PhD candidate position in Educational Sciences/Educational Psychology (1.0 FTE for 4.5 years)

PhD candidate position in Educational Sciences/Educational Psychology (1.0 FTE for 4.5 years)

Published Deadline Location
27 Feb 19 Mar Utrecht

You cannot apply for this job anymore (deadline was 19 Mar 2023).

Browse the current job offers or choose an item in the top navigation above.

Do you speak Dutch and would you like to work on a NRO funded project that seeks to improve critical thinking skills of higher education students?

Job description

The Department of Education at Utrecht University is looking for a PhD candidate on the NRO project DOUBT IT: Diagnostic Opportunities to Understand Biased Thinking and Improve Training of critical thinking skills in higher education.

Project description
The Department of Education at Utrecht University offers a PhD position in Educational Sciences/Educational Psychology on an NRO funded project that seeks to improve critical thinking skills of higher education students. This project is conducted in close collaboration with Avans University of Applied Sciences. The supervision team consists of prof.dr. Tamara van Gog and dr. Eva Janssen at Utrecht University, and dr. Peter Verkoeijen at Avans University of Applied Sciences.

A major goal of higher education is to improve students’ critical thinking skills, because in complex and high-stakes professional domains, biased reasoning can lead to erroneous decisions with severe consequences. Research shows students need training to learn to avoid biases in reasoning and decision-making. Before such training can be widely implemented across higher education, however, there are several important issues to address: We need a better understanding of individual differences that may affect (un)biased reasoning and the effectiveness of training, and –using that knowledge- seek ways to make training more adaptive. This project addresses these questions, focusing on learning to avoid biases in probabilistic/statistical reasoning, which is a key competence in higher education and in society.

Together with another PhD candidate you will develop a training module and conduct a large data collection among university/university of applied sciences students. In your PhD project, we will investigate the practical relevance of ‘conflict detection’ measures. When giving a biased answer, many students show signs of awareness that their intuitive answer is incorrect, which also seems to affect their receptiveness to feedback. Using the large data set, we investigate how conflict detection is associated with other individual differences and if it affects susceptibility to training. We then test the effectiveness of adapting training to students’ conflict detection. Because the training module will be in Dutch, being able to communicate fluently in Dutch is required.


  • Conducting the research (literature research, designing the studies, recruiting participants, pre-registering studies, collecting and analysing data, preparing and storing data packages for sharing);
  • Writing international scientific publications and a dissertation;
  • Giving presentations at (inter)national scientific conferences;
  • Actively engaging in outreach activities and disseminating findings to educational professionals and the general public;
  • Active participation in the local and (inter)national research team involved in this project and in the research team of the UU Department of Education;
  • Following courses/training (a.o. in the context of Research School ICO, the Interuniversity Centre for Educational Sciences and the local graduate school);
  • Teaching courses or supervising bachelor/master thesis projects for 0.1 FTE is part of the position.



Utrecht University


  • (Research) Master in educational sciences, educational psychology or (applied) cognitive psychology;
  • Experience with experimental research and (advanced) statistical methods;
  • Ambition to become a high-potential researcher and conduct excellent scientific research;
  • Social, organizational, and self-regulatory competencies;
  • Good communication skills (written and oral);
  • Proficiency in Dutch and English;
  • Ambition to collaborate with schools/teachers and with (inter)national partners.

Conditions of employment

You will be offered a temporary position (0.8 – 1.0 FTE), initially for one year with an extension to a total of 4.5 years which includes a 0,1 teaching appointment, upon a successful assessment in the first year, and with the specific intent that it results in a doctorate within this period. The gross salary ranges between €2.541,- in the first year and €3.247,- in the fourth year of employment (scale P according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year.

In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). 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.

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences is one of the leading faculties in Europe providing research and academic teaching in cultural anthropology, educational sciences, interdisciplinary social science, pedagogical sciences, psychology, and sociology. Almost 7.000 students are enrolled in a broad range of undergraduate and graduate programmes. The faculty has about 1.100 faculty and staff members, all providing their individual contribution to the training and education of young talent and to the research into and finding solutions for scientific and societal issues. The faculty is located at Utrecht Science Park near the historical city centre of Utrecht.

The faculty strives for diversity among its employees and students and is committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment for everyone, as can be read in Utrecht University's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy.


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1206108



Heidelberglaan 1, 3584 CS, Utrecht

View on Google Maps

Interesting for you