Gepubliceerd op 16-04-2015

Vacature: Postdoc Financial and Institutional Reforms for Entrepeneural Society

Job description

As a postdoc you will work within the Horizon 2020 project “Financial and Institutional Reforms for Entrepreneurial Society”, funded by the European Council. In this project a consortium of 9 European institutes will formulate a reform agenda that will channel more finance, knowledge and talent to early stage venturing in Europe. In this multidisciplinary project you will work with scholars in history, economics, geography and law and your work will be an important building block in establishing the need for a more entrepreneurial economy.  

The postdoc is part of Work Package 2 (WP2) and will be supervised by Gerarda Westerhuis. The core objective of WP2 is to analyse the historical roots and evolution of the institutional arrangements that are most relevant to European entrepreneurial ecosystems and to identify the most important future challenges and opportunities in this respect. It is well established in the literature that institutional arrangements evolve historically into complex, interrelated and multi-layered (Williamson 2000) systems of complementary arrangements (Hall and Soskice 2001) that are crucial in hampering or supporting the allocation of resources to entrepreneurship (Baumol 1990).

The a-historical one-size-fit-all approach, implementing for example policies that successfully support entrepreneurship in the US, is likely to fail in the much more diverse European setting. A good understanding of the historical evolution and the causes of different institutional arrangements in Europe is therefore extremely important in order to formulate a reform strategy that will actually be effective in a European context. As these institutions have developed historically and in close interaction, we expect to unravel different families of institutional arrangements within Europe, comparable to additional models proposed by scholars to the dichotomies of LME and CME (e.g. Amable (2003) who distinguishes an Anglo-Saxon model, a Continental European model, Social Democratic economies, a Mediterranean model and Asian Capitalism).

Within the project, 1 postdoc position will be available:

You will work on the issue how financial, labour market and knowledge institutions for entrepreneurial ecosystems in Europe have evolved historically (Work Package 2 “Institutions and Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Europe: past, present and future”).
You will deliver 3 articles in peer reviewed journals.

You will be based at Utrecht University, and be part of the department History and Art History, Section Economic and Social History, led by prof. Jan Luiten van Zanden.


A successful candidate should preferably have:

  • a PhD in social and/or economic history or a manuscript submitted to the PhD committee;
  • experience with both qualitative and quantitative research and methods for comparative research;
  • strong interest for relevant theory;
  • capacity to work both as a creative and independent researcher and as part of a team;
  • capacity or at least willingness to collaborate across the academic disciplines;
  • experience in publishing at high academic standards;
  • excellent command of spoken and written English are essential;
  • ability to work in an international, interdisciplinary team.


We offer a postdoc-position of 1,0 fte for 24 months, beginning 1 June 2015. Salary ranges between € 3.098,- and € 3.908,- gross per month on a fulltime basis depending on experience and qualifications. Utrecht University offers a pension scheme, a holiday pay of 8% per year, an end-of-year payment of 8.3% and flexible employment conditions. Conditions are based on the Collective Employment Agreement of the Dutch Universities.

More information: terms of employment.

About the organisation

Utrecht University has high research ambitions, which are centred around four themes: Dynamics of Youth, Institutions, Life Sciences and Sustainability. Utrecht University plays a prominent role in our society and contributes to finding answers to topical and future societal issues.

Utrecht University is one of Europe’s leading research universities, recognised internationally for its high quality and innovative approach to both research and teaching. Founded in 1636, the University has always focused strongly on research. Owing to its solid grounding in discipline-based scholarship, Utrecht University is at the forefront of developments in interdisciplinary knowledge. The University participates in various thematic multidisciplinary collaborations that conduct excellent research. With its prominence in teaching and research, Utrecht University works towards finding solutions of the highest possible impact and significance to the major challenges facing the 21st century.

The Faculty of Humanities has around 7,000 students and 900 staff members. With its research and education in these fields, the Faculty aims to contribute to a better understanding of the Netherlands and Europe in a rapidly changing social and cultural context. The enthusiastic and motivated colleagues and the excellent facilities in the historic town centre of Utrecht, where the Faculty is located, provide a stimulating professional atmosphere.

Additional information

Are you interested? For more information about the project you can download the FIRES projectdescription (PDF) or contact the project leader Gerarda Westerhuis, email: g.k.westerhuis@uu.nl. You can also consult the Utrecht University website and the website of the department of History and Art History.


You should send a cover letter and a curriculum vitae, certified copies of relevant diplomas, one recent academic publication, the contact details of two referees (names, affiliations and phone numbers or email addresses; preferably, reference letters are included) and a 600-word research design proposal, in which you present your ideas about the relevant project. Please note that applications without this 600-word research design proposal will not be included in the subsequent selection procedure! Please refer to the position you are applying for and use the application button on this webpage.

The application deadline is

More information

Het KNHG is de grootste organisatie van professionele historici in Nederland. Het biedt een platform aan de ruim 1100 leden en aan de historische gemeenschap als geheel. Word lid van het KNHG.
Het Huygens Instituut beoogt de Nederlandse geschiedenis en cultuur inclusiever maken. Het ontsluit historische bronnen en literaire teksten en ontwikkelt innovatieve methoden, tools en duurzame digitale infrastructuur.