PhD Candidate ‘Learning to like vegetables’

PhD Candidate ‘Learning to like vegetables’

Published Deadline Location
4 Jun 20 Jun Maastricht

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For the NWO Vici Project ‘Cognitive processes in learning to like vegetables’, we are looking for a PhD student with a strong interest in food acceptance in young children.
Why would a child loathe spinach, without ever trying it? Or like it one day, but not the next? The aim of the current project is to understand the cognitive processes underlying the acceptance or rejection of food in young children.

Job description

Background: In the current project, you will examine the role of various cognitive processes that influence acceptance of fruit and vegetables. These include the multisensory perception of foods, formation of mental representations of foods and prediction of tastes, decision making and cognitive biases in processing food related information. The goal of this project is to investigate the development of these cognitive processes and relate them to the development of food acceptance, in a longitudinal study. This will show us which cognitive processes are crucial, when they are crucial, and how they interact with food acceptance.

Challenges and tasks: In close collaboration with the research team ‘Learning to like vegetables’, you will develop cognitive tasks or adjusted them to the target group (children of 3 - 5 year). Participants need to be recruited and tested. In addition, you will analyze data and disseminate result findings.


Maastricht University (UM)


  • You have a Msc in psychology (developmental/cognitive psychology), pedagogy or health science.
  • Proven affinity with research in the field of cognition, development or eating behavior.
  • Excellent mastering of research methods and statistical methods.
  • Strong proactive, collaborative, and creative working approach.
  • Excellent writing and communication skills (English and Dutch).

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1 + 4 years.

We offer a full-time employment contract as a PhD candidate. The employment contract will be for a period of 1 year and will be extended for another 4 years after positive evaluation.

The salary will be set in scale P (between € 2.395 and € 3.061 gross per month) On top of this, there is an 8% holiday and an 8.3% year-end allowance. 

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website > Support > UM employees.


Maastricht University

Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 20,000 students and 4,700 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.
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  • PhD
  • Health; Behaviour and society
  • max. 30 hours per week
  • €2395—€3061 per month
  • University graduate
  • AT2021.209 ENG


Maastricht University (UM)

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Universiteitssingel 40, 6229 ER, Maastricht

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