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PhD Candidate in Public Administration


PhD Candidate in Public Administration (1.0 FTE)

Nijmegen School of Management

Vacancy number: 27.28.19

Application deadline: 8 September 2019


The Chair group of Public Administration at the Nijmegen School of Management invites applications for a PhD position. The position is part of the research project ‘The Creative Public Servant’ (led by Prof. Dr Sandra van Thiel and Dr Peter Kruyen) and funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO).

The research project investigates under which conditions public servants (i.e. employees of executive agencies) can be creative in their task of policy implementation or service delivery, and to which effects. Creativity is the production of new and useful ideas, which, when adopted and implemented, will become innovations. However, the conditions under which the process of creativity takes place in the public sector and produces the expected positive results is not well-known. The public sector is considered inhospitable to innovation as there is no competition, and regulations and budgetary constraints are tight. Employees of executive agencies are considered risk-averse and rule-conforming. The project consists of a literature study, a diary study (using a mobile phone app), a survey and a field experiment (including creativity training) in two agencies.

Your task will be to collect data, conduct research, predominately through applying qualitative and quantitative research procedures, to write scientific articles, and to complete a PhD thesis in time. You will also participate in conferences, workshops and other scholarly and valorisation activities, and contribute to teaching at the Nijmegen School of Management.

Work environment

The Nijmegen School of Management (NSM) is an academic centre of research and higher education at Radboud University, focusing on institutional and managerial issues concerning complex organisations in both the public and private domains. It covers seven disciplines: Business Administration, Public Administration, Political Science, Economics and Business Economics, Social and Political Sciences of the Environment, Human Geography, and Spatial Planning. The NSM strives for a multidisciplinary approach whenever possible. The NSM employs 265 FTEs, 75% of whom are academics. The NSM currently has approximately 4,500 students.

The Chair of Public Administration covers the broad field of public administration with an emphasis on governance, public management, accountability and control in the setting of interorganisational and intergovernmental relations and networks. There is a strong focus on theory-driven research using a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods. Specific research themes of the Chair include comparative public administration, encompassing Europeanisation, public management reforms and practices, and good governance at local, regional and national levels.

The educational programme is characterised by small-scale teaching and provides a stimulating learning environment with an emphasis on the development of academic skills. Research activities fall under the responsibility of the interdisciplinary Institute for Management Research (IMR). Under the motto ‘Creating knowledge for society’, IMR focuses on academic research into the development, design and effectiveness of the public and private structures that regulate, govern or manage human interactions and organisations.

What we expect from you


  • a Master’s degree in Public Administration, Psychology or in a related field in the social sciences;
  • academic excellence, as demonstrated by grade transcripts and CV;
  • a solid understanding of both quantitative and qualitative methods;
  • excellent command of written and spoken Dutch and English;
  • the ability to work both independently and as a team player;
  • the ability to finish your PhD thesis in time, which requires strong skills in project management, creativity, proactive behaviour, resilience, and excellent academic writing skills.
What we have to offer
  • employment: 1.0 FTE;
  • the gross starting salary amounts to €2,325 per month, and will increase to €2,972 in the fourth year (P scale);
  • in addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • you will be appointed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract);
  • you will be able to make use of our Dual Career Service where our Dual Career Officer will assist with family related support, such as child care, and help your partner prepare for the local labour market and with finding an occupation.

Are you interested in our excellent employment conditions?

Other Information

Intended start date is 1 November 2019.

Would you like to know more?

Further information on: Nijmegen School of Management

Further information on: Institute of Management Research

For more information about this vacancy, please contact:

Sandra van Thiel, Professor of Public Administration


Peter Kruyen, Assistant Professor of Public Administration

Telephone: + 31 24 361 19 34


Are you interested?

You should upload your application (attn. of Prof. Dr Sandra van Thiel) exclusively using the button 'Apply' below. Your application should include (and be limited to) the following attachment(s):

  • Motivation letter, explaining your motivation, your interest in the project, and your competencies
  • CV including qualifications, grades, a list of academic publications (if applicable), and an academic reference supporting your application
  • Proof of academic writing skills such as a chapter from your Bachelor’s or Master’s thesis or an academic paper

The first round of interviews will take place on Wednesday 25 September 2019.




Radboud Universiteit