Vacancies for Academic Staff

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Department: Department of History
Regime Full-time

Let’s shape the future - University of Antwerp

The University of Antwerp is a dynamic, forward-thinking, European university. We offer an innovative academic education to more than 20 000 students, conduct pioneering scientific research and play an important service-providing role in society. We are one of the largest, most international and most innovative employers in the region. With more than 6000 employees from 100 different countries, we are helping to build tomorrow's world every day. Through top scientific research, we push back boundaries and set a course for the future – a future that you can help to shape. 

The Department of History in the Faculty of Arts is offering a full-time (100%) PhD position in historical household finance. The PhD position is linked to the research project The Social History of Finance.

The Social History of Finance project explores why in Western economies banks only began to reach deep into society during the 1960s and 1970s. The half century that passed between their creation in the late 19th and early 20th century and the widespread use of their services by households suggests that, for a very long time, many households managed their finances differently. But which services did they use, and when, how and why did the providers of those alternatives make way for banks? What drove this fundamental change in household finance and why did it not come earlier? Current research on financial development has no answers to these questions.

As PhD candidate you will work on the creation of the Hisfindex - a historical version of the Global Findex that measures financial inclusion in the world today. The aim is to find out which financial services were used by households between 1920 and 2020, including for instance payment services, various types of savings, public and private insurance, consumer credit, mortgages, and other loans obtained with or without the intermediation of banks. Recently, a pilot study for the Netherlands has been carried out. The purpose of your project is first to validate and extend the Hisfindex to the case of Belgium and second to investigate how the increased access to financial services affected the financial situation of households. Did they become more financially resilient? Or did living conditions remain unaltered despite the shifting balance between the public and private supply of financial services? To answer these questions you will work in close collaboration with other team members of The Social History of Finance. Your research will result in the identification of key junctures in the long-term development of household finance in Belgium and The Netherlands. It will contribute to the historical financial literature as well as provide insights to key questions surrounding financial literacy and resilience today.


  • You will prepare (and defend) a PhD thesis in the field of Social and Economic History, as a member of ‘The Social History of Finance’ research programme. You are responsible for WP1: investigating the financial services used by households in the Netherlands and Belgium (1880-2020).
  • You will publish scientific articles and/or book chapters related to the research project. These publications can be co-authored with other project members and external researchers.
  • You will participate in the activities of the project team, as well as the research centres involved (CSG & AIPRIL).
  • You will carry out a limited number of teaching tasks in history or the social sciences.


  • You hold a Master degree in Economics, Finance, Sociology, Economic History, or another field relevant to the topic (or you will have obtained one by the time you start work).
  • You have excellent study results and analytical skills.
  • Your research qualities are in line with the faculty and university research policies.
  • You are quality-oriented, conscientious, creative and cooperative.
  • You are fluent in academic Dutch and English.
  • You have strong communication skills.

What we offer

  • We offer a doctoral scholarship for a period of two years, which can be renewed for another two years following a positive evaluation.
  • The planned start date is 1 October 2022, or as soon as possible after that date.
  • Your monthly scholarship amount is calculated according to the scholarship amounts for doctoral scholarship holders on the pay scales for Contract Research Staff (Dutch: Bijzonder Academisch Personeel, BAP).
  • You will do most of your work at UAntwerp City Campus in a dynamic and stimulating working environment.
  • Find out more about working at the University of Antwerp here.

Want to apply?

  • You can apply for this vacancy through the University of Antwerp’s online job application platform up to and including 30 June 2022 (by midnight Brussels time). Click on the 'Apply' button, complete the online application form and be sure to include the following attachments: (1) a motivation letter, (2) your academic CV with Bachelor and Master qualification (including grades or marks) and (3) your Master’s thesis or a relevant academic publication demonstrating your skills.  
  • The selection committee will review all of the applications as soon as possible after the application deadline. Interviews are scheduled for the week of 4 July 2022.
  • If you have any questions about the online application form, please check the frequently asked questions or send an email to If you have any questions about the job itself, please contact the project leader, prof. dr. Oscar Gelderblom or the research manager of the Department of History, dr. Kim Overlaet.

The University of Antwerp received the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award for its HR policy. We are a sustainable, family-friendly organisation which invests in its employees’ growth. We encourage diversity and attach great importance to an inclusive working environment and equal opportunities, regardless of gender identity, disability, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse characteristics to apply.