PhD position in historical business finance_WP4 (University of Antwerp)

Asset | Accounting & Finance


Others (Abroad)

Up to 40 hours

Starts in October

Published on May 25, 2022

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 business 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 study the development of financial markets in Antwerp and by extension Belgium between 1795 and 2020. You will investigate the size and functioning of capital and money markets and assess their use by local firms and households. Were they accessible to all, or only to large companies. And if so, what alternatives did excluded groups have at their disposal to manage cash flows or finance their investments? Furthermore, what was the relation between peer to peer markets and financial intermediaries such as banks. Were they complements or competitors and how did this evolve over time.


  • 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 WP4: investigating the financial behaviour of small business owners in Belgium and The Netherlands between 1780 and 1920.
  • 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, ACF).
  • You will carry out a limited number of teaching tasks in history or the social sciences.


  • You hold a Master degree in Economics, Finance, Social Economic History, or another field relevant to the topic. Students graduating in September 2022 are also encouraged to apply.
  • 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. Following a positive evaluation, the scholarship can be renewed for another two years.
  • The planned start date is 1 October 2022, or as soon as possible before 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.

Apply now