PhD Position Political Communication: Affective Polarization Among Social Groups in the Netherlands

PhD Position Political Communication: Affective Polarization Among Social Groups in the Netherlands

Published Deadline Location
26 Apr today Amsterdam

Job description

Are you interested in political communication and quantitative empirical research? We are seeking a highly motivated PhD student for the research project ‘See it; say it; sorted. Affective polarization among social groups in the Netherlands.’ This project focusses on how non-political identities (such as level of education or the place of residence) get politicized, how this adds to affective polarization between political and non-political groups, and the role of the information environment in these processes. If you have the ambition to pursue an academic career and to contribute to knowledge about the role of media in affective polarization, then this PhD vacancy might just be for you.

The PhD project will be embedded within the Political Communication & Journalism programme group. In our group, we explore the contributions of media and communication to citizens' perception, knowledge, and understanding of political issues and political and social groups, as well as citizens' participation in the political arena and their electoral behaviour. The PhD project will be supervised by Dr. Rachid Azrout, Dr. Knut De Swert, and Dr. Alessandro Nai.

What are you going to do
While considerable research exists on affective polarization as an “outgrowth of partisan identity”, much less attention has been paid to how initially non-political social identities become politicized and lead to an affective polarization between societal groups and the informational drivers of such shifts. In this project we aim to deepen our understanding of these processes, and in particular we focus on the role of the information people are exposed to (news media, and political communication from elites during election campaigns). By combining experimental, (longitudinal) survey and content analysis data you will aim to answer these overarching research questions: [RQ1] To what extent are non-political identities linked to political identities in people’s perceptions? [RQ2] To what extent does this linkage add to affective polarization between both political and non-political groups? [RQ3] To what extent is this all driven by the nature and content of the information environment?

You will/tasks:
  • review and synthesize the literature on affective polarization, (social) sorting and the role of media in these processes;
  • collect data by means of a quantitative content analysis and experiments;
  • analyse ([longitudinal] survey, content analysis, experimental) data;
  • write up findings for publication in scientific journals and present them at (inter)national conferences;
  • complete and defend a PhD dissertation on the topic of affective polarization between political and societal groups.

What do you have to offer
You are passionate about political communication and quantitative research, and can be creative in problem solving within these fields. You are able to successfully balance demands of several tasks (e.g., combining research and teaching) and able to work both independently and collaboratively.

Your experience and profile
  • acquired a (research) master's degree in communication science, political science or related disciplines – or are expected to obtain it soon;
  • a strong interest in topics associated with polarization, election campaigns and media effects;
  • a demonstrated interest and excellent skills in quantitative methods and data analysis; prior experience with handling panel data and regression analysis is a plus;
  • experience in and/or commitment to engage work following open science principle such as replication and preregistration;
  • excellent oral and written communication skills in English; due to the Dutch context in which the study takes place, proficiency in the Dutch language and knowledge of Dutch politics (or willing to learn) are a strong plus.

What can we offer you
The planned starting date for this project is September 1, 2024 (to be negotiated). The position concerns temporary employment of 38 hours for a maximum term of 4 years. The initial employment is for one year. Following a positive assessment and barring altered circumstances, this term will be extended by a maximum of 36 additional months (48 in total), which should result in the conferral of a doctorate.

We will put together a curriculum which will also include the opportunity to attend training courses and both national and international events. The position includes teaching duties (approximately 10%). For this position the PhD Candidate (Promovendus) profile applies.

Your salary will be €2.770 gross per month in the first year and will increase to €3.539 in the final year, based on full-time employment and in keeping with the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities. We additionally offer an extensive package of secondary benefits, including 8% holiday allowance and a year-end bonus of 8.3%.

The UvA offers excellent possibilities for further professional development and education.

What else do we offer
  • a position in which initiative and input are highly valued
  • an enthusiastic and warm team that is open to new colleagues
  • the possibility to write a PhD dissertation on a both societal and academic “hot” topic
  • an inspiring academic and international working environment in the heart of Amsterdam.

About us
The University of Amsterdam is the largest university in the Netherlands, with the broadest spectrum of degree programmes. It is an intellectual hub with 39,000 students, 6,000 employees and 3,000 doctoral students who are all committed to a culture of inquiring minds.

About the faculty

A challenging work environment with a variety of duties and ample scope for individual initiative and development within an inspiring organization. The social and behavioral sciences play a leading role in addressing the major societal challenges faced by the world, the Netherlands and Amsterdam, now and in the future.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.

Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:
  • Dr. Rachid Azrout, Assistant Professor,

Job application
Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 20 May 2024. Interviews with the selected candidates will take place in June. You may apply online by using the link below.

Applications bundeld in one bundled .pdf should include:
  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a letter of motivation that outlines your affinity with the topic and your interest in pursuing this PhD project (max 2 pages): please be as specific as possible in describing how you meet the selection criteria, or if you do not yet meet all the criteria how you expect to acquire the required skills;
  • contact details of two external referees who know your profile and work (no reference letter required at this stage);
  • proof of your Master's and Bachelor’s degree, including grade transcripts; if you have not completed your degree at the time of application, include grade transcripts plus a statement regarding the expected date of completion of your degree;
  • a writing sample in English of an empirical paper (this can for instance be your master thesis).

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

No agencies please.

If an ‘Error GBB451’ occurs, please click here for more information and help.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 12880


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

Learn more about this employer


Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, 1018WV, Amsterdam

View on Google Maps

Interesting for you


Apply for this job

Apply for this job

This application process is managed by the employer (University of Amsterdam (UvA)). Please contact the employer for questions regarding your application.

Thank you for applying

Please contact the employer for questions regarding your application.

Tip: save this job as favorite in your AcademicTransfer account. This gives you an immediate overview and makes it easy to find the job later on. No account yet? Create it now and take advantage of other useful functionalities too!

Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 20 May 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).