Now hiring: A PhD position on the topic of Early predictors of school success

Updated: 4 months ago
Job Type: Temporary
Deadline: 14 Sep 2022

Description of the project

In this project we investigate (early) predictors of and mechanisms behind educational success. More specifically, we study how lifestyle, different aspects of health and (un)healthy behaviour of primary and secondary school pupils affect their educational performance and educational career. The positive relationships between healthy behaviour, the physical, mental and social health of children and their school performance are assumed as a given in many prevention policies but are poorly understood due to a lack of good data. We propose two ways of data improvement. First, we bring data from existing periodic national health surveys from Youth Health Care to the Nationaal Cohort Onderzoek Onderwijs. In addition, we collect new data at two crucial education transition moments at selected schools in primary and secondary education. We survey pupils and their parents, combining reliable and validated survey measurements with innovative ways of data collection. This provides unique data on (un)healthy behaviour, mental, physical and social health of pupils, as well as their social environment. This data combination enables us (and others) to investigate the influence of family, friends, and schools on health, behaviour, and educational performance.

Job description

The Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA) of Maastricht University’s School of Business and Economics is seeking to appoint one PhD candidate on the project: (Early) predictors of educational performance and careers: physical, mental and social health and behaviour. Candidates should have a solid understanding of quantitative methods, and a strong background in quantitative social science (such as quantitative sociology, demography, health sciences, economics, applied econometrics, statistics, psychology, pedagogy, or a related discipline). Experience with data collection and register data is an advantage.

The candidate will be part of a vibrant multidisciplinary research group, specialized in the relation between various dimensions of health and educational success. The project team is composed of sociologists from ROA and health scientists, psychiatrists and psychologists from the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences. The PhD candidate will be supervised by prof. dr. Tim Huijts, prof. dr. Philippe Delespaul (FHML) and prof. dr. Thérèse van Amelsvoort (FHML), and work closely with prof. dr. Mark Levels (ROA, project leader) and prof. dr. Maria Jansen (FHML). The team is further comprised of various PhD students that are working on similar topics, and a research and data manager. We will be closely coordinating the research with the national coordinator for the Nationaal Cohortonderzoek Onderwijs (prof. dr. Carla Haelermans) and her team, also based at ROA.

The PhD candidate is expected to (1) assist in data linkage and setting up data collections, and (2) complete studies that will be published in leading peer-reviewed journals.

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