PhD position - The mobilization of discontent framing: causes, content and consequences

PhD position - The mobilization of discontent framing: causes, content and consequences

Published Deadline Location
24 Jan 19 Feb Wageningen

You cannot apply for this job anymore (deadline was 19 Feb 2024).

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

Job description

Are you looking for a PhD position in communication science? Do you have interest in communication strategies employed by politicians? Are you eager to contribute to a large scale project that focuses on content and effects of communication? If yes, then this may be the perfect opportunity for you!

We are looking for two PhD candidates in communication science, who will combine a substantial interest in political communication with strong methodological skills and an interest in normative implications of phenomena such as incivility, populist communication and disinformation.

The first project focuses specifically on the antecedents of discontent framing by politicians. The second project focuses on the implications of discontent framing for political decision-making processes and its normative implications. The positions are part of the VICI project ‘The mobilization of discontent framing: causes, content and consequences ’ (PI prof. dr. Rens Vliegenthart) funded by the Dutch science foundation and is embedded in the Strategic Communication group at Wageningen University and Research.

This project will focus on a large-scale cross-national content analysis of communication by politicians in a variety of arenas, including parliament, media and social media. More specifically, it investigates how politicians make use of populist framing, incivility and disinformation to cater to dissatisfaction that exists among citizens on issues such as climate change, immigration and vaccination.
Next to doing research, the position includes some teaching and project management tasks, which jointly will take around 20 percent of the total employment.

You will work here
The research is embedded within the chair group Strategic Communication and in the Digital Data and Democracy Lab which is led by Prof. Sanne Kruikemeier and Prof. Rens Vliegenthart
You will be supervised by Prof. Rens Vliegenthart and will work together with other members of the Strategic Communication Group.


Wageningen University & Research


You have
  • a successfully completed MSc degree in Communication Science, or a related discipline such as Political Science or Sociology. For the second position candidates with a background in Philosophy are also invited to apply. Candidates currently finalizing their Masters are also eligible, with the condition that they have graduated by the time the project starts (September 1, 2024, at the latest).
  • an interest in political communication with a willingness to have a societal impact;
  • an empirical research focus and knowledge of quantitative content analysis and computational methods or a willingness to get acquainted with those methods;
  • proven proficiency in statistical software such as Stata, R and/or Python.
  • a scientific mindset, inquisitive personality, team player, and the capacity to work independently;

For this position, your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level. Sometimes it is necessary to submit an internationally recognised Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language. More information can be found here

Conditions of employment

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
  • partially paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional compensation / holiday hours by working more, per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.

In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team.

The gross salary for the first year is € 2.770 - per month rising to € 3.539,- in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale P). This is based on a full-time working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project (4 years) if you perform well.

There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the “Best University” in the Netherlands for the 19th consecutive time.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees.

Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.

Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about for example helping your partner to find a job, housing, or schooling. Finally, certain categories of international staff may be eligible for a tax exemption on a part of their salary during the first five years in the Netherlands.


Wageningen University & Research

Wageningen University & Research
The mission of Wageningen University & Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With its roughly 30 branches, 7,200 employees (6,400 fte) and 13,200 students and over 150.000 participants to WUR’s Life Long Learning, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. The unique Wageningen approach lies in its integrated approach to issues and the collaboration between different disciplines.. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen’s unique approach. WUR has been named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.

These are the points our employees list as good reasons to come work at WUR: read the 5 reasons to come work at WUR

We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • P1418044-1


Wageningen University & Research

Learn more about this employer


Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

View on Google Maps

Interesting for you