PhD candidate Teaching Visual problem solving (0,9-1fte)

PhD candidate Teaching Visual problem solving (0,9-1fte)

Published Deadline Location
13 Dec 23 Jan Rotterdam

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Are you looking for a PhD position in social sciences and are you interested in visual problem-solving skills? Read further and apply for this PhD position.

Job description

Due to technological advances, modern society is dominated by increasingly complex images. For instance, radiologists diagnose medical conditions from complex visualizations such as radiographs and computer tomography (CT) scans, and social scientists make use of graphs and animations depicting socio-demographic trends. These tasks require visual problem-solving skills, which refer to the detection and interpretation of relevant information from a complex visualization to come to a conclusion, decision or diagnosis. In modern society, this is an important but underestimated 21st-century skill.

In this PhD project you will answer the following research questions:

  1. What verbal and non-verbal actions do ‘masters’ in visual problem solving take to help apprentices attend to relevant information and form a high-quality mental representation?
  2. What are the effects of the masters’ actions on apprentices’ attention allocation, understanding, and performance in a visual problem-solving task?
  3. What effect does additional instructional support in the form of verbal and non-verbal ‘cueing’ and ‘chunking’ have on the interaction between master and apprentice as well as on the apprentices’ attention allocation, understanding and performance when engaging in a visual problem solving task?

The project will be carried out within the domain of the Social sciences. This is a joint project with Maastricht University; the PhD candidate appointed there will study the teaching of visual problem solving skills in the domain of Health. 

There will be a close collaboration between projects, with joint project meetings to support collaboration among the PhD students and their supervisors. Studies will take place in hospitals (PhD at Maastricht University) and classrooms (PhD at Erasmus University Rotterdam) to increase ecological validity.


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)


We are looking for an enthusiastic candidate who meets the following requirements:

  • A relevant scientific background evidenced by a Master diploma in (educational or cognitive) psychology, Educational sciences or a related discipline
  • Excellent academic skills
  • Strong social and interpersonal skills
  • Being able to work individually and in a multidisciplinary team

Conditions of employment

Internationally-oriented and varied work within an enthusiastic team, with attractive fringe benefits in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU). Your initial employment term will be one year and this may be extended with another three years (1+3) if your performance proves satisfactory. Your remuneration will depend on the position, your specific knowledge and experience It will be calculated on the basis of full-time salary ranging between EUR 2.434 and 3.111 gross per year (salary scale Promovendus, CAO NU ). Erasmus University Rotterdam offers attractive terms of employment, including a holiday allowance of 8%, a year-end payment of 8.3% and 41 annual leave days in case of a full work week. In addition, EUR takes part in the ABP pension scheme, and we also offer partially paid parental leave. For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme. Moreover, EUR staff members are allowed to make use of the EUR facilities, including the Erasmus sports centre and the University Library. We value diversity and believe that a diversity of talents contributes to our vision and strategy to excel as a university on research and education. This means that we are looking for a person who can complement our team well.


Erasmus University Rotterdam

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) is an internationally oriented university with a strong social orientation in its education and research, as expressed in our mission ‘Creating positive societal impact’. EUR is home to 3.700 academics and professionals and almost 33.000 students from more than 140 countries. Everything we do, we do under the credo The Erasmian Way – Making Minds Matter. We’re global citizens, connecting, entrepreneurial, open-minded, and socially involved. These Erasmian Values function as our internal compass and create EUR’s distinctive and recognizable profile. From these values, with a broad perspective and with an eye for diversity, different backgrounds and opinions, our employees work closely together to solve societal challenges from the dynamic and cosmopolitan city of Rotterdam. Thanks to the high quality and positive societal impact of our research and education, EUR can compete with the top European universities.


Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

De Erasmus School of Social en Behavioural Sciences (ESSB) kent een grote diversiteit aan wetenschappelijke disciplines: bestuurskunde, pedagogische wetenschappen, psychologie en sociologie. Tevens het Erasmus University College, IHS, en twee onderzoeksinstituten RISBO en DRIFT zijn aan de faculteit verbonden. Deze grote variatie is ook terug te zien in onze (internationale) bachelor- en masteropleidingen en in het onderzoek. De activiteiten van de faculteit zijn altijd gericht op mens en samenleving. Onze activiteiten zijn altijd gefocust op mensen en de maatschappij. Bij ESSB staat fundamenteel, internationaal georiënteerd onderzoek hoog in het vaandel. Maatschappelijk onderzoek ten behoeve van professionals, het beleid en de samenleving maakt ook onderdeel uit van de onderzoeksactiviteiten. De faculteit biedt een stimulerend onderzoeksklimaat waar belangrijke nationale en internationale onderzoeksubsidies worden binnengehaald. Aansprekende gastonderzoekers uit binnen- en buitenland werken er voor kortere of langere tijd en er werken ambitieuze promovendi.

De opleidingen die binnen deze wetenschapsgebieden verzorgd worden, bedienen op dit moment bijna 4000 studenten. De ESSB telt daarnaast meer dan 400 medewerkers.


  • PhD
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €2434—€3111 per month
  • ESSB/20211213


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

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Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, 3062 PA, Rotterdam

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