PhD Position in Cooperation and Rationality

VU University of Amsterdam Department of Philosophy


FTE:  0,8 - 1 

Job description

The Department of Philosophy at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has a vacancy for a PhD researcher on a project related to “Cooperation and Rationality”.

Possible projects: in many situations, agents often have reasons both for and against cooperating. What makes cooperation nevertheless successful? This question can be approached both descriptively and normatively. In the descriptive realm, empirical research has looked at  investigating the factors that foster cooperation. In the normative domain, philosophical work has been dedicated to discussing various conceptions of rationality. We invite projects situated at the interface of these two fields, which raises questions such as: Which conception(s) of rationality are actually at work in empirical studies of cooperation? And which ones would be best suited for understanding cooperation?  

The PhD project will be carried out in close collaboration with and will be supervised by dr. Jelle de Boer, dr. Lisa Bastian and prof. dr. Lieven Decock.

Your duties

  • conduct research on the topics of “Cooperation and Rationality”, resulting in a PhD dissertation and journal publications
  • participate in the research activities of the Philosophy department and the PPE programme (and related national and international events)
  • participate in the teaching activities of the department (max. 10% of your time), and attain a University Teaching Qualification
  • participate in the VU PhD training program


  • the candidate has a (preferably Research) Master degree in Philosophy or Economics/Behavioral Science, attained before September 1, 2023
  • the candidate has a Master degree or a Bachelor degree in Philosophy or in PPE
  • the candidate has affinity with analytic philosophy, decision/game theory, and empirical studies of cooperation (as shown in grade transcripts, final thesis, and curriculum vitae)
  • excellent spoken and written English as well as strong academic writing skills are essential

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts € 2,541 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to € 3,247 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a total duration of 4 years (or 5 years in case of a 0.8 FTE contract).

Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
●  a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
●  8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
●  solid pension scheme (ABP)
●  optional model for designing a personalized benefits package

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

Faculty of Humanities
The Faculty of Humanities links a number of fields of study: Language, Literature and Communication, Art & Culture, History, Antiquities and Philosophy. Our teaching and research focus on current societal and scientific themes: from artificial intelligence to visual culture, from urbanization to the history of slavery, from ‘fake news’ in journalism to communication in organizations. We strive to ensure small group sizes. Innovative education and interdisciplinary research are our hallmarks.

Working at the Faculty of Humanities means making a real contribution to the quality of leading education and research in an inspiring and personal work and study climate. We employ more than 350 staff members, and we are home to around 2,000 students.

Department of Philosophy
The Department of Philosophy, which is one of three departments of the Faculty of Humanities, is a vibrant and international community of philosophers committed to high-quality teaching and research.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae with grade transcripts and cover letter which describes your motivation and qualifications until April 9, 2023. 

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Intended starting date: September 1, 2023.
After a first selection, we will invite the most promising candidates to submit a research plan (of 500-800 words; detailing the candidate’s research project and how they intend to carry it out), an English writing sample of around 5.000 words, and two references (names and emails).

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:
Name: Dr. J.S. (Jelle) de Boer
Position: Assistant Professor

No agencies

In your application, please refer to


amsterdam uni

antwerp uni

cambridge uni

florida uni

harvard uni

hiroshima uni

new south wales uni

oslo uni

purdue uni

ryerson uni

shanghai jiao tong uni

stockholm uni