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Vrije University PhD Scholarships on New Methods and Perspectives on African Migration 2020 (Fully-funded)

Job offer for fulltime PhD scholarship on the subject of New Methods and Perspectives on African Migration.

Application Deadline: 15th February 2020

To be Taken at (Country): Interface Demography, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium.

About the Award: The group expects you to prepare a doctoral dissertation under the supervision of Prof. Tuba Bircan and Prof. Sylvie Gadeyne in the fields of Sociology, in which you

  • develop and work on case studies to map and monitor voluntary and involuntary migration within and from Africa with satellite imagery
  • pay special attention to refugee camps to identify changes over time and to observe the growth and decline of refugee numbers
  • analyse the drivers of migration with a specific focus on environmental factors and epidemic dynamics in Africa
  • assess the use of satellite imagery for humanitarian aid
  • For your PhD you make use of remote sensing, machine learning algorithms and quantitative methods
  • You are expected to support the teaching staff in their educational tasks (max. 10% of your time)

Type: Research


  • Master in Statistics, Data Science, Mathematics, Computer Science, Geography, AI or social sciences with a strong quantitative focus (High study grades are recommended)
  • Solid hands-on experience with R and/or Phyton programming and statistical software (i.e. STATA, SPSS, etc.) and advanced statistical modeling is a must
  • Familiarity and/or technical knowledge of Big Data tools and machine learning algorithms (Hadoop, Spark, Mahout)
  • Interest in remote sensing and space data
  • Great affinity with social and global issues, in particular migration/human mobility
  • Excellent writing and analytical skills
  • Proficiency in English is a must
  • Female candidates and members of ethnic minority or refugee groups are particularly encouraged to apply.

Number of Awards: 1

Value of Award: A 4-years fulltime PhD-scholarship, renewable on a yearly basis
• A monthly scholarship depending on the academic work experience.
• Full reimbursement of (public transport) commuting expenses in Belgium.
• A dynamic and stimulating research environment.

Duration of Award: 4 years. –  Suggested (but not fixed) starting date: May 2020

How to Apply:  Job interviews will take place during the first week of March 2020 at the Campus Etterbeek of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (virtual Skype participation is also a possibility for international candidates)
• Your application must at least include the following attachments:

  • A brief curriculum vitae
  • A concise statement of the reason for applying
  • A copy of your master thesis
  • A copy of your detailed study results (and if already available a copy of your master diploma)

• Your application should be written in English
• Apply by sending an e-mail to both Prof. Tuba Bircan and Prof. Sylvie Gadeyne


Visit Award Webpage for Details

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