PhD Candidate in Computer Science Education

PhD Candidate in Computer Science Education

Published Deadline Location
14 Jul 5 Sep Nijmegen

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Job description

Exploring your interests during school experience plays a significant role in deciding your focus later in life. As such, teaching students about computer science can help open their eyes to the digital world at a young age. As a PhD candidate, your research helps unearth how to best foster learning in students of this discipline.

The Institute for Science Education is looking for a highly motivated and creative candidate to conduct research in Computer Science Education (CSE) at primary and/or secondary schools. Researchers in CSE are mainly concerned with the methods, approaches and tools that foster and facilitate the learning and teaching of computer science. Do you have a degree in computing and a strong interest in understanding how to best foster learning in students of this discipline? Or do you have a degree in science education and would you like to explore how educational theories apply to CSE? This is an opportunity for you to work in an important and impactful research area. You will carry out your research as a member of the Institute for Science Education, under the supervision of Dr Mara Saeli and Prof. Erik Barendsen.
Currently, our group has various ongoing research projects. One project is looking at ways to help novices understand the concept of algorithms by exploring new learning and teaching approaches such as context-based learning. In another project the focus is on exploring new assessment strategies for the recently adopted computing curriculum in Dutch secondary schools. Other research topics of interest are: integrating new pedagogical approaches such as challenge-based learning in the teaching of computer science; exploring approaches to teach programming to novices; integrating computational thinking in other subjects; or looking at the role that computer science education should cover in preparing students to be able to contribute constructively to the development of society, including in terms of sustainability and climate impact.

In collaboration with your daily supervisor you will define the exact subject of the project. You will engage in cutting edge research and disseminate your results through publication in scholarly and research journals and presentation at international conferences and workshops. Alongside your research, you will be involved in the institute’s teaching activities.


Radboud University


  • You should hold a Master’s degree in a relevant area (computer science, computer science education, science education, or cognitive science).
  • A keen interest in education (teaching and learning).
  • A reliable colleague who is eager to collaborate with other science education researchers.
  • You have excellent communication skills towards colleagues, students, and non-experts.
  • You have a good command of the English language, both written and oral. Knowledge of Dutch is a plus.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: you will be appointed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract) or 3.5 years (5 year contract).

  • Employment: 0.8 (5 year contract) - 1.0 FTE (4 year contract).
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,434 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,111 from the fourth year onwards (salary scale P).
  • In addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • Duration of the contract: you will be appointed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract) or 3.5 years (5 year contract).
  • Your teaching load may be up to 10% of your appointment.
  • The intended start date is 1 November 2021.
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment  and help your family settle in Nijmegen.

Additional employment conditions
Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.


The Institute for Science Education focuses on science education in a broad sense. Recent research areas are scientific literacy, design-based learning, and teachers' practical knowledge (pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) in particular). Computing education is a prominent theme in the group's scientific activities. Current research topics include teaching foundational concepts such as algorithms, assessment in computer science, computational thinking and its integration into the curriculum, programming education, and computer science teachers' PCK. Many of our current research projects are practice oriented and are carried out in collaboration with stakeholders in particular schools. Our teaching activities include an elective science education programme for science students, supervision of students' research projects, and courses in Master's programmes in science teacher education. Our group contributes to the development of a national curriculum framework for computer science and digital literacy in primary and secondary education.
The Faculty of Science is a complete, student-oriented science faculty where research and education are closely related. The faculty aims to be an academic community with an international character, where staff members from different backgrounds can combine their talents with the common goal of being a leading faculty of science in Europe.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • 32—40 hours per week
  • €2434—€3111 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1159242



Houtlaan 4, 6525 XZ, Nijmegen

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