PhD position Shifting perspectives, changing narratives?

PhD position Shifting perspectives, changing narratives?

Geplaatst Deadline Locatie
20 mrt 5 apr Utrecht

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Do you want to find out how we can help young people change their construal of adversity? Apply now!


The department of Developmental Psychology has an interesting PhD position in which we try to find out how we can help young people change their construal of adversity.

Wat ga je doen?
The department of Developmental Psychology has an interesting PhD position in which we try to find out how we can help young people change their construal of adversity.

Your job
Narrative identity is defined as a life story that incorporates the past, present and future, and gives purpose, meaning, and unity in life. Constructing a narrative identity is vital and has been shown to foster wellbeing. Forming a cohesive narrative identity might be difficult for young people who grow up in cultures different from their parents’ home culture. Specifically, being uprooted from one’s familiar environment during a time when one’s narrative identity is still in development, can complicate the establishment of an adaptive narrative identity. This may be especially pertinent when such uprooting is forced and compounded with trauma exposure, such as with young refugees. Trauma exposure may make it more difficult for young people to construct adaptive narratives about who they were, who they are, and where they are headed, as adverse life events are more difficult to incorporate into a coherent life story.

How do life stories of young people exposed to adversity (e.g., young refugees) differ from those of others? To understand the effects of adversity on specific features of young refugee’s narratives, we need to disentangle the effects of cultural uprooting and refugee experience from normative developmental effects. We will therefore:
  1. examine if young refugees show different features in the way they tell their stories in comparison to third-culture-kids, and a community sample;
  2. test narrative features as drivers of well-being; and
  3. identify differential effects of a writing intervention for young individuals from refugee, third-culture, and community backgrounds.

Your main responsibilities are to co-design and conduct research to address the research questions, analyse data, and disseminate research findings to the scientific community and other stakeholders (e.g., policymakers, healthcare professionals, educators).

You will be embedded within the programme Developmental Psychology. The advisory team consists of Dr Hend Eltanamly and Dr Liselotte den Boer (daily advisors), and Professor Sander Thomaes and Professor Jaap Denissen (promotors). The position includes 10% teaching tasks, with the possibility to extend to 20%.


Universiteit Utrecht


We are looking for a colleague who thrives in a collaborative environment that also asks for autonomy, and holds a proactive, mastery-oriented approach to one’s learning process. You bring the following qualifications:
  • You have an (almost finished) (research) Master’s degree in the field of (Developmental/Social) Psychology, Pedagogics, Sociology, or a related discipline.
  • You have excellent research and writing skills.
  • You have well-developed analytical skills, and you are preferably acquainted with Mplus and/or R.
  • You are able to work in a team while maintaining autonomy.
  • You are well-organized and flexible, and you have affinity with data collection.
  • You are analytical, curious, and self-motivated, and you enjoy interdisciplinary collaborations across scientific fields.
  • You are willing to learn Dutch; we believe that understanding and speaking Dutch makes it easier to connect with colleagues. We offer free Dutch language courses.


  • We offer:
  • a position 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;
  • a working week of 38 hours and a gross monthly salary between €2,770 and €3,539 in the case of full-time employment (salary scale P under the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU);
  • 8% holiday pay and 8.3% year-end bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave and flexible terms of employment based on the CAO NU.

In addition to the terms of employment laid down in the CAO NU, Utrecht University has a number of schemes and facilities of its own for employees. This includes schemes facilitating professional development, leave schemes and schemes for sports and cultural activities, as well as discounts on software and other IT products. We also offer access to additional employee benefits through our Terms of Employment Options Model. In this way, we encourage our employees to continue to invest in their growth. For more information, please visit Working at Utrecht University.

You will work in a collaborative, social and dedicated team. We will guide you in your research and teaching tasks, which will help you develop your academic career. And that's not all. We are happy with you as a new employee and are happy to give you a warm welcome. We host a good introduction process for our new colleagues where we will introduce you and show you around the faculty and the university.


Universiteit Utrecht

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


  • PhD
  • Gedrag en maatschappij
  • 36—40 uur per week
  • €2770—€3539 per maand
  • Universitair
  • 3720


Universiteit Utrecht

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