Doctoral Grant in Family Sociology

University of Antwerp Faculty Social Sciences


Department: Faculty Social Sciences

Regime Full-time

The University of Antwerp (UA) is a dynamic, forward-thinking university. We offer an innovative academic education to more than 20 000 students, conduct pioneering scientific research and play an important service-providing role in society. We are one of the largest, most international and most innovative employers in the region. With more than 6000 employees from 100 different countries, we are helping to build tomorrow's world every day. Through top scientific research, we push back boundaries and set a course for the future – a future that you can help to shape. 

The Centre for Population, Family and Health (CPFH) is seeking to fill the following full-time (100%) vacancy:

Doctoral Grant in the area of family sociology 

Job description

  • You prepare a doctoral thesis in the field of family sociology, working on a project on singleness in the life course.

Project abstract

  • In the last few decades there have been notable changes on a demographic level regarding romantic relationship formation, dissolution, alternate unions and cohabitation forms. Research uniformly shows an overall delay in leaving the parental home, marriage and childbearing. The number of marriages keeps declining as divorce rates go up, and the amount of unmarried people who are formally or informally cohabiting climbs. A strong increase in singleness and single households can be observed on a quasi-global scale, adding to longevity and widowing (e.g. Eurostat, 2017).
  • In the case of Belgium for example one third of people has a single household status, for the Brussels region this is even higher with 1 in 2 inhabitants living in a single household. Predictions are a rise to half of the population by 2060 (Federaal Planbureau, 2016). The trend is observed in many European countries. Despite these developments, cross national insights have not been gathered on differences between countries and policy regimes. In this PhD project, you aim to gain insight in the determinants and trajectories of singles in Europe. You use longitudinal and comparative methods to map singleness in the European context.

Profile and requirements

  • You hold a master degree in Social Sciences, preferably in Sociology, or another social science;
  • You can submit outstanding academic results;
  • You have an interest in family sociology and singleness;
  • You are capable of executing quantitative research;
  • You are capable of applying (or learning) advanced statistical analysis techniques (multi-level analysis, structural equation modeling);
  • Your academic English and writing skills allow you to successfully communicate research results;
  • Your academic qualities comply with the requirements stipulated in the university’s policy;
  • You are quality-oriented, conscientious, creative and cooperative;
  • Also master students in the final year of their degree can apply;
  • Foreign candidates are encouraged to apply.

What we offer

  • A doctoral scholarship for a period of two years, with the possibility of renewal for a further two-year period after positive evaluation;
  • The start date of scholarship is mutually agreed upon;
  • A monthly grant amount according to the scales of the HR service of the University of Antwerp;
  • A dynamic and stimulating work environment.
  • You will do most of your work at the City Campus in a dynamic and stimulating working environment.
  • Find out more about working at the University of Antwerp here.

Want to apply?

  • You can apply for this vacancy through the University of Antwerp’s online job application platform up to and including August 15th Click on the 'Apply' button, complete the online application form and be sure to include the following attachments: a motivation letter and your CV.
  • A pre-selection will be made from amongst the submitted applications. The remainder of the selection procedure is specific to the position and will be determined by the selection panel;
  • The interviews will take place in the second half of August;
  • If you have any questions about the online application form, please check the frequently asked questions or send an email to If you have any questions about the job itself, please contact prof. Dimitri Mortelmans (

The University of Antwerp received the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award for its HR policy. We are a sustainable, family-friendly organisation which invests in its employees’ growth. We encourage diversity and attach great importance to an inclusive working environment and equal opportunities, regardless of gender identity, disability, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse characteristics to apply.


In your application, please refer to


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