10 PhD positions ‘Sustainable Cooperation – Roadmaps to a Resilient Society’

Job opportunity, deadline 15 December 2017


What keeps cooperation going? Resilient societies succeed in maintaining high levels of care, work and inclusion, despite the manifold challenges posed by changing circumstances, which currently range from an aging population to climate change. Key to a society’s resilience is its ability to sustain cooperation within and between families, organizations, and communities. But why is it that some cooperative arrangements thrive, whereas others fall into decay? This puzzle of sustainable cooperation is at the core of the SCOOP program.

SCOOP will train a new generation of interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners to solve this puzzle. The program develops roadmaps for effective policy strategies and evidence based solutions for some of societies’ most pressing challenges: How sustainable are current arrangements for the integration of newcomers in society? How can we resolve the tension between the interests of employees and other stakeholders within and outside organisations? How can we find sustainable arrangements for the balance of work and care? How should responsibilities be distributed across the members of workgroups or decision-making bodies?

The first 10 PhD projects in the SCOOP research program are dedicated to these questions. Detailed descriptions of these projects are to be found here:

1: Dual Identities and Cooperation Between Partners

2: Family Members Stimulating Community Involvement 

3: Accommodating Newcomers in the Labour Market 

4: Sustainability of Public Goods in a Changing Society

5: Running the Family Business: Stakeholders, Values and Reputation 

6: Reconciling Employee Interests: Migrant Workers’ Workplace Participation 

7: Group Norms, Intrinsic Motivation and Sustainable Energy Consumption

8: Identities and Networks: Partners in Sustainable Cooperation

9: Degrees of Responsibility

10: Decision Making and Responsibility Allocation


SCOOP is a research and training centre dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of sustainable cooperation as a key feature of resilient societies. The centre connects research groups from sociology, psychology, history, philosophy, public administration, research methods, and statistics. In May 2017, the research program Sustainable Cooperation – Roadmaps to a Resilient Society was awarded a research grant in the Gravitation program of The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The SCOOP program now offers the first 10 PhD positions of a total of up to 60 projects in the coming ten years.

The SCOOP program is carried out at the Universities of Groningen and Utrecht, but also at Amsterdam VU, Rotterdam, and Nijmegen. Candidates will be employed at one of these Universities. In addition to following the regular training program of their discipline, they will participate in the interdisciplinary inter-university SCOOP training program. During the training, they will work on their own project, in close collaboration with other SCOOP PhD candidates, and under supervision of an interdisciplinary team of senior researchers.


We aim to attract outstanding PhD students who are motivated to participate in a challenging interdisciplinary research program focused on these and related questions. Candidates who recently graduated in one of the social and behavioural sciences, history, or philosophy are invited to apply. Given the interdisciplinary character of the SCOOP program, graduates of other disciplines are also invited to apply. We are aware that most applicants will have been trained in a monodisciplinary master program. We are looking for candidates who are open to the challenge to broaden their horizon and explore other disciplines.

Conditions of Employment

We offer a temporary full-time appointment for one year in the first instance. After a positive evaluation, the appointment will be extended to a maximum of four years. Salary starts at 2222,- Euro per months (gross) in the first year and increases to 2840,- Euro (gross) in the fourth year. There are no tuition fees.

Additional information

Extensive information on the SCOOP program and the available PhD projects can be found on the SCOOP website

How to apply

Applications, online only through the University of Groningen website, can be submitted up to and including December 15th, 2017. Interviews will be conducted on January 24th, 2018. You need to upload the following documents (in pdf):

  • A cover letter explaining your motivation, background and qualifications for the position. Please also indicate the project(s) you are interested in – more than 1 preference is possible
  • A detailed Curriculum Vitae, including relevant extra-curricular activities and work experience
  • Copies of diplomas and a list of your courses taken and grades obtained
  • Proof of ability to communicate and write in English
  • Contact information of two references

 Please keep in mind; you can upload only 5 documents up to 2 MB each.