PhD Scholarship in Skill Formation in the Labor Market for Physicians

University of Copenhagen Department of Economics


PhD scholarship at the Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen (UCPH). Skill Formation in the Labor Market for Physicians

UCPH invites applications for a PhD scholarship. Employment is expected to begin September 1ST, 2021.


Applications are invited for a PhD scholarship at the Department of Economics, UCPH, in connection with the research project “Skill Formation in the Labor Market for Physicians.” The PhD project is part of this larger project financed from a (Sapere Aude) grant from the Independent Research Fund Denmark. The project lies in the intersection between labor and health economics. The overarching purposes of the project is two-fold, 1) to provide a better understanding of how opportunities, preferences and choices shape career paths in the highly specialized labor market for physicians and 2) understand how career circumstances affect physician practice styles, and, thereby, the health outcomes of patients.

The PhD student will join a team of three other researchers. We value creative and explorative research that can inform scholars and policy makers about sources of inequality in the labor market, as well as behaviors and opportunities in the health care sector. The project leverage a randomized lottery that determines the sorting of Danish physicians into internships, where students with bad lottery numbers end up assigned to less desirable local labor markets and entry-level jobs. This serves as an exogenous source of variation in the early career that can determine longer-run life trajectories and career paths. The PhD project will entail work with administrative Danish data from registers and archives, but we encourage applicants to pursue research ideas beyond this scope, which may include other types of quantitate data such as survey or experimental data.

For further information about the project, please see We encourage interested applicants to contact Associate Professor and principal investigator (PI) Torben Heien Nielsen ( - for further information on the project and the team.

Our research team is part of Center for Economic Behavior and Inequality (CEBI). This environment includes 14 senior researchers, 13 junior researchers, 11 PhD students, 7 research assistants as well as international collaborators.

Recruitment event: CEBI organizes a recruitment event Thursday April 8th, 2021 at 4pm to 5:15pm on Zoom via this link: ( This will include a presentation of CEBI followed by a Q&A session, where we will attend. Further information about the event can be found on

Duties and Responsibilities

Further information about the PhD study programme is available on the website of Copenhagen Graduate School of Social Sciences: 

Under "Legal basis" on the website you will find information about the rules and guidelines for the PhD programme and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD programme at the Universities. 

Information about the PhD study programme is also available on the PhD website of the Department of Social Sciences

Applicants should familiarise themselves with the research strategy and the ongoing research at the Department before submitting their application. Further information can be found:

Job description

The tasks of PhD student are to

  • Participate in our research team
  • Write scientific articles that are included in the PhD thesis of the applicant
  • Attend PhD courses
  • Participate in congresses/workshops/seminars
  • Teach and disseminate your research
  • Visit another international research institution for at least a few months


We seek a candidate with a strong academic background in Economics, qualifying for enrolment in the 5+3 programme (3 year PhD programme); or 4+4 programme (4 year PhD programme) in Economics. In the assessment of the candidate’s qualifications, emphasis will be on creativity, grade performance in core economics courses, the project proposal and potential relevant professional experience or publications. Good English language skills are also important.

In order to be eligible for a scholarship in the 5+3 PhD study programme, the applicant must have completed a two-year MSc degree programme in Economics, or have earned 120 ECTS credits at an equivalent academic level before starting his or her employment. Applicants should check the study programmes for more detailed descriptions of the entry requirements. PhD students are paid a salary in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). The PhD student has a work obligation of up to 840 hours over the 3 year period of time without additional pay. The work obligation can, for instance, include teaching.

Students who have completed a BSc plus 60 ECTS of an MSc degree programme in Economics would enrol as PhD students simultaneously with their enrolment in the MSc degree programme (the 4+4 programme). Applicants should check the study programmes for more detailed descriptions of the entry requirements. Until an MSc degree is obtained, the grant is paid partly in the form of up to 48 state education grant portions (in Danish: SU-klip). More specifically the PhD student will be paid two grant portions per month plus salary for work (teaching, presentations etc.) which totals a workload of at least 300 hours. Payment and conditions of employment are carried out in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). Upon completion of the MSc degree the student is transferred to the salary-earning part of the PhD studies.

How to apply

Submit a complete application at our online portal. Click on the “Apply for position” icon at the bottom of the page to apply. The documents must be in Adobe PDF or Word.

Applications should include the following enclosures:

  • CV
  • Degree certificates and transcripts of all relevant course work
  • A short project proposal (3-4 pages) outlining one research idea (this is only used to evaluate the research maturity of applicants, and is not binding in any way afterwards). The project proposal could outline how the candidate would address one of the two overarching purposes of the project “Skill formation in the Labor Market for Physicians”.
  • List of publications (if any)

The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding society, and invites all qualified applicants, regardless of personal background, to apply for the positions. In order to be awarded a PhD scholarship the applicant has to enrol as a PhD student at the Faculty of Social Sciences, cf. the rules of the Danish Ministerial order No 1039 of 27 August 2013.

The recruitment process

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Appointments Committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an expert assessment committee.

The following criteria are used when shortlisting candidates for assessment:

  1. Qualifications and knowledge in relevant Economics disciplines.
  2. Performance (grades obtained) in relevant courses.
  3. Research qualifications as reflected in the project proposal.

Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the assessment committee, and each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself.
You can read about the recruitment process here.

Application process

On the website of Copenhagen Graduate School of Social Sciences you will find information about the application process, and enclosures to include with your electronic application:

Information about the recruitment process is available from Pernille Lykke Paulsen, HR, e-mail:, please refer to ID number: 211-0714/21-2H #1

An Equal Opportunity Workplace

The University of Copenhagen is committed in its pursuit of academic excellence to equality of opportunity and to creating an inclusive working environment and therefore encourages all qualified candidates to apply, regardless of personal background, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, ethnicity etc. For more on the diverse working place environment at the University and the University’s participation in the HRS4R HR Excellence in Research, see -for-researchers/

International applicant?

The University of Copenhagen offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including support before and during your relocation and career counselling to expat partners. Please find more information about these services as well as information on entering and working in Denmark here:

Deadline for applications: 3rd of May, 2021 at 23:59 CET

Applications received after the deadline will not be taken into account.


Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


Application deadline: 03-05-2021
Employment start: 01-09-2021
Department/Location: Økonomisk Institut
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