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RPA PSI Postdoc Fellowship

Interdisciplinary three year fellowships

status: open

The Research Priority Area, Emergent Phenomena in Society: Polarisation, Segregation and Inequality (RPA PSI) at the University of Amsterdam has three 3-year open postdoc positions. Besides the annual salary detailed below, the position includes € 4k of travel funding per year as well as access to funding for workshops, meetings, and visitors. 
RPA PSI is an interdisciplinary collaboration at the University of Amsterdam with the goal of uncovering the interplay between the various mechanisms underlying the social phenomena of polarization, segregation and inequality using a large data set curated by CBS (Statistics Netherlands). The collaboration involves various faculties at the University of Amsterdam, including the Faculty of Science (FNWI), the Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB), the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences (FMG) and the Faculty of Law (FdR) as well as the Knowledge Institute (CBS).

As a postdoc you are expected to join a broad group of researchers with the scientific goal of understanding how to model the interrelations between polarisation, segretation and inequality. The team includes J. Armas (physics), C. Mulatier (physics, computer science), J. de Boer (physics), M. Lees (computer science), M. Mandjes (mathematics), H. van der Maas (psychology), J. Uitermark (social science), C. Diks (economics), J. Tuinstra (economics), C. Mak (law), and F. Pijpers (mathematics, data science) as well as Tommaso Giommoni (economics). This team spans various methodological approaches including statistical physics, socio-econo physics, agent-based modeling, stochastic systems, formalization of psychological theories, contextual/historical analyses, behavioral economics and data science, legal dogmatic/theoretical analyses and critical approaches to law, and constraining complex models with data.

We expect that your postdoc project should be placed at the intersection of at least two types of social phenomena:

(1) polarization/segregation;

(2) segregation/inequality;

(3) polarization/inequality.

The goal of the project is to model (using different methodologies described above) the interplay between any of the two types of emergent phenomena (1), (2), or (3), and calibrate the models using data from CBS and other sources.


We advise you to carefully read the scientific goals of this research programme (including ideas for potential projects) at RPAPSI. With this in mind you should elaborate a maximum two-page project proposal detailing a research project within this area and potential supervisors within the team. You are welcome to contact the researchers involved in elaborating your proposal.

You are expected to:


  1. Be the main driving force behind your projects in collaboration with the supervising members and conduct novel research in the area of polarization, segregation and inequality.

  2. Be able to work together with researchers of different backgrounds.

  3. Join the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) at the University of Amsterdam every Thursday to interact with the researchers within RPA PSI and more broadly with researchers from the Dutch Institute for Emergent Phenomena (DIEP).

  4. Assist in organizing workshops, meetings, seminars, visitors programme, outreach activities and contribute to a lively research culture.

  5. Work on a research project that involves supervisors from at least 2 different faculties.


Required background:


  1. A PhD in mathematics, physics, computer science, economics, social science, psychology, law, data science or a closely related field;

  2. Experience as an interdisciplinary researcher;

  3. Excellent organisational, communication and cooperation skills.

Required application material (all files besides your cv should be submitted in one single pdf file):

  1. A detailed CV including the months (not just years) when referring to your education and work experience. Your CV should include your list of publications and the names and email addresses of 3 references who can provide letters of recommendation;

  2. A maximum 1 page letter of motivation to join this collaboration;

  3. A maximum 2 page research proposal with an outline of your project and potential supervisors involved.

A knowledge security check can be part of the selection procedure.
(for details: national knowledge security guidelines)

We offer a temporary employment contract for 38 hours per week for a period of 3 years {with a probationary period of two months}. The preferred starting date is as soon as possible. The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week and dependent on relevant experience, ranges between € 3,226 to € 5,090 (scale 10). This does not include 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% year-end allowance. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Universities of the Netherlands is applicable. More info about your benefits here

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Then find out more about working at the Faculty of Science.



Do you have questions about this vacancy? Or do you want to know more about our organisation? Please contact: Dr. Jay Armas at


About the Faculty of Science

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 8,000, as well as 1,800 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.



Do you recognise yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your CV, cover letter and research statement by 15th of May 2024. You can apply online by using the link below. 

For more information and questions write to
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