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At the research group of distinguished university professor Naomi Ellemers we are looking for a PhD candidate (0.8 FTE) / research coordinator (0.2 FTE).
PhD project “Threatened but open-minded: A biopsychosocial approach to coping with social change”.
Modern societies undergo rapid change. This affects how individual and group-level characteristics relate to important life outcomes. People cannot be certain anymore about the implications of their professional qualifications (due to work being taken over by robots), societal roles (due to increasing demands for gender equality), or community life (due to increasing cultural diversity).
The prospect of social change, for example due to migration or changing gender-roles, can be rather threatening, especially for those who have much to lose (ethnic majority-group members, men). A typical defensive reaction to threat is cognitive rigidity, evident for example from further withdrawal into one’s own “bubble”. This undermines societal cohesion, and increases polarization between different groups in society. Thus, an important societal challenge is to help people retain a degree of open-mindedness and constructively deal with societal developments, even when under the threat of change.
Combining insights from social psychology, psychophysiology, and cognitive neuroscience, the current project aims to develop a psychophysiological perspective on coping with social change. The aim is to test different strategies that can make people more resilient and help them retain a degree of open-mindedness, even when under threat. These strategies will be tested in a series of experiments in lab- and field-settings (making use of a mobile lab).
The PhD-project will be supervised by Prof. Dr. Daan Scheepers and Prof. Dr. Naomi Ellemers.
The successful candidate will work part-time (0.2 FTE) as a Research Coordinator for the broader research group, and will in that role design and conduct studies that are based on general research questions brought forward by the group, and supervise the research support staff (e.g., Student Assistants) who also work on these studies and on (related) projects.
The role of Research Coordinator (0.2 FTE) includes the following tasks:
The role of PhD candidate (0.8 FTE) includes the following tasks:
We are looking for a candidate who is/has:
We offer a position of 1.0 FTE. The first year you’ll be offered a temporary contract, after which an evaluation will decide whether or not the contract will be extended with another 45 months. During this period the PhD has to be completed. In the first year, the candidate will work 1.0 FTE on the PhD project. After the first year, the candidate will start working as a Research Coordinator for 0.2 FTE and 0.8 FTE as a PhD candidate, so the task of Research Coordinator will commence in the summer of 2020.
Based on a full-time contract, the gross salary per month amounts €2,325 in the first year to €2,972 per month in the last year for the PhD part of this position (scale P according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities). Based on a full-time contract, the gross salary per month amounts between €2,579 and €3,445 (scale 8 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) for the Research Coordinator part of this position.
In addition, we offer attractive and flexible secondary terms of employment such as an annual holiday pay of 8%, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% per year and partially paid parental leave. We also provide an attractive working environment and a vibrant research climate. More information is available at: working at Utrecht University.
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 societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.
The city of Utrecht is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, with a charming old center and an internationally oriented culture that is strongly influenced by its century-old university. Utrecht city has been consistently ranked as one of the most liveable cities in the Netherlands.
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. Research and teaching activities are concentrated in five areas:
More than 5,600 students are enrolled in a broad range of undergraduate and graduate programmes. The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences has some 850 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 research group of Distinguished Professor Naomi Ellemers focuses on two themes in which fundamental scientific research is directly linked to applications and interventions in the field: Diversity & Inclusion, and Integrity & Ethical behavior. In addition, the members of the research group consider it important to focus on forming interdisciplinary partnerships and insights, strengthening external visibility of scientific activities and staying connected to the organizational practice. For example, the multidisciplinary collaboration is anchored within the UU-strategic theme Institutions, and in the NWO Gravitation program (SCOOP). There are also partnerships with the Netherlands Inclusiveness Monitor (NIM), the START Foundation, the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) and the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM). Such partnerships also generate opportunities for data collection in the field and allocation of resources or co-sponsoring to conduct scientific (PhD) research.