PhD “Auditors at the Crossroads: Navigating the Opportunities and Challenges” (V24.0140)

Job description

The graduate school of the Faculty of Economics and Business at University of Groningen has available a PhD position on the topic “Auditors at the Crossroads: Navigating the Opportunities and Challenges”.

The increasing public awareness of companies’ sustainability issues has led to a shift in recent years, prompting Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) risks to a growing concern of auditors. As a result, auditors broaden the scope of their analyses beyond financial information to include ESG-related matters. ESG information is an opportunity for auditors, as it enables them to make more informed judgments and risk assessments. However, it may also represent a challenge, given the significant costs that auditors face when incorporating information available on ESG risks, which are mostly subjective, fragmented, complex to verify, and require specific expertise.
This challenge will be even more evident in a multinational group audit setting, which requires coordination and communication among multiple auditors operating in geographically dispersed locations. In this PhD project, we aim to examine the opportunities and challenges that auditors face when integrating ESG risks into client risk assessments, and the inherent impact of ESG risk integration on audit quality, both in standalone and multinational group audits.

You will work within the Department of Accounting and Auditing at University of Groningen. The PhD position is part of the project funded by the Foundation of Auditing Research (FAR), which will be directed by Yasemin Zengin-Karaibrahimoglu (University of Groningen) together with Vlad-Andrei Porumb and Paolo Quattrone (both from University of Manchester).


We are looking for candidates with:

  • a strong background (MSc, research master) in auditing, accounting, business economics, and/or finance
  • an interest in sustainability and ESG matters (their impact on financial reporting, and their relevance to the audit process)
  • a high motivation, and the wish to make a career in research
  • an excellent command of English in terms of writing and presentation skills.

A good knowledge of (1) using statistical software (e.g., Stata, SAS, Python, or R), (2) programming, and (3) conducting interviews and surveys serves as a recommendation (but is not a requirement).


Conditions of employment

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

  • the full-time appointment is temporary for a period of in principle four years, under the condition of a positive assessment at the end of the first year
  • the gross monthly starting salary is €2,770.-, which increases yearly to a maximum of €3.539,-
  • based on the gross salary you will receive an additional 8% holiday allowance each year in May, and an additional 8.3 % end of year bonus in December.

Preferred starting date: as soon as possible.


If you are interested, we invite you to apply no later than April 1, 2024 23:59 (European Central Time) / before April 2 2024. Please click on the “Apply” button below. Early applications are encouraged. The application package consists of the following separate documents:

1. your CV
2. a motivation letter (1A4 max) and a short study proposal for the PhD project (2 A4 max)
3. a scan of your diploma including transcripts
4. proof of English proficiency
5. other relevant documents

The documents 1-4 are compulsory and please note that incomplete application packages will not be considered.

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage:…)rsity-and-inclusion/

Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): and European Commission’s European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers:

We provide career services for partners of new faculty members moving to Groningen.

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


For information you can contact:

Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.

Application Deadline:
Monday, Apr 01, 2024
University of Groningen
Faculty of Economics and Business
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