Radboud University

PhD Candidate in Sustainable Finance

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Radboud University is a denominational university originally established in 1923 as the Catholic University of Nijmegen.

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Employment 0.8 - 1.0 FTE

Gross monthly salary € 2,541 - € 3,247

Required background Research University Degree

Organizational unit Nijmegen School of Management

Application deadline 07 October 2022

How does financial economics address our societal challenges, such as those addressed in the UN's Sustainable Development Goals? As a PhD candidate, you will address those questions by applying cross-disciplinary methods, allowing for a unique specialisation in the area of (sustainable) finance. Your acquired knowledge and research skills will be highly beneficial, not only for the scientific community but also for sustainable finance market players such as the financial industry, multinational companies, and regulators.

Together with your supervisors, you will be responsible for acquiring the knowledge and skills required to become a most-wanted candidate in the job market (e.g. in the scientific community, in industry, or at regulators).

The PhD research addresses the multiverse of sustainable finance (RI, SI, SRI, ESG), particularly the interplay between financial markets and their implications for societal challenges such as the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Next to the conventional research methods typically used in finance, however, the project entails applying specific research techniques embedded in the Integrated Decision Making (ID) hotspot's toolbox.

The PhD research aims to illuminate the influence - and the interaction - of different market players (investors, companies, regulators and institutions) on the multi-trillion dollar market of sustainability-themed investment products. The focus is on questions such as: What is the current status of sustainable finance? How does it relate to the sustainable development goals (as a framework for societal challenges)? What forms of regulation fosters sustainability at the individual or system level? What is the tension between free global financial markets and SDGs? How can short-term investor incentives help to reach long-term sustainability development goals? What stakeholders play a role in the business of sustainability finance? Is sustainability finance just greenwashing, or has it real long-term influence? This research combines different levels in decision making: investors, i.e. those who invest; companies, i.e. those who implement (or do not implement) particular ESG guidelines or create financial products; regulators, i.e. those who design the rules, and other institutions, i.e. those who create the ratings.

The research combines the multi-methodology approach of the PhD supervisors in the light of the Integrated Decision Making 'hotspot'. It aims to explore the topic from a finance/economics perspective (Füllbrunn), applying system dynamics (Marchau, Rouwette) by considering tools such as group model building and case studies (Marchau, Rouwette) as well as laboratory experiments and empirical research methodology related to data analysis with econometric tools (Füllbrunn). Hence, the project combines the methodological strengths of both departments (economics and business economics and business administration).

The project combines systematic literature analysis and case-study research with empirical work involving expert meetings and lab/online experiments. The PhD research starts from the following envisioned perspectives that will be worked out in more detail with the candidate.
(1) It starts with a literature review on how financial markets value short-term financial performance versus long-term sustainable development goals. This part will generate a foundation of what sustainable finance is actually about and where loose ends need tying up. (2) It will continue with researching several case studies on company decision situations with a trade-off between financial and sustainability goals, combined with expert meetings in the IMR group decision lab. Aside from academic papers and policy reports, how do experts actually decide when it comes to ESG (and beyond)? (3) Lastly, the research involves testing decision-making in an impact-investment environment in the area of sustainable finance at different levels, e.g. an abstract of the environment (4) together with proposed changes in different forms of experiments, applying experimental economics methodology or multiplayer serious games.

During your PhD you will be involved in teaching for about 120 hours a year, so you can get teaching experience and transfer your knowledge to students.


  • You hold a Master's degree in Economics or Finance and preferably have some knowledge of sustainable finance.
  • You have good knowledge and/or a very strong interest in relevant research areas/methodologies: sustainable finance, behavioural/experimental finance, financial decision making, investment decisions.
  • You have academic excellence, as demonstrated by your grade transcripts and CV.
  • You have excellent skills in English.
  • You have excellent writing skills, as evidenced by a writing sample, such as a chapter from your Master's thesis or a (forthcoming or published) article or presented conference paper.
  • You should be willing to acquaint yourself with different research methods such as various econometrics techniques, experimental finance, system dynamics, action research, intervention methods and other empirical (social sciences) methodology.
  • You have the ability to finish your PhD thesis on time (i.e. strong skills in project management, flexibility, and proactive behaviour).
  • You are enthusiastic and highly motivated about the topic and working in academia.

