05 March 2019

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You can apply for this PhD position no later than April 14, 2019. You can apply through our online job application, requiring: a motivation letter, resume (including detailed study results), at least one reference that we may contact (e.g. thesis supervisor) and a one-page summary of your master's thesis.

Please apply as soon as possible, the vacancy will be closed on the moment that a suitable candidate has been found.

For more information please contact Prof. dr. Frederiek Schoubben, tel.: +32 3 201 18 31, mail: or Prof. dr. Cynthia Van Hulle, tel.: +32 16 32 67 34, mail:

For more information on the AFI department, please consult

For more information on the ‘Kenniscentrum voor Coöperatief Ondernemen’, please consult

You can apply for this job no later than April 14, 2019 via the online application tool
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Apply before 14 April 2019

The Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) – Campus Leuven – is currently looking for a full-time doctoral researcher to become involved in academic research on cooperatives, and more specifically on the role of ownership structure in insurance companies.

Research team

The FWO-SBO research project is shouldered by the Faculty of Economics and Business in collaboration with Saint-Mary’s University’s Sobey Business School, Halifax, Canada. The present research will be conducted under the supervision of Prof. Cynthia Van Hulle & Prof. Frederiek Schoubben (AFI Department; Accounting, Finance & Insurance) in the framework of the Centre of Expertise for Cooperative Entrepreneurship (Kenniscentrum voor Coöperatief Ondernemen, KCO in short).


Cooperative enterprises are value-driven member-owned and democratically controlled organizations that operate primarily and philosophically outside of the traditional profit to capital owners’ model. Governance is often set forth as the most distinctive element of cooperatives. However, cooperatives are confronted with several pressures that challenge the nature of their governance. In the framework of a broad FWO-SBO project that aims to investigate governance of cooperatives and how they respond to these challenges, this research project will study differences in governance characteristics between the cooperative (a.k.a. mutual) and traditional ownership model in the insurance industrie to find out to what to extend they are (dis)advantageous for the performance and financial health of (mutual) insurers.


You preferably have a Master degree and background in Business Administration, (Applied) Economic Sciences, Business Engineering or an equivalent degree (students in the final year may also apply). You had excellent results in these prior studies (‘honors’-level). You have demonstrable interest in the themes of (social) entrepreneurship, cooperatives, and/or good governance. You have strong analytical skills and are open to a multidisciplinary environment. You have affinity with quantitative research methods. You have strong oral and written communication skills both in English and in Dutch. You are a team player. Most importantly, you should share our unbridled enthusiasm for scientific research.


We offer full-time employment for one doctoral researcher, starting 1 October 2019. The appointment will be for 4 years, annually renewable. The candidate will enter the doctoral program of the Faculty of Economics and Business (Leuven Campus) and will develop a doctoral dissertation in Business Economics at KU Leuven (Faculty of Economics and Business).