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PhD in Family Sociology - Siblings

The Centre for Population, Family and Health (CPFH) is seeking to fill the following full-time (100%) vacancy: Doctoral Grant (Fonds Voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek-Vlaanderen (FWO)) in the area of family sociology


Job description

  • You prepare a doctoral thesis in the field of family sociology, working on a project on siblings’ influence on their respective life courses (like brother, like sister ?).
  • You work in close collaboration with your supervisors and colleagues studying related research themes.


Project abstract

Whether and how family of origin influences the steps someone takes later in life, is a fundamental question in the social sciences. Intergenerational influences have already been studied in life events like leaving the parental home, union formation, and union dissolution. But previous research has only focused on how children imitate the family formation of their parents (i.e. intergenerational inheritance). In this project, we shift the focus from intergenerational to intragenerational influences in families. The proposed project studies whether and how siblings influence each other’s family life courses.

The project uses a sequential QUAN-qual mixed methods approach. For the QUAN-part, data from Belgian national registers are drawn from the Crossroads Bank for Social Security. This allows us to follow siblings through time and model their family dynamics with event history techniques. For the qual-part, data from in-depth interviews will be obtained in order to gain further insights in the objective and subjective factors that influence sibling effects on these three life course transitions. The project contributes to the existing state of the literature by investigating new directions through which family of origin influences family pathways.


Profile and requirements

  • You hold a master degree in social sciences, preferably in sociology, or economic sciences.
  • You can submit outstanding academic results.
  • You have an interest in family sociology and life course sociology.
  • 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.


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 will be September 1st or October 1st 2019;
  • a monthly grant amount ranging from € 2.373,36 - € 2.516.73;
  • a dynamic and stimulating work environment.


How to apply?

  • Applications may only be submitted online, until June 30th 2019;
  • 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 on Friday July 5th.
  • More information about the application form can be obtained from vacatures [at]
  • For questions about the profile and the description of duties, please contact prof. Dimitri Mortelmans (dimitri.mortelmans [at]

The University of Antwerp is a family friendly organization, with a focus on equal opportunities and diversity. Our HR-policy for researchers was awarded by the European Commission with the quality label HR Excellence in research.

We support the Science4Refugees initiative and encourage asylum-seeking, refugee scientists and researchers to apply for a job at the University of Antwerp.

More information
Centre for Population, Family and Health at the University of Antwerp

For questions about the profile and the description of duties, please contact prof. Dimitri Mortelmans (dimitri.mortelmans [at]