PhD: Transgender People and the Labor Market: Content and Consequences of Media Portrayals in NL

PhD: Transgender People and the Labor Market: Content and Consequences of Media Portrayals in NL

Published Deadline Location
3 Jun 4 Jul Amsterdam

Job description

Transgender and Gender Nonconforming (TGN) people are in a precarious position, often more so than other LGBTQIA+ people. One of the most notable challenges they experience is low rates of employment, at least partially due to negative employability perceptions. As most people have limited contact with TGN people, these perceptions are related to (news) media portrayals. How are TGN people depicted in media and how does this portrayal affect employability perceptions among potential employers? How are the media portrayals perceived by TGN individuals and how do they experience the communication in the job application process? Join our PhD project and explore these questions with us!

We are looking for a motivated and enthusiastic PhD candidate for the project “Transgender people and the labor market: Content and consequences of media portrayals in The Netherlands” under the supervision of dr. Anna Berbers, prof. dr. Theo Araujo, and dr. Anne Kroon. The project is embedded in the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, University of Amsterdam.

What are you going to do
In this 4-year PhD project, you will explore employability perceptions of TGN people from various angles. As media plays a central role in perceptions about social groups, the first step will be to analyze the frames used in news media about TGN people. Furthermore, the effect of these frames on employability perceptions will be examined. The content of vacancy texts is also very relevant to the employability of TGN people, as lack of inclusive language and use of gendered language can deter them from applying for a particular position. Lastly, you will analyze how TGN people experience the communication used in the application process.

This PhD project will examine: (1) news media portrayal of TGN people, (2) how these portrayals affect employability perceptions (3) the use of inclusive and/or gendered language in vacancy texts, and (4) the perceptions of TGN people on the communication in the job application process (including news media portrayal, recruitment texts, corporate communication).

Various methods are used in this project: quantitative and qualitative content analysis, experiments, and in-depth interviews. The PhD candidate will write a paper-based dissertation and strives to publish the results of individual studies in leading journals in the field of Communication Science. In addition to the scientific impact, the project will also have a societal impact, with outreach to interested stakeholders within and outside academia to disseminate the research conclusions.

Tasks include
  • Conducting a qualitative and quantitative content analysis of news media portrayal of TGN people;
  • Conducting experiments on effects of TGN frames on employability perceptions;
  • Conducting content analysis of vacancy texts;
  • Conducting in-depth interviews with TGN people;
  • Completing a dissertation consisting of research articles within the appointment period;
  • Presenting your work at national and international conferences;
  • Contributing to the vibrant academic life in Amsterdam by attending workshops, meetings, and lectures;
  • Spending 10% of your time on teaching-related tasks.

What do you have to offer
You have
  • a (research) master’s degree in Communication Science or will have obtained this degree before the start of the project. Candidates with another (research) master’s degree are welcome to apply, but should motivate why their experience suffices for this project;
  • a strong interest in, and preferably knowledge of, framing of minoritized groups and related effects, both on majority group and the minoritized groups themselves (i.e. minority stress model);
  • a firm basis in, and ideally experience with, research methods and data analysis, in particular quantitative and qualitative content analysis, interviews, experiments, and open science practices;
  • an excellent spoken and written command of English (as you will be writing an English language dissertation and presenting at international conferences; Dutch is an important plus).

You are
  • passionate about research;
  • have a strong affinity for the research topic;
  • eager to learn and to develop new skills and theoretical perspectives;
  • able and enjoy working in a team;
  • able to work independently and show initiative;
  • organized, flexible and attentive to detail.

What can we offer you
The planned starting date for this project is September 1st, 2024. 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 months, 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. You will also be tasked with teaching (Bachelor's) students for approximately 10% of the contract. For this position the University Job Classification profile “promovendus” 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;
  • a nurturing environment that allows you to develop your talents and skills;
  • an enthusiastic and warm supervision team;
  • an inspiring academic and international working environment in the heart of Amsterdam.

About us
The Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) is the research institute for the Communication Science Department in the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences at the University of Amsterdam.

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.

To work at the University of Amsterdam is to work in a discerning, independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterized by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society. Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.

Do you have any questions, or do you require additional information? Please contact dr. Anna Berbers, Assistant Professor,

Job application
Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by July 4th, 2024. You may apply online by using the link below.

Applications in one bundled .pdf should include
  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a letter of motivation (max. 2 pages) that outlines your preparation and motivation to pursue this PhD project. Please be as specific as possible in describing how you meet the selection criteria. If you do not meet all of the criteria yet, please explain how you will acquire the required skills;
  • a grade transcript of the followed BSc and MSc courses;
  • a recent individual English and if possible Dutch writing sample (e.g., a master thesis or other recent individual essay).

Please upload this package as a single PDF on the next page in the 'CV' box.

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.

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University of Amsterdam (UvA)


  • PhD
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 13094


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, 1018WV, Amsterdam

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 4 Jul 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).