PhD Position in Firm Risk Reporting Profiles
Catholic University of Leuven Department of Accounting, Finance and Insurance

The department of Accounting, Finance and Insurance is a large research group spread over 3 campuses. It is a stimulating and collaborative environment, that offers expertise on many research domain, a strong international reputation and a pleasant working environment.


Firms face a great variety of risks in their pursuit of organizational goals. The way the trade-off between risk and reward is managed is one of the most important determinants of firm success. Investors and regulators are well aware of this fact. Firms are required to disclose material risks in their annual accounts (Regulation S–K, Item 305(c), SEC 2005) and investors pay attention to this information (Campbell, Chen, Dhaliwal, Lu, & Steele 2014; Solomon, Solomon, Norton, & Joseph 2000). However, managers and boards have a great deal of freedom to decide which risks they regard as material and choose to disclose, and how they do so. Risk disclosures by firms tend to focus mostly on market and financial risks, rather than operational or organizational risk (Beretta & Bozzolan 2004; Young & Guenther 2003). Academic research so far has followed this focus. Risk disclosures are also not straightforward to interpret: higher disclosure may signal either increased risk, or increased risk awareness, or both. For investors, regulators and scholars alike, more clarity is needed on why certain risks are disclosed, while others are not, ass well as which signals risk disclosures send. 

The proposed PhD project is aimed at identifying the determinants and consequences of specific risk disclosures. The data used to study these issues can consist of a combination of archival database information (available through the university), automatically collected publicly available data as well as supplemental survey and qualitative information.


Candidates are expected to have a substantial interest in organizational governance, econometrics and (automated) data collection and will follow several courses to build their skillset in these areas. The selected candidate can count on substantial mentoring and guidance throughout the research project. Still, substantial input from the PhD candidate themselves is expected and creative input and ideas will be highly valued.


Full time employment as a doctoral student, starting September 2021, for four years (pending yearly evaluation and renewal). The program includes postgraduate courses to build research skills and mentoring and collaboration with experienced researchers. The PhD candidate will have the chance to build their own research portfolio and attend international conferences to present their work.


If interested please apply through KU Leuven jobsite. For more information please contact Prof. dr. Dieter Smeulders, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than May 10, 2021 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: Antwerpen
  • Apply before: May 10, 2021
  • Tags: Bedrijfswetenschappen

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