Postdoc Postdoctoral position in Public Health Behaviour & Policy

0.8 - 1.0 FTE
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Posting date
July 3, 2023
Closing date
August 21, 2023

The Pandemic & Disaster Preparedness Centre (PDPC), initiated by the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Erasmus Medical Centre, and the Delft University of Technology, is looking for a Postdoctoral Researcher with a passion for science-policy collaboration at the crossroads of behavioural sciences and public health.

Job description

Erasmus MC, TU Delft and Erasmus University Rotterdam have joined forces in the Pandemic and Disaster Preparedness Center (PDPCOpens external). The PDPC aims to prepare society for future pandemics and disasters by carrying out research on how to build resilience through effective disaster prevention, preparedness and recovery measures. Convergence of the technical, medical and social sciences is essential for developing the next generation of approaches to disasters and pandemics. In the foreseeable future, our society can expect many more and unforeseen virus outbreaks and extreme events because of climate change. But how do we protect society from the next pandemic or disaster? Which of the lessons learnt could help develop prevention and intervention measures, and how could research contribute to preparedness?

The PDPC is based on the unique combination of world-renowned expertise on infectious diseases, climate research, research into floods and other water-related emergencies, empirical sociology, and crisis management. One of the Centre’s components is the PDPC AcademyOpens external, which engages in knowledge transfer and education, has an academic workplace for short-term research projects, and carries out research on targeted interventions.

We are looking for a Postdoctoral Researcher to strengthen the PDPC Academy team. In this team, you will have a key role in conducting behavioural research aimed at improving pandemic preparedness, with a specific focus on underserved groups and interdisciplinary policy advising.

As a Postdoctoral Researcher you will:

  • Design, conduct and coordinate high-quality research;
  • Analyse research data, and interpret the findings into concrete insights and advice for policy and practice;
  • Prepare reports, and present findings at conferences and in publications;
  • Based on your research results, you proactively seek connections and collaboration with other research projects;
  • Advise project leaders on behavioral research and transfer your knowledge to colleagues and relevant stakeholders;
  • Collaborate with other members of the research team and contribute to their projects when necessary;
  • Participate in the development of grant proposals;
  • Assist in the supervision of graduate students.


  • In the field of social or health sciences, for example sociology, public administration, social psychology, communication science, anthropology, or health promotion;
  • Affinity with the field of behaviour and infectious diseases/pandemics;
  • Interest in research into the connection between scientific research and policy;
  • Experience with qualitative research methods;
  • Excellent (early career) track record in publishing research findings in international peer-reviewed journals. Involvement in writing research reports for policy is a plus;
  • Demonstrable experience in independently conducting and managing research;
  • Enthusiastic team player. Eager to work in a multidisciplinary team, yet also able to work independently;
  • Well organized with attention to detail;
  • Professional attitude and keenness for working with external parties;
  • Good communication skills with professional oral and written command of English (C1-level CEFR or equivalent) and preferably also Dutch (C1).

Work environment

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) is an internationally oriented university with a strong social orientation in its education and research, as expressed in our mission ‘Creating positive societal impact’. EUR is home to 3.700 academics and professionals and almost 33.000 students from more than 140 countries. Everything we do, we do under the credo The Erasmian Way – Making Minds Matter. We’re global citizens, connecting, entrepreneurial, open-minded, and socially involved. These Erasmian Values function as our internal compass and create EUR’s distinctive and recognizable profile. From these values, with a broad perspective and with an eye for diversity, different backgrounds and opinions, our employees work closely together to solve societal challenges from the dynamic and cosmopolitan city of Rotterdam. Thanks to the high quality and positive societal impact of our research and education, EUR can compete with the top European universities.

Department: Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB)

The Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences is home to a vast diversity of scientific disciplines: public administration, pedagogical sciences, psychology and sociology. In addition, the Erasmus University College, IHS, and two research institutes RISBO and DRIFT are linked to the faculty. This also reflects in the content of the (international) bachelor’s and master’s programs and in research. Our activities are always focused on people and society. At the ESSB fundamental, internationally oriented research is of paramount importance. In addition, social research for professionals, policy makers, and the society is part of our research activities. ESSB offers a stimulating research environment where major national and international research grants are received. Appealing guest researchers and ambitious PhD candidates come along to conduct their research. Our education is small-scale and works with innovative forms of education. Both the Dutch and English programs are highly ranked by students and alumni. ESSB is home to over 4000 students and more than 400 staff-members. The different disciplines are supported by the Faculty Office (for more information, please visit

Department of Public Administration and Sociology (DPAS)

DPAS covers the disciplines of Public Administration and Sociology. Two related scientific fields with different profiles. Public Administration studies governance capacity and policy interventions. It focuses on the institutional power to organize and intervene in the relations between different social, political and economic actors. Public Administration in Rotterdam goes well beyond the public realm itself and pays attention to public-private cooperation and networks of organizations. Sociology investigates the social structure of societies and the way it evolves. Sociologists in Rotterdam focus among other things on processes of globalization and individualization and on the effects of these processes on international social relations, the labor market or family relations. Related social problems that are studied are migration, flexibilization and solidarity. The perspectives of Public Administration and Sociology complement each other. Together they guarantee a highly relevant and scientific approach to topical administrative and social issues. The bachelor- and masterprogrammes of DPAS are built on this profile and educate students to become scientifically schooled professionals.

Conditions of employment

An internationally oriented and varied job in an enthusiastic team, with good working conditions in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU).

The start date of this position is as soon as possible and you will be based at Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences in Campus Woudestein. The position is for 0.8 – 1.0 FTE for one year. To be continued with three years depending on good performance and normal operations conditions. The salary is dependent on your experience and knowledge and ranges from a minimum of € 3.974 to a maximum of € 5.439 gross per month on a fulltime basis, in accordance with scale 11 of the CAO-NU. In addition, we offer an 8% holiday allowance, an end-of-year payment of 8.3%, and a very generous paid leave scheme. Furthermore, EUR is affiliated with ABP for the pension provision, and we offer partially paid parental leave, fully paid extended birth leave for partners, a personal career budget, work-life balance coaches, discounted collective health insurance, and more. As an employee, you can also use EUR facilities such as the University library and receive a discount on subscriptions for the Erasmus sports center.

Erasmus University Rotterdam offers a Dual Career Programme (DCP) to assist the life partners of new academic staff (on payroll) in finding employment in The Netherlands. The programme is offered in close cooperation with the nearby universities of Delft and Leiden.

Erasmus University Rotterdam aspires to be an equitable and inclusive community. We nurture an open culture, where everyone is supported to fulfill their full potential. We see inclusivity of talent as the basis of our successes, and the diversity of perspectives and people as a highly valued outcome. EUR provides equal opportunities to all employees and applicants regardless of gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, age, neurodiversity, functional impairment, citizenship, or any other aspect which makes them unique. We look forward to welcoming you to our community.

More information

Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained by contacting prof. dr. Pearl Dykstra ( or 010-4082076).

Do you know someone who is suitable for this position, feel free to share this vacancy

Please submit your application, consisting of a motivation letter and CV, before the 21-8-2023 via AcademicTransfer  citing Postdoctoral Researcher Public Health & Policy.

The selection procedure consists of 2 interviews. Interviews are expected to be held in the week of the 28-8-2023

We look forward to your application.

Apply through AcademicTransfer