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PhD scholarship at the SFI and the Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen (UCPH): Effects of Universal Child Policies, Denmark


Applications are invited for a PhD scholarship at the SFI and the Department of Economics at the University of Copenhagen in connection with the project CRUNCH - Center for Research on Universal Child Policies.

Deadline for applications is September 30, 2016. Employment is scheduled to begin on January 1, 2017, or according to agreement.

CRUNCH - The Center for Research on Universal Child Policies
The Center for Research on Universal Child Policies (CRUNCH) is a partnership between Aarhus University, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg Municipality, Center for Childhood Life (Center for Børneliv) and The Danish National Centre for Social Research (SFI). It is funded by the Innovation Fund Denmark. 

The overall aim of the CRUNCH is to improve our understanding of the effects of the two largest universal child programs for children under the age of six in Denmark: Nurse home visiting (NHV) and public childcare. To achieve this goal, we will conduct a set of projects that will both rely on experimental and quasi-experimental methods. We will perform these studies in close collaboration with practitioners. CRUNCH consists of three work packages: 

1.Work package 1: DACS

A central goal of CRUNCH is to improve the Danish data infrastructure to study and evaluate NHV and childcare for the under-six-year olds. We attempt to collect a new database (Database on child services DACS) in this process. An important task in this process will be to reach out to various societal actors and establish collaborations with respect to data collections and the use of already existing but yet under-used data on the two public programs.

2.Work package 2: The role of the family—strengthening parents’ investments in their children

We will generate both descriptive evidence and exploit different sources of variation to generate evidence on the effects of NHV. Using both newly collected and existing data and exploiting variation e.g. across municipalities and nurses, we attempt to move from correlational studies to studies that identify causal effects of NHV. We will also cooperate with practitioners in Danish municipalities to conduct experiments with innovative program features and evaluate their potential benefits. 

3.Work package 3: Childcare and its role for human capital formation

We will describe and evaluate existing program features of the Danish childcare system. Central questions include the impact of timing of childcare entry and the composition of childcare peers.

The PhD position
We invite candidates who are interested in empirically examining different types of early life public investments in children. We expect the PhD student to develop own research projects within this topic. Additionally, we offer the CRUNCH PhD student the possibility to be part of the planned CRUNCH activities and studies. 

Applicants should be interested in research in impact evaluations and/or casual inference research. Thus applicants should be interested in econometric methods and preferably possess skills in analyzing data.  Part of the activities in CRUNCH is to interact with non-research partners and disseminate research results to relevant policy makers and practitioners. 

The PhD student will be employed by SFI and enrolled in the PhD program at the Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen. The PhD program in Economics at the University of Copenhagen qualifies the PhD student to independently undertake research, development and teaching assignments at an international level in the private and public sectors, for which a broad knowledge of research is required. 

The PhD program provides PhD students with strong research training which opens up a window of opportunity to a variety of careers within the private and public sectors. The program includes the drafting of a PhD thesis, active participation in research networks, PhD courses, teaching and other forms of knowledge dissemination. The PhD program offered through CRUNCH is a three year full-time study within the framework of the 5+3 PhD study program, or it may be undertaken within the 4 + 4 PhD program.

In order to be eligible for a scholarship in the 5+3 PhD study program, the applicant must have completed a two year MSc degree program, or have earned 120 ECTS credits at an equivalent academic level before starting his or her employment. Applicants should check the study program 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). 

In order to be eligible for a scholarship in the 4+4 PhD study program the applicant must have completed a BSc plus 60 ECTS of an MSc degree programme. The candidate would enroll as PhD students simultaneously with his/her enrolment in the MSc degree programme for the first two years, after which the MSc degree is to be completed. Applicants should check the specific 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 280 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.

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

In English:

In Danish

Further information about the scholarship can be obtained from senior researcher Miriam Wüst, SFI, email:, or from associate professor Mette Gørtz, University of Copenhagen, email: 


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

A special project application form from the department must be enclosed with the application. The form is available through the link below. You save it on your own computer and fill it in. To access the application form: 

Economics: Form in word format Form in PDF format


Next step is to access the general application through the “Apply now” button at the very end of this advertisement, and upload the form and other application documents. The first form replaces separate enclosures; research proposal, short study plan and budget. Use the category “Project description” to upload it.

Application process
The application must be submitted electronically no later than September 30, 2016

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.Research qualifications as reflected in the project proposal.

2.Quality and feasibility of the project.

3.Qualifications and knowledge in relevant economics disciplines.

4.Performance (grades obtained) in graduate and post-graduate studies.

The selected applicants are notified of the composition of the committee, and later 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 at 

Further Information

Application Deadline : 30 September 2016

PhD scholarship at the SFI and the Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen (UCPH): Effects of Universal Child Policies : PDF

Contact Email:

Posted on 2016-07-06 01:01:36

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