Two PhD positions for VICI project ‘EyeMdifferent: Towards a science of attention that embraces individual differences’ (1.0 FTE)

Two PhD positions for VICI project ‘EyeMdifferent: Towards a science of attention that embraces individual differences’ (1.0 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
19 Sep 6 Oct Utrecht

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Would you like to work on a project in which you try to understand how individuals differ in how they employ visual attention to their external world?

Job description

There is an opening for two fully-funded PhD positions in the AttentionLab of Stefan Van der Stigchel, professor in cognitive psychology at Utrecht University and principal investigator of the NWO VICI project ‘EyeMdifferent’.

In this project, we want to understand how individuals differ in how they employ visual attention to their external world, specifically focusing on the ‘spotlight of attention’. We map out individual differences and use this knowledge to develop better diagnostical tests for attentional problems in various disorders (e.g., autism spectrum disorder). We will perform large-scale online and in-person lab studies on individual differences in attentional processing, connecting these to personality traits and demographics, and incorporate this knowledge into theoretical attentional models. Methods will consist of psychophysics, eye movement-tracking, and EEG recordings. The projects will run for 4 years (90% research, 10% teaching). You will become a part of our AttentionLab in which a group of post-docs and PhD candidates are working on similar topics. You will participate in the education programme of the Helmholtz research school.

Your work will include 10% teaching tasks, such as the supervision of Bachelor’s and Master’s theses and seminars for courses related to experimental psychology. Of course, you will be guided and supported by your supervisor and colleagues.


Utrecht University


We are looking for two enthusiastic and collaborative team members, who meet the following requirements:

  • (Research) Master’s degree in the field of experimental psychology, neuropsychology, cognitive neuroscience, artificial intelligence, or equivalent programme;
  • Strong affinity for and experience with programming (i.e., Matlab, Python, or R);
  • Excellent knowledge of quantitative research and statistics and a high motivation to learn new methods;
  • Affinity with and good communication abilities for working in a multidisciplinary research team;
  • High proficiency in written and spoken English (no Dutch required);
  • Interest and motivation to contribute to the teaching activities of the faculty.
The difference between the two positions is that one will be oriented more towards neuropsychology, and the other more towards fundamental experimental psychology.

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 €2,770 in the first year and €3,539 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.

We encourage you to grow and support work-life balance that’s why Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including professional development, (partly paid) parental leave, culture, sports 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 Pathways to Sustainability. Sharing science, shaping tomorrow.

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 of Social and Behavioural Sciences has some 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 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.

The faculty attaches great importance to the fact that its employees can be widely deployed in the university organisation, now and in the future, to further professionalise the support of education and research. To encourage this, every employee is given the time and facilities – for example in the form of training – at some point in their career to participate in projects or work in other departments. Characteristics that the faculty considers important are involvement, the ability to collaborate and flexibility.

The faculty is located at Utrecht Science Park near the historical city centre of Utrecht.


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1214978



Heidelberglaan 1, 3584 CS, Utrecht

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