioning and dynamics of the labour market, such as job creation and destruction, starting employers, geographical and job mobility, education and labour market integration, vulnerable profiles in the labour market, new niches and economic growth regions. The research is based on quantitative and advanced analysis techniques, supplemented by survey research and qualitative research.

As a PhD fellow in the Dynam team, you will collaborate on a new project about the impact of work-to-work transitions at the individual level as well as at the level of sectors and regions as a whole. The focus is on the characteristics and determinants of work-to-work transitions and their impact on workers’ careers. The research fits into the flow approach to labour markets and the literature on labour market fluidity and flexibility. The aim of the research is to develop new measures and test hypotheses for labour market fluidity based on worker flows. Empirically, it focuses on the Flemish and Belgian labour market. This project builds on a first successful study (2019) in the framework of the first VIONA Chair ‘Labour Market Dynamics’ –…. For the new study, we use a large-scale representative and longitudinal sample for Belgium with linked employer-employee data of wage earners on a quarterly basis over a period of several decades. This study is part of the programme for the second VIONA Chair ‘Career transitions and labour market dynamics’.


  • You hold a master’s degree (or equivalent) in economics, applied economics or commercial engineering, social or political sciences, psychology or educational sciences. Other degrees are possible if you have a proven socio-economic background or knowledge of policy research. You have clearly distinguished yourself during your studies.
  • You have a strong interest in scientific statistical and strategic basic research. You are fascinated by the dynamics of the labour market in the Belgian context and you are eager to contribute to new knowledge about this. 
  • You have a strong basic knowledge of statistics and quantitative research methods. You have the talent to make figures speak for themselves by visualising data and analysis results. You are interested in further developing your analytical and synthesising skills.
  • You have a broad interest in the relevant Flemish and international economic and social policy context.  
  • You are able to establish contacts easily and cooperate well with others, both in the research team and with external parties. 
  • You have strong organisational skills and proceed according to plan.
  • You are highly motivated to creatively contribute to the completion of a PhD project, to work it out and to complete it on time.
  • You have good communication skills in Dutch, both written and oral, and can attune yourself to various target groups. You are able to communicate and write fluently in English.
  • You are able to work in a team, but also independently.

    • The opportunity to participate in fascinating research with high scientific and social relevance and many learning opportunities.
    • Good supervision and the possibility to follow the necessary training courses.
    • An appointment as a PhD student, starting for 1 year, renewable each year for up to 4 years subject to a positive evaluation.
    • A competitive salary with fringe benefits.
    • A pleasant working atmosphere in a young and highly motivated research team. We explicitly apply a policy to promote the work-life balance.
    • HIVA attaches great importance to an organisational climate in which employees can make an active contribution to the objectives of the organisation and in which they can develop their own talents. You will be working in an environment where initiative is appreciated and personal commitment is stimulated.

    For more information please contact Prof. dr. Ludo Struyven, tel.: +32 16 32 33 41, mail: [email protected] or Mr. Tim Goesaert, tel.: +32 16 32 42 21, mail: [email protected]
    You can apply for this job no later than June 19, 2022 via the online application tool
    KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at [email protected]



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