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. SCOOP is a joint initiative by the University of Groningen (Strategic Theme  Sustainable Society) and Utrecht University (Strategic Theme Institutions for Open Societies), and also involves researchers from the VU Amsterdam, the Erasmus University Rotterdam, and Radboud University Nijmegen. The 2025 Vision for Science of the Dutch Ministry of Education (2014, p. 19) praised SCOOP as an “example of cross-pollination between disciplines”.


More about the program


In addition to the academic ambitions, the program wants to realise several tangible long-term gains. In order to achieve them we created the Training Center. It is organized in two sections, each of them with  a specific target. The first one is research-oriented and it is aimed at prospective students. The second is policy-oriented and its target are practitioners.

For prospective students 

The first section of our Training Center consists in a talent selection and training program to prepare the next generation of top researchers. In the spirit of the research center, students will be trained in a transdisciplinary fashion to include elements from psychology, sociology, philosophy, and history.For more information on the teaching program, click here.

For practitioners

The second section of our Training Center makes use of the main results from the research center as a whole. The goal is to provide insights and instruments that can be used to train societal partners and stakeholders to foster a resilient society.

Department of Sociology, ICS, University of Groningen
Maximum salary: € 2.801 gross/month 
Start Date: 01.09.2017
Application deadline: 10.05.2017 

The Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences of the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, has an opening for

One Ph.D. position in the Department of Sociology/ICS (1,0 fte)


Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative center of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 30,000 students and researchers to develop their own individual talents. Belonging to the best research universities in Europe and joining forces with prestigious partner universities and networks, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.

Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences

The Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences is a center of knowledge focusing on individuals and society. The faculty studies issues relating to human behavior, the relationships between people, and society as a whole. Within the Department of Sociology a new PhD project will start, in collaboration with and co-funded by NetwerkZON2020 (http://www.netwerkzon.nl/en/). The PhD-candidate will participate in the training program of the Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology (ICS, http://www.ics-graduateschool.nl).

The Project

The purpose of the project Sustainable Collaborative Networks - Design, Dynamics and Decay of Cooperation and Value Creation in a Multilevel Organizational Field is to trace the evolution of fifty deliberately created collaborative networks in the Healthy Aging sector in the northern provinces of the Netherlands, and to explain their success or failure. Collaborative networks are cooperative arrangements between a diverse set of public, private and nonprofit organizations, and individual participants in a specific policy domain. A short description of the project can be downloaded at the website: http://www.ics-graduateschool.nl/vacancies/.

Job Description

In collaboration with the supervisory team, the PhD-candidate develops and empirically tests social mechanism explanations on the conditions favoring or impeding sustainable cooperation in a multilevel organizational field of  the Healthy Aging sector in the northern provinces of the Netherlands. The PhD-candidate plays a pivotal role in developing and implementing a mixed method research design, consisting among others of the collection and analysis of longitudinal social network information in fifty collaborative multi-level networks. For this purpose, the PhD-candidate coordinates and cooperates closely with the involved stakeholders in the sector.


  • MSc or M.A. degree in sociology; candidates with a degree in related disciplines meeting the qualifications are welcome to apply
  • Experience with the collection and management of both qualitative and quantitative primary data, preferably in organizational contexts and in projects with multiple stakeholders
  • Analytically strong, affinity with the sociology of organizations
  • A sound training in multivariate statistics (familiarity with social network analytic methods is a plus, though not a requirement)
  • Team player with excellent communication and project management skills.
  • Proficiency in Dutch is required.

Conditions of employment

The University of Groningen offers a salary of € 2,191 (salary scale PhD students Dutch Universities) gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 2,801 gross per month in the final year, based on a full time position, excluding a 8% holiday allowance and a 8.3% end of the year bonus. The position requires residence in Groningen and must result in a PhD thesis within the 4-year contract period. A PhD training program is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Behavioral and Social Sciences and the ICS. In addition, part of the contract entails implementing teaching tasks in the Sociology Bachelor or Master program.

The successful candidate will be offered a temporary position of four years with an evaluation moment at the end of the first year. The prolongation of the contract after this first year is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the next three years is to be expected.

The preferred starting date is the 1th  of September 2017.


Applications, including

  • a letter of motivation and possible research plan,
  • a curriculum vitae, including a list of publications (if any),
  • transcript of master and bachelor degrees,
  • the contact information of three academic referees.

must be submitted before 10th May 2017 through the Webstie of the ICS.



For information you can contact Prof. dr. R. Wittek: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..






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