PhD Candidate: Physical Literacy in Developmental Coordination Disorder: The Key to an Active Life?

PhD Candidate: Physical Literacy in Developmental Coordination Disorder: The Key to an Active Life?

Published Deadline Location
10 Nov 3 Dec Nijmegen

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Job description

Are you interested in individuals with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)? Do you want to contribute to their inclusion in society and promoting their active life? Working on the Active Living theme, you will investigate how physical literacy can help individuals with and without DCD to actively participate in society.

You will be embedded in the Learning, Education and Development research programme at the Behavioural Science Institute. You will be part of the Active Living research team, which performs both fundamental and applied research on active living throughout the lifespan.

In this PhD project you will focus on individuals with DCD. Starting from the concept of physical literacy, you will examine the reasons behind their activity pattern and how to promote this. Physical literacy is a concept of physical behaviour that not only includes knowledge on why and how to become active but also social motivational factors. Focusing on the underlying mechanisms of physical literacy can teach us how people gain resilience to overcome difficulties in being active. This provides guidelines on what is needed to develop interventions that encourage people with DCD to actively participate in society. 

As a PhD candidate, you will initiate, develop and execute a number of studies. After reviewing the literature, you will construct a questionnaire to measure physical literacy. This questionnaire includes questions in retrospect, so you can disentangle the reasons behind the active behaviour of individuals with and without DCD. In addition, you will perform in-depth interviews and conduct a Delphi study. Finally, you will provide guidelines for a programme to promote physical activity. You will write scientific papers, resulting in the completion of a PhD thesis at the end of your employment contract. You will participate in supervision meetings as well as staff meetings. As participant in the BSI Graduate School PhD programme, you will be expected to complete several courses related to the professional skills of scientific researchers such as presentation skills and data management. We will also encourage you to attend and present your work at relevant conferences. You will have a 10% teaching load and the opportunity to work towards the University Teaching Qualification.


Radboud University


  • You hold a Master's or Research Master's degree in Social Sciences (Pedagogical Sciences, Sociology, Psychology), Human Movement Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, or a related discipline. 
  • You have good research, methodological and statistical skills.
  • You preferably have experience with quantitative research, survey design and research methods for developing user-oriented interventions, or are willing to acquire these skills.
  • You have a good foundation in statistical analysis and qualitative research techniques.
  • You have affinity with people with DCD as research subjects.
  • You have good social skills and interests and are able to learn and think across disciplines.
  • You have a demonstrable interest and experience in academic research (e.g. gained through high-quality thesis research).
  • You have good written and spoken Dutch language skills that enable you to interact well with the group under study. 
  • You have good written and spoken English language skills as required for scientific publishing.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract) or 3.5 years (5 year contract).

  • It concerns an employment for 0.8 - 1.0 FTE.
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,770 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,539 from the fourth year onwards (salary scale P).
  • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • It concerns a temporary employment for of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract) or 3.5 years (5 year contract).
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
  • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 30 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.
Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.


The Behavioural Science Institute (BSI) is a multidisciplinary research institute and one of the three research institutes of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Radboud University. Our researchers collaborate across the boundaries of psychology, pedagogical sciences, educational sciences, and communication science. Our mission is to strengthen people through understanding the foundations of human behaviour, by creating synergy between different paradigms and by facilitating craftsmanship, curiosity and connection in academic research. BSI has seven research programmes covering three major research themes, namely human development, connection and health. BSI conducts fundamental as well as applied/translational research and has excellent facilities and support for lab and field research. Moreover, the institute is known for its successful graduate school and strong commitment to open science.

As part of Learning, Education and Development the research programme, researchers investigate the biological, cognitive, motivational, social and emotional processes related to 'life-long-learning'. Within the Active Living theme, we specifically focus on how people can be motivated to start and maintain an active lifestyle and participate in society. We use an interdisciplinary approach, combining disciplines from both within the social sciences and beyond. In addition, we have strong collaborations with societal partners, enabling us to make impact with our research.  

Radboud University
We are keen to meet critical thinkers who want to look closer at what really matters. People who, from their expertise, wish to contribute to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This ambition unites more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University and requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!


  • PhD; Research, development, innovation
  • Behaviour and society
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1216535



Houtlaan 4, 6525 XZ, Nijmegen

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