PhD Position in Economics

Catholic University of Leuven Department of Economics

VIVES Centre for Regional Economics and the Department of Economics at KU Leuven are looking for a motivated PhD student to do research in economic history and urban economics on the industrial revolution in Belgium. Specifically, the student will digitize rich and hitherto unused archival data to analyze the impact of the development of the railroad network on technology adoption by firms and the emergence of new industries.


The student will:

  • Help collect, digitize and analyze novel, unique and up to this point unused historical Belgian data on the development and operations of the railroad network, adoption of steam engines and patenting by researchers.
  • Enroll in the doctoral program in Economics at the Faculty of Economics and Business of KU Leuven (see, perform research which results in a doctoral thesis, participate in international conferences and publish papers in international scientific journals.
  • Support teaching related tasks at VIVES, the Department of Economics and the Faculty of Economics & Business including exam supervision.


  • The candidate should have a research master’s degree in Economics equivalent to the Master of Advanced Studies program at KU Leuven or in a closely related field (e.g. econometrics) by September 2023.  
  • However, if you have yet to complete a research master's degree, you are equally invited to apply for this vacancy. 
  • In fact, we can offer a scholarship for the Master of Advanced Studies in Economics at KU Leuven to a promising candidate. 
  • Learn more about the MASE program and how to register at: 
  • A (passive) knowledge of the French language & an affinity for working with historical documents is considered as a plus.


  • The successful applicant will be offered a fully funded position in the doctoral program at the KU Leuven. 
  • The position is for up to 4 years, with an annual review of research progress and performance.
  • As a PhD student, you will receive a stipend of at least €2,420 per month (net of taxes) with full health insurance. 
  • The academic year begins on September 25, 2023, but there is some flexibility to start earlier if desired.
  • The student will be hosted by VIVES, the research center for regional economics, and the Department of Economics.  Information about the dynamic and internationally oriented research center and department, its researchers, output and activities can be found at 


Your application package should include the following documents:

- Curriculum vitae
- Research statement
- Transcript of all university grades
- (optional) Writing sample, such as an MA thesis
- (optional) Reference letters can be addressed by your referees to
For more information please contact Mr. Jakob Vanschoonbeek, tel.: +32 16 37 90 59, mail: 
You can apply for this job no later than March 31, 2023 via the
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at
  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Leuven
  • Apply before: March 31, 2023
  • Tags: Economie
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