Postdoc in development of virtual ocean learning experience (1.0 FTE)

Postdoc in development of virtual ocean learning experience (1.0 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
20 Feb 27 Mar Utrecht

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Would you like to contribute to developing a virtual ship classroom to help oceanography (under)graduate students experience sea-going fieldwork?

Job description

While the experience of sea-going research is valuable, it is very expensive and logistically challenging to support large groups of students joining research expeditions at sea. Therefore, novel technologies to provide students with some experience similar to sea-going field work are needed.

In this postdoc project, you will develop a ‘virtual ocean-going expedition/mission’ for the Marine Science curriculum at Utrecht University as well as individual courses in other (under)graduate programmes. You will develop a set of interactive python notebooks to elaborate (pre-)acquired oceanographic data and evaluate the viability (and identify challenges) of integrating the "virtual expedition" by assessing its pedagogical usability and student learning outcomes.

During the project, you will be involved in:

  • creating python notebooks to virtually sample the ocean, based on data from the Copernicus Marine Service and the framework;
  • working with lecturers of (under)graduate courses to implement the notebooks into the course curriculum;
  • assessing the notebook’s effectiveness in pedagogical usability and students' intended learning outcomes using student observations, surveys and interviews.

You will work in a diverse and interdisciplinary team including colleagues with expertise in oceanography and education research. We understand that some of the research methods you need to use, such as qualitative research, may be new to you; therefore, we will provide you with the support, training and resources you need to succeed.


Utrecht University


Ideally you have a driven and collaborative spirit and preferably have:

  • a PhD in a field related to oceanography;
  • strong skills in python programming;
  • motivation to cooperate within a dynamic, multidisciplinary and international research team;
  • an excellent level of written and spoken English;
  • some experience in developing educational material would be considered a plus.
  • preferably you have a proven affinity with both oceanography and the development of educational material.
  • in addition, you preferably have experience with software development practices such as version control and unit-testing.

Conditions of employment

  • A full-time position for 14 months with a flexible start-date;
  • possibility to work remotely, with regular visits to Utrecht;
  • a full-time gross salary ranging from €2,960 to €4,670 in scale 10;
  • benefits including 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.

In addition to the employment conditions laid down in the CAO for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. For example, there are agreements on professional development, leave arrangements and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment yourself via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we like to encourage you to continue to grow. For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University.


A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major strategic themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

At the Faculty of Science there are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes that work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing problems. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects.

You will work at the Freudenthal Institute of Utrecht University an internationally leading institute in the field of science didactics and the history and philosophy of science. The FI is part of the Faculty of Science and employs approximately 75 professionals, including a number of young people who are conducting postdoctoral research just like you. Within the FI, you will work in the science communication and the science education groups. The science communication group, which includes Erik van Sebille, the adviser for this project, focusses on the Science in Society research theme within the broader topic of Scientific and Mathematical Literacy in Life and Society.

You will also connect with the other group of Erik van Sebille, working on oceans and climate at the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research, and with interdisciplinary marine scientists through the Pathways to Sustainability Strategic Research Theme at Utrecht University, and with the Public Engagement track within the UU Open Science Programme.


  • Postdoc
  • Natural sciences
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2960—€4670 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 1205800



Heidelberglaan 8, 3584CS, Utrecht

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