Post-doctoral researcher NRO project “Connecting the dots: Task-oriented Virtual Reality for the training of situational awareness in secondary vocational engineering education” (3 years; 1.0 FTE)

Post-doctoral researcher NRO project “Connecting the dots: Task-oriented Virtual Reality for the training of situational awareness in secondary vocational engineering education” (3 years; 1.0 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
13 Sep 15 Oct Enschede

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Job description

Our society has a growing need for vocationally trained engineers who not only possess traditional domain knowledge and skills, but are also able to take care of variation, uncertainty and risks in their daily jobs. The current project aims to use Virtual Reality (VR) technology to bring realistic working situations to the classroom, helping students to experience the full complexity of work situations and train their situational awareness.

In this three-year project you will develop a training for secondary vocational engineering education (MBO) in the field of road construction. This training includes the use of VR. You will design the VR training yourself, but the actual building of the software will be outsourced. In addition, you will develop debriefing strategies and dedicated instruments that help students, teachers, and researchers to assess and monitor the results of the training.

As a post-doctoral researcher, you will work at the department of Educational Science (OWK) at the University of Twente (UT). Your job includes: 

  • Designing and developing (in close cooperation with teachers) the training contents and procedures, materials, and (research) instruments.
  • Implementing the training in real school contexts.
  • Performing quasi-experimental studies in which you measure the learning effects of the training and of the debriefings.
  • Coordinating and carrying out data collection in schools and handling communication with participants.
  • Working in close collaboration with teachers, practitioners in industry, researchers, the advisory board, and other members of the consortium.
  • Presenting findings for a scientific and a non-scientific audience.
  • Reporting findings in peer-reviewed scientific journals and research reports.

You will be member in the project’s core team together with a teacher design team. Researchers from Educational Science (dr. Bas Kollöffel); Research Methodology, Measurement and Data Analysis (prof. dr. ir. Bernard Veldkamp); and Construction Management & Engineering (dr. ir. Faridaddin Vahdatikhaki) will be part of the team. Furthermore, an advisory board is in place with representatives from education, science, and industry.

The project is funded by the Netherlands Initiative for Education Research (NRO).


University of Twente (UT)


You hold a PhD degree in Instructional Science, Psychology (Educational; Cognitive; Human Factors), or a related field. In addition, you:

  • have expertise or demonstrable interest in instructional design, learning with technology (preferably VR, training simulators, or computer simulations), and learning and instruction in vocational training contexts;
  • have experience with field research, and preferably with design-based research and/or intervention studies;
  • have strong methodological and statistical knowledge;
  • have excellent social and interpersonal skills in academic as well as non-academic contexts;
  • are fluent in English and Dutch (minimum C1-level) and have excellent academic writing skills;
  • are willing and have confirmed ability to work independently, but also to collaborate with the other project members.


Your application should include the following documents:

  • a cover letter (in Dutch or English) which explains your interest in the position and your qualifications for it;
  • a curriculum vitae which includes the name and e-mail address/telephone number for (preferably) two or more references;
  • a copy of your PhD-thesis or, if not yet available, an outline and summary of your thesis and one of your scientific papers.

You can upload your application via (click twice to find vacancy). Since only three documents can be uploaded per application, please combine documents if needed.

The application deadline is October 15th, 2018. Interviews will be held in October/November 2018.

Additional information and the project description can be obtained via dr. Bas Kollöffel ( / 053-4891066).

More information about the department OWK can be found on the following website:

Conditions of employment

A three-year full-time postdoc position (1.0 FTE), starting December 1st, 2018 (preferred). The gross salary is in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU) € 2.640,- to €4852,- per month, depending on experience. On top of this, you receive a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus.

We offer excellent auxiliary terms of employment, such as professional and personal development programs; a secondary remuneration package; a dynamic environment with enthusiastic colleagues; and an organization focusing on internationalization and a high degree of responsibility and independence.


The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social sciences
The Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social sciences (BMS) strives to play a pivotal role in understanding, co-engineering and evaluating innovation in society. Innovation is driven by advances in technology. Through 'social engineering' these technological advances are embedded in society befitting human needs and behaviour, within proper public and private management and business structures. For this the faculty of BMS upholds high quality disciplinary knowledge in psychology, business administration, public administration, communication science, philosophy, educational science and health sciences. All with a focus on the challenges in society. Research is strongly connected to our institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centra and Digital Society Institute.


  • Postdoc positions
  • Economics; Behaviour and Society
  • max. 38 hours per week, temporary
  • €2640—€4852 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 1004598


University of Twente (UT)

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