Postdoc on Political Trust and Political Skepticism

Postdoc on Political Trust and Political Skepticism

Published Deadline Location
26 Oct 1 Dec Amsterdam

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Job description

The Department of Political Science of the University of Amsterdam is looking for a postdoctoral researcher, to work on political trust and skepticism in the ERC-project CRITICALTRUST led by prof. dr. Tom van der Meer.

CRITICALTRUST aims to approach political trust as a two-dimensional concept. Its core premise is that trust scholars should not only distinguish between high versus low trust, but concurrently also between (dis)trust as an evaluation versus (dis)trust as a disposition. This two-dimensional interpretation has important consequences for our understanding of the operationalization, measurement, causes, and consequences of political trust. For that purpose, CRITICALTRUST will consist of a team of PhD-candidates and postdocs, embedded in a research group with expertise on political trust.

This particular postdoc project has two main aims. First, it will unpack the one-dimensional understanding of political trust conceptually and theoretically. Ultimately, it aims to provide a conceptual and theoretical map of political trust and its related attitudes. Second, this project will convert this two-dimensional conceptual map into a set of survey measures to separate dispositional (dis)trust from evaluative (dis)trust. The postdoc will run elaborate pre-tests of the newly developed measures to assess how respondents interpret them, qualitatively and quantitatively, with attention to theoretical validity and cross-national equivalence.

What are you going to do?
  • You perform conceptual and methodological research on political trust and skepticism;
  • You will complete at least two scientific articles in leading academic journals;
  • You will contribute to collecting international, comparative panel survey data;
  • You will actively contribute to the activities and outreach of CRITICALTRUST;
  • You will contribute to collective academic publications, as appropriate;
  • You may be invited to participate in the supervision of a PhD project;
  • You will participate in seminars of the program group and the department.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


We are looking for a candidate with enthusiasm for social scientific research on political trust, and the aim to push research on this topic theoretically and empirically. This encompasses broader themes such as political support and legitimacy. Successful applicants are capable of working independently, as well as in a research team with senior and junior scholars. Experience with research on political trust (or related subjects) with affinity for comparative research is highly desirable. Because the project will also encompass primary data collection via an international panel survey, experience with setting up a survey and/or quantitative methods of analyzing survey data are a pre.

You have
  • a completed PhD in political science or one of the related social sciences;
  • demonstrable affinity with conceptual and/or empirical research on political trust, or broader themes such as political support and legitimacy;
  • familiarity with relevant social science research (including quantitative methods);
  • excellent research skills, as demonstrated by publications in international journals;
  • original ideas for new, relevant research on the political trust;
  • ambition to conduct academic research with societal impact;
  • excellent command English in word and writing;
  • the ability to work independently as well as part of a team;
  • good communication, social and organizational skills.

In addition, you are an enthusiastic colleague who likes to share knowledge, embraces open (team) science, is curious, critical and eager to learn, i.e. one with an academic attitude.

Conditions of employment

This is a temporary employment contract for 31 - 38 hours per week, for the duration of 24 months.

Depending on education and relevant work experience, the salary amounts to a minimum of €4,332 and a maximum of €5,090 gross per month (scale 11.0-11.5) based on full-time working hours (38 hours per week), excluding 8% vacation allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. The Cao Dutch Universities is applicable. In addition, we offer an extensive package of secondary employment conditions, including a generous vacation scheme and year-end bonus, and we believe it is important that you continue to develop and professionalize yourself. To this end, we offer excellent study and development opportunities.

What else can we offer
A challenging workplace with varied tasks and plenty of room for personal initiative and development in an inspiring organization. You will be embedded in the collaborative research group ‘Challenges to democratic representation’ of the Department of Political Science. The Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences plays a leading role in addressing the major societal challenges facing the world, the Netherlands and Amsterdam, now and in the future.

Working at the UvA means working in a critical, independent, innovative and international climate, with an open atmosphere and a strong commitment to Amsterdam and its (international) society.


Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

The University of Amsterdam is the largest university in the Netherlands, with the broadest range of courses. An intellectual hub with 39,000 students, 6,000 staff and 3,000 PhD students. Connected by a culture of curiosity.

The Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences plays a leading role in addressing the major societal challenges facing the world, the Netherlands and Amsterdam, now and in the future.

Curious about our organization and attractive fringe benefits such as a generous vacation plan and development opportunities? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam here.


  • Postdoc
  • Behaviour and society
  • 31—38 hours per week
  • €4332—€5090 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 12301


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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