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PhD students (1,0 fte)

posted 9 May 2017, 01:41 by ICO Education   [ updated 9 May 2017, 01:45 ]
Welten Institute - Open University of the Netherlands - 

LocationHeerlen or Utrecht with at least one day a week at the main office in Heerlen
Function typesPhD positionsResearch, Development, InnovationEducation
Scientific fieldsEngineeringBehaviour and Society
Hours38.0 hours per week
EducationUniversity Graduate
Job numberAT/FAC/PenOW/17021
About employerThe Open Universiteit (OU)
Short linkwww.academictransfer.com/40277

Job description

The Welten Institute is looking for scientific colleagues whose expertise fits the goals of the Welten Institute’s research program. We are looking a PhD-student to collaborate with us on the above-mentioned questions and to gain expertise on the following topics “assessment”, “expertise development”, “instructional design”, “seamless learning”, “multimodal learning experiences”, “teacher professionalisation” and “motivation for learning”.

As PhD-student you have affinity with one or more of the above-mentioned fields and are willing to focus the upcoming years on doing research in one of these fields. You have the motivation to set up, conduct and report on different studies in this field, based on a thorough literature review.

For this position (according to ratio of work time factor) one day a week will be allocated for teaching or teaching related work in the OUNL; especially teaching in the master Learning Sciences.


Preferably a candidate holds a MSc degree in educational sciences, learning sciences, educational technology, educational psychology, cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and is flexible, able to work independently and is result driven. Preferably, a candidate has good communication skills (oral and written) in Dutch; fluency in English (oral and written) is required. A candidate should show interest in educational science research, have proven experience in carrying out research in this field. Also, a candidate should be able to collaborate with partners in the field (national and international) and work independently. Teaching experience and publications are not required, but are considered an advantage if the candidate can demonstrate experience in these areas.

Conditions of employment

A PhD student will be initially appointed for a period of 15 months. The appointment will be extended to four years when progress and performance are good. The salary is € 2.191,- gross per month in the first year and is expected to increase to € 2.801,- in the fourth year, for a fulltime appointment, contingent on satisfactory performance.

The OUNL provides good secondary benefits such as training, mobility, part-time employment and paid parental leave.


Contract type: Temporary, position for 4 years


Open University of the Netherlands

Studying online anywhere in the Netherlands and Belgium (Flanders)
The Open University of the Netherlands (OUNL) is the university in the Netherlands where students study part-time and follow online and activating education in bachelor and master degree programmes in seven fields of study. Characteristics of the education are openness, flexibility and quality. Enhancing the study success of students is an important point of focus. More than 15.000 students are studying at the OUNL and it has 531 employees. The OUNL has a network of fifteen regional study centres in the Netherlands and six in Belgium (Flanders). The head office is situated in Heerlen.
The most modern technologies and educational insights are applied in bachelor and master programmes and courses and also in projects and programmes with partners. Nationally and internationally the OUNL plays a key role in the innovation of higher education. Education and research are closely interrelated which guarantees that the current state of science is applied. The OUNL not only invests in research in the various academic disciplines, but also in research in learning sciences and learning technologies.

Satisfied students
For several consecutive years, the OUNL has achieved the top 2 position among the fourteen Dutch universities in the National Students Survey, the Dutch university guide ‘Keuzegids Universiteiten’ (in which the ratings by students and experts of the bachelor studies of the fourteen universities are compared), and the Dutch university guide ‘Keuzegids Masters’. In addition all studies score high in the rankings of the universities for these studies. All ratings are available on the website.


Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences

The faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences is strong in education and research. The faculty offers scientific bachelor and master studies Psychology and a master Educational Sciences. Four different master studies Psychology are offered: Work and organizational psychology, Health psychology, Clinical psychology and Lifespan psychology. The research programme of the scientific field of psychology is positioned within one of the four afore-mentioned fields of study of psychology. The Welten Institute is the research centre for learning, teaching and technology. It is a department of the faculty which plays an important role in research into the innovation of education and professionalization of teachers, both nationally and internationally.

The Welten Institute carries out integrated research, development, and valorisation activities to generate theory-based and technology-enriched educational methods and innovations that are effective, efficient and enjoyable for both the learner and the educator. In close collaboration with educational partners (e.g. other higher education institutions as well as schools (K-12), teacher training centres, governmental and semi-governmental institutions, and so forth), Welten Institute is working to improve the quality of education, promote the professional development of teachers, and advance knowledge and expertise in the field of educational sciences and educational technology. Welten Institute's research scope is broader than simply the innovation of higher education. More generally, it concerns research regarding learning and teaching, coupled with learning in the profession and the knowledge society, for educational and learning arrangements, and learning technologies. It’s research output comprises both scientific knowledge and practicable, validated methodological and technological solutions for educational practice, encompassing all education sectors and levels.

Research questions addressed are for instance: 

  1. What cognitive factors are most important for designing, developing and implementing adaptive, flexible learning in the educational system (both the traditional classroom and technology-enhanced environments)?
  2. Which cognitive processes underlie learning in complex learning arrangements?
  3. How can assessment optimally foster learning (i.e., which factors are true determinants of learning)?
  4. How can we design, evaluate and implement new types of mobile content (eBooks, mobile access to MOOCs, mobile video formats) that increase motivation and learning gain for lifelong learners?
  5. How can social learning be facilitated on different interacting organizational levels, to be beneficial for organizational development as well as individual learning?
  6. What is the role of perceived autonomy on teacher motivation?

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy you can contact prof. dr. F.L.J.M. Brand-Gruwel, dean faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences. Tel.: 045-5762148, e-mail: saskia.brand-gruwel@ou.nl.

For additional information about the OUNL and the Welten Institute, you can visit our websites www.ou.nl or www.ou.nl/web/open-universiteit/welten-instituut.