Assistant Professor from Portugal


I am Carla Costa. I am from Portugal. I’ve been living in the Netherlands for almost 5 years, after finding a job at a university here. I’m an assistant professor in economics of entrepreneurship on a tenure track position. This means that the university hires me temporarily while they evaluate my performance in terms of research publications, quality of teaching, and service to the school. My work mobility is reduced while I’m in this situation, as I would have to start the procedure all over again in a new university, losing the time and effort I invested so far. 

I have a PhD from a very good university in the USA (Carnegie Mellon) and this made me attractive for the university here. I see that I bring not only my technical knowledge but also the experience of the American academic system with me – and in doing so, provides a different perspective on how to advance and improve my university’s research and teaching foundations. I share this everyday with my Dutch colleagues and also with my Dutch bachelor and master students. I have been very happy here in the Netherlands and I was planning to stay longer and continue to advance my career. So much so that I recently bought a house here.

This proposed change in the law implies that starting January 2019 (7 months from now), my salary will be substantially cut without providing me ample time to prepare for this. It will obviously make it a lot harder to pay my mortgage, not to mention allow for minimal savings for my pension. At the moment it is very costly for me to move to another country (due to the tenure track situation and to the house) so I will be in a difficult position. If this proposal is indeed implemented in January, I will have to start looking for work opportunities in other countries but will have to endure the financial cost of it, as well as career cost (which concerns me even more). If, however, the Government changes its position and decides to honour the agreement they had with me, I expect to have enough time after obtaining tenure to secure additional sources of income that would enable me to stay longer in the Netherlands, as was my intention. Being deceived like this by the Dutch government would leave a very negative overall impression of this country for me. I hope that this will not be the case.