Research School for Economic and Social History


PhD candidate ‘Social inequalities in the history of the Dutch health transition’ (Radboud University) – deadline 31 October 2023

The Radboud Institute for Culture & History (RICH) is looking for a PhD candidate on the topic of ‘Social inequalities in the history of the Dutch health transition’.

The PhD Candidate in the field of Economic, Social and Demographic History will have the opportunity to carry out an own PhD project to study what caused health inequalities in the Netherlands during the long nineteenth century. The candidate’s main task is to research the historical developments of social differences in mortality and its drivers in the Netherlands during the long nineteenth century (1780-1940). The RICH team is open to proposals considering the ‘social’ history of health inequalities in the broadest sense possible, and especially welcomes a focus on one or more of the following aspects: health of adults (aged 20+); epidemics and contagious diseases; marginalised groups; gender differences; neighbourhood effects; and history from below.

For the project, the use of individual-level data sources such as causes of death, civil certificates, population registers and patient registers – many of which have already been digitised – is strongly encouraged. The candidate does not need to be familiar with the quantitative methods used to study these sources, such as regression, event history, or competing risk analysis, but an interest in learning social science methods is important. Additional qualitative analyses of medical and governmental reports, newspaper articles and medical directories are encouraged to put into context and explain possible quantitative results. Through this mixed-methods approach, we hope to incorporate social history, historical demography, and medical history into the project.


Applications for this position, made possible through a Starters grant from the Faculty of Arts awarded to Dr Sanne Muurling and Dr Tim Riswick, should be submitted ultimately 31 October 2023.