PhD Position in Behavioural Sciences

University of Amsterdam


PhD Position in Behavioural Sciences

Faculty/Services:  Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Educational level:  Master
Function type:  PhD position
Closing date:  26 May 2024
Vacancy number:  12958

We are looking for a motivated PhD candidate in the social and behavioural sciences with a quantitative background for the project “Technostress amongst teachers in primary education”. The aim of the project is to investigate how teachers perceive technostress (in relation to) workload using longitudinal quantitative and qualitative data.

The PhD project has a supervision team consisting of Dr Lisa Gaikhorst, Dr Joost Jansen in de Wal and Dr Bieke Schreurs (Educational Science). The PhD candidate will be a member of the Research Group Child development and Education and will take part in the research lab Technology and Innovation for learning.


The project


In this project we want to investigate technostress amongst primary education teachers from a multidisciplinary perspective, combining insights from psychology, communication sciences and educational sciences. Digital technology, especially smart digital technology or AI, has the potential to automatically grade homework, offer personalized learning paths, or allow students to work independently. In this way, technology has the potential to reduce workload of certain aspects of teachers’ daily jobs or help out in circumstances of teacher shortages. However, according to the Education Council this is not true. After extensive debates with practice, they came to the conclusion that, with the use of digital technology, teaching becomes more complex. They even see digital technology as a third actor that teachers must consider. The use of digital learning resources could therefore lead to increased workload instead of reducing workload in times of shortages (Education Council, 2023).

But does the use of digital technology really lead to more workload? From a scientific perspective, we know very little about the causal relationship between the use of digital technology in education and the perceived workload of teachers in primary education, and the potential reasons of the increased perceived workload. In this project, we hypothesize that the relationship between the use of digital technology and perceived workload may potentially be explained by technostress. Technostress is the stress caused by the difficulty of adapting or coping with digital technology. In this project, we want to gain knowledge about technostress amongst teacher in primary education and investigate the complex interrelationship between the use of digital tools, technostress and perceived workload. When we know more about technostress amongst teachers, we also want to investigate possible interventions to reduce technostress e.g., by building up digital resilience (Roosendaal, 2023) amongst teachers.


What are you going to do


You primary tasks will be

  • contribute to the design of a longitudinal research design with both quantitative and qualitative methods (diary or experience sampling);
  • integrating theories and methods from educational science, communication science social psychology and pedagogics;
  • using advanced statistical methods to process and analyse data;
  • design and investigate an intervention;
  • recruiting schools, teachers, parents, and children;
  • writing international peer-reviewed scientific papers;
  • working in a collaborative team;
  • presenting your work at conferences for academics, policy makers, and educators;
  • assist in teaching (10% of your time) undergraduates and Master’s students and co-supervise junior scientists (MSc/BSc students). 


What do you have to offer


You are passionate about empirical research and quantitative research methods. You are a team player with good communication skills. The candidate must thrive in a collaborative environment that calls for autonomy, creativity, and commitment.


Your experience and profile

  • MSc (preferably research master) in Educational Sciences, Communication science, (Developmental)  Psychology, Methods and Statistics, or Pedagogics;
  • strong quantitative background;
  • good analytical, writing, and presenting skills;
  • good project and time management skills enabling you to meet the projects’ deadlines for finishing analyses, reports and other deliverables;
  • eager to learn new things, high conscientiousness, flexibility, and a collaborative attitude;
  • fluency in English, both written and spoken;
  • fluency in Dutch, both written and spoken.

Experiences that are not necessarily required but will make an application more successful:

  • preferably in depth knowledge about one or more of the core topics of the project: stress and related concepts, impact of media on people (e.g., susceptibility to media effects model), research in primary or secondary education, modelling longitudinal data;
  • a network in primary education sector;
  • preferably knowledge of MPlus or R.


What can we offer you


A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 4 years. The initial contract will be for a period of 12 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended to a total duration of 4 years. This should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). The preferred starting date is 1 September 2024. We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching undergraduates and master students.


Your salary will be €2.770 gross per month in the first year and will increase to €3.539 in the final year, 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%.Besides the salary and a vibrant and challenging environment at


Research department Child development and education and specifically the program group Educational Sciences we offer you multiple fringe benefits:

• multiple courses to follow from our Teaching and Learning Centre;

• a pension at ABP for which UvA pays two third part of the contribution.


About us


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 organization? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.




If you have any questions about the position, please contact (during office hours):


Job application


If you feel the profile fits you, and you are interested in the job, we look forward to receiving your application. You can apply online via the button below. We accept applications until and including May 26 2024.


Applications should include the following documents bundled in a single .pdf (not zipped), in the following order:

  • a letter of motivation (max 500 words);
  • a concise statement regarding your fit for the position in light of the abovementioned requirements (300 words max);
  • an academic Curriculum Vitae (no longer than 3 pages). On your CV include the names and email addresses of two references who can provide letters of recommendation, in case necessary later on in the process (no letters of recommendation at this point);

Please upload this package as a single PDF on the next page in the 'CV' box.


Only complete applications received within the response period via the link below will be considered.

Interviews with shortlisted candidates are expected to take place on 6 June 2024. 





The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.


No agencies please.


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