We are

The vacancy is in the Integrated Decision Making (ID) hotspot, a group of researchers interested in applying multiple methods to decision problems. The hotspot focuses on testing theories by applying empirical methods using randomised controlled trials, surveys, games, experiments, or group model building. Acknowledging a complex world, the members of the hotspot believe that knowledge based on empirically tested scientific theories should guide relevant decisions. Their research helps to generate decision-supportive expertise to translate this knowledge into effective intervention strategies. The hotspot coordinates the IMR Decision Laboratory and several research projects. Technically, you are part of the Chair Group of Finance (Economics and Business Economics) but you will also be embedded in the Methods Group (Business Administration). Your colleagues use quantitative empirical research methods (such as econometrics and experiments) but also qualitative research methods (such as group model building) to study decision-making at various levels (individual, group, market).

The Nijmegen School of Management enables students, institutions and companies, societal actors and governments to play their part in a transformation towards sustainable societies. In doing so, the faculty is committed to Radboud University's mission of contributing to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. In the context of our 'Responsible governance for sustainable societies' mission, we address scientific and societal challenges from a good governance perspective. Our work focuses on the topics of life beyond economy, climate, inclusivity, safety, and democracy. By building, questioning and extending the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), we acknowledge their interrelatedness and focus on a number of grand challenges within society. On topics such as inequality, gender, decent work and poverty, we contribute to innovation and sustainable growth. Furthermore, we address environmental and climate challenges, seeking to contribute towards resolving them.

At the Nijmegen School of Management, academic research and teaching are carried out in challenging educational programmes. These programmes are offered in the areas of Business Administration, Economics and Business Economics, Geography, Planning and Environment, Political Science and Public Administration. Academic research takes place within the Institute for Management Research (IMR). Research is carried out within the above-mentioned domains and in interdisciplinary research groups: the Hotspots. The Nijmegen School of Management has 350 FTE staff and approximately 5,000 students.

Radboud University

We want to get the best out of science, others and ourselves. Why? Because this is what the world around us desperately needs. Leading research and education make an indispensable contribution to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This is what unites the more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!

We offer

  • It concerns an employment for 0.8 (5 year contract) - 1.0 FTE (4 year contract).
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,541 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,247 from the fourth year onwards (salary scale P).
  • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract) or 3.5 years (5 year contract).
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
  • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 30 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.

Additional employment conditions

Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.

Would you like more information?

For questions about the position, please contact Sascha Füllbrunn, Associate Professor at +31 (0)24 36 15 474 or sascha.fullbrunn@ru.nl. Alternatively, you can contact Etiënne Rouwette, Professor at +31 (0)24 36 11 468 or etienne.rouwette@ru.nl.

Practical information and applying

You can apply until 7 October 2022, exclusively using the button below. Kindly address your application to Sascha Füllbrunn. Please fill in the application form and attach the following documents:

  • Letter of motivation.
  • CV.
  • Transcript of grades.
  • Master's Thesis (draft of last version) or (working) paper.

The first round of interviews will take place on Wednesday 19 October. You would preferably begin employment as soon as possible.

We can imagine you're curious about our application procedure. It offers a rough outline of what you can expect during the application process, how we handle your personal data and how we deal with internal and external candidates.

Application deadline 07 October 2022

Informatie over de vacature

PhD Candidate in Sustainable Finance
Houtlaan 4 Nijmegen, Nederland
Uiterste sollicitatiedatum
Soort functie
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Over de werkgever

Radboud University is a denominational university originally established in 1923 as the Catholic University of Nijmegen.

De pagina van de werkgever bekijken