Fully-funded PhD position on teacher subjectification in higher education (1.0 FTE)

Fully-funded PhD position on teacher subjectification in higher education (1.0 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
25 May 21 Jun Utrecht

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Do you want to contribute to good teaching for all in higher education by focusing on the role of teacher subjectification from a linguistic perspective? Apply.

Job description

We are seeking to hire a highly motivated, driven, and talented PhD candidate to carry out this PhD project in a period of four years. The PhD project is funded by a grant awarded to Marije van Braak, Prof. Rick de Graaff, Prof. Cok Bakker, and Dr. Saro Lozano Parra, and will be carried out at the Institute for Language Sciences (ILS) at Utrecht University. You will work in an interdisciplinary team with researchers from the fields of linguistics, education, philosophy and history.

This PhD position is part of the interdisciplinary UU PhD programme of the Faculty of Humanities, funded by the administrative agreement (‘bestuursakkoord’) between the Ministry of OCW and the universities.

This project aims to contribute to good teaching for all in higher education by focusing on the role of teacher subjectification from a linguistic perspective. Subjectification refers to people ‘becoming visible as a subject’ (Biesta, 2021). So far, it has mainly been applied to students. We propose to attend to teacher subjectification instead, which assumedly fosters student subjectification and thus is key to good education. To ‘be a subject’ as a teacher means to act as a unique and responsible person in interaction with students. However, we know little about how this is reflected in teachers’ (linguistic) practices in general, let alone in Higher Education.

We adopt a linguistic approach to make the philosophical concept of subjectification empirical. ‘Being-a-subject’ is performed and experienced in interaction with others; language is the vehicle for that. The aim is to explore the subjectivity of teachers in higher education by investigating teacher perceptions of their ‘subjectness’ (using, for example, video-stimulated interviews) and describing how their subjectness manifests itself in interaction with students (using conversation analysis). 

Biesta, G. J. J. (2021). World-centered education: A view for the present. Routledge.

As PhD candidate, you will:
  • complete and defend an article-based PhD thesis within four years;
  • publish peer-reviewed articles in established international journals;
  • regularly present intermediate research results at workshops and conferences;
  • co-organise project workshops, teacher training and conferences;
  • participate in training programmes and international expert meetings;
  • participate in relevant training programmes provided by the Institute for Language Sciences (ILS), Utrecht University and the Utrecht University graduate school, the National Graduate School of Linguistics (LOT) and other organisations;
  • participate in teaching in relevant areas at the BA or MA level in the second and third years of the project.


Utrecht University


Our ideal candidate has:
  • a Master's degree (or equivalent) in linguistics, communication and information sciences, or education in hand by the starting date;
  • demonstrable knowledge in at least one of the following areas: conversation analysis, pedagogy, didactics, subjectification, teaching in a second language, higher education, teacher professionalization, philosophy/history of education;
  • demonstrable affinity with (teaching in) higher education;
  • high proficiency in academic English;
  • high proficiency in Dutch;
  • the ability to work both as an independent researcher and as a team member;
  • affinity with interdisciplinary research;
  • readiness to learn new research methods, conversation analysis and statistical analyses; prior experience with conversation analysis is a plus;
  • strong organisational, social and communication skills;
  • the ability to structure work and display work discipline.

Conditions of employment

You will be offered a temporary position (1.0 FTE), initially for one year with an extension to a total of four years 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, professional development, (partly paid) parental leave, sports and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University.


Sharing science, shaping tomorrow. 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 Pathways to Sustainability. You can watch the Utrecht University Campus Tour to get an impression of our university.

The Faculty of Humanities has around 7,000 students and 1,100 staff members. It comprises four knowledge domains: Philosophy and Religious Studies, History and Art History, Media and Culture Studies, and Languages, Literature and Communication. With its research and education in these fields, the Faculty aims to contribute to a better understanding of the Netherlands and Europe in a rapidly changing social and cultural context. The enthusiastic and committed colleagues and the excellent amenities in the historical city centre of Utrecht, where the faculty is located, contribute to an inspiring working environment.

The research is conducted at the Language and Education group of the Institute for Language Sciences (ILS). The ILS research staff comprises approximately 20 full professors, 10 postdoc researchers and 45 PhD candidates.

The Department of Languages, Literature and Communication offers BA and MA programmes in language education, intercultural communication, literary studies, linguistics, communication studies, translation, as well as in Dutch, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Celtic languages and cultures.


  • PhD
  • Language and culture
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1210618



Trans 10, 3512 JK, Utrecht

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