2 PhD Candidates: 'The Developing Self and Achievement Inequality'

2 PhD Candidates: 'The Developing Self and Achievement Inequality'

Published Deadline Location
7 Mar 11 Apr Amsterdam

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Job description

We are looking for two PhD candidates to study achievement inequality from a developmental-psychological perspective. Achievement inequality is one of the most defining problems of our time. Around the world, children from low socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds underperform in school relative to children from higher SES backgrounds, even when they have the same level of ability.

This project, funded by an NWO Vidi grant awarded to Eddie Brummelman, studies the critical role of children's self-views in achievement inequality. The project examines why children from lower SES backgrounds often develop negative views of themselves and their abilities, and how these negative self-views can perpetuate socioeconomic disparities in educational achievement and mental health. To do so, this project will focus on the transactions between children and their teachers.

The overarching project consist of two research projects:

In research project 1, the first PhD candidate will conduct real-life observations and experimental studies on teacher-child interactions. The goal is to identify whether and how teachers provide differential treatment to children from lower versus higher SES backgrounds.

In research project 2, the second PhD candidate will conduct virtual reality (VR) experiments in virtual classrooms. The goal is to identify the causal effects of teachers' differential treatment on children's self-views, motivation, and achievement.

Across projects 1 and 2, the candidates will together conduct a longitudinal measurement burst study in a socioeconomically diverse sample. The goal is to examine how teacher-chid interactions shape children's self-views, motivation, and achievement across the transition from elementary to secondary school.

The PhD project will be part of Eddie Brummelman's lab group, which is part of the Developmental Psychopathology programme group of the Research Institute of Child Development and Education at the University of Amsterdam.

Both projects are 5-year projects, each for 30.4 hours per week (0.8fte). The expected starting date is July 1, 2023, or September 1, 2023.

What are you going to do

We are looking for two PhD students to study the developing self and achievement inequality.

Your primary tasks will be:
  • Designing and conducting studies on the developing self and achievement inequality in childhood;
  • Integrating theories and methods from various disciplines, including developmental psychology, social psychology, pedagogics, and sociology;
  • Using advanced statistical methods to process and analyze data;
  • Writing international peer-reviewed scientific papers;
  • Working in a collaborative team to improve one another's research;
  • Presenting your work at conferences for academics, policy makers, and educators.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


We are looking for two dedicated candidates who are eager to conduct basic research on the psychology of achievement inequality in childhood. The candidates must thrive in a collaborative environment that calls for autonomy, creativity, and persistence. Also, they must be interested in combining insights from various disciplines.

Your experience and profile:
  • You hold a master's degree in psychology, pedagogics, sociology, educational science, or an associated field;
  • You have experience with or interest in quantitative research, preferably involving children;
  • You are motivated to design and conduct your own quantitative research;
  • You have excellent quantitative data-analysis skills;
  • You have excellent writing and presentation skills.
For project 1 (but not project 2), we are looking for a candidate who is fluent in Dutch, because this project will involve analyzing interactions between Dutch-speaking teachers and children. For both projects, we expect the candidate to have excellent English language skills.

Conditions of employment

The position concerns temporary employment of 30.4 hours per week for a maximum term of 5 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 48 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.

Your salary will be € 2.541,00 gross per month in the first year and will increase to € 3.247,00 in the final 2 years, 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
  • an enthusiastic and warm team that is open to new colleagues
  • an inspiring academic and international working environment in the heart of Amsterdam.


Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

The University of Amsterdam is the largest university in the Netherlands, with the broadest spectrum of degree programmes. It is an intellectual hub with 39,000 students, 6,000 employees and 3,000 doctoral students who are all committed to a culture of inquiring minds.

About the faculty

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.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 30.4 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • 11305


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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