PhD Student: The (Neuro)Science of Educational Resilience

Updated: 7 months ago
Deadline: 15 Jun 2023

17 May 2023
Job Information

University of Amsterdam (UvA)
Research Field

Cultural studies
Researcher Profile

First Stage Researcher (R1)

Application Deadline

15 Jun 2023 - 21:59 (UTC)
Type of Contract

Job Status

Not Applicable
Hours Per Week

Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description

How do adolescents from diverse socio-economic backgrounds handle setbacks in their educational career? How do they respond to difficult assignments, to low grades, or to having the feeling that they do not meet expectations? Are you interested in investigating the role of resilience in answering these questions?

Join the Growing Up Together in Society (GUTS) consortium and learn to do cutting edge research on adolescent behavioural and brain development in a dynamic and interdisciplinary team.

We are looking for a PhD student who will be part of the Amsterdam team, which has the unique aim to include a cohort 600 young participants (ages 10-22-years) from diverse socio-economic backgrounds in one study using (f)MRI, genetic markers, self-report measures, smart phone app measures and behavioural testing. Your PhD project is part of the GUTS consortium, a collaboration among seven Dutch universities to find answers to the question of how young people grow up successfully.

You will work as part of a team of other PhD students and postdocs. You will receive training in various methods and go in-depth on your own research topic. In addition, the GUTS project offers opportunities to develop yourself in terms of interdisciplinary research, societal impact, outreach, and open science.

The GUTS proposal can be downloaded here , the current project is part of work package 1.

What are you going to do?
You will:

  • study the role of resilience in the Amsterdam cohort using fMRI, genetic, and self-report measures. You will be a member of the team that recruits the Amsterdam cohort and collects the data;
  • design and perform additional studies on resilience in subsamples of the cohort. You will do so using self-report, smart phone app, or behavioural measures;
  • pre-register all studies, perform a variety of advanced statistical analyses, write the results up in open-access journals, and present them on (inter)national conferences;
  • actively participate in the communication with adolescents to gather input on how to set up studies, and to discuss the implications of outcomes of these studies;
  • receive PhD training by participating in the GUTS PhD training program and by following optional courses, e.g. on (fMRI) data analysis;
  • devote 5% of your time to supervision of bachelor or master thesis students that can assist in data-collection.

Specific Requirements

You have a (research) master in the behavioural sciences or (cognitive) neuroscience, or you will obtain the degree before the 1st of December 2023;

Because of the target population and your active role in recruitment and testing of the cohort, you speak Dutch, or you can prove that you can sufficiently learn it in a few months.

The fMRI data collection will span about one year. During this year, you and your fellow PhD students, are flexibly available, including evenings and weekends. It goes without saying that these working hours are compensated during the working week, as we strongly value a healthy work-life balance.

In addition you satisfy some (nobody is perfect) of the requirements listed below:

  • You have a genuine interest into adolescent development, resilience, or education;
  • You have insight into statistical analysis like mixed effects modelling, structural equation modelling, and you are able to perform them in R;
  • You have experience in acquiring and/or analysing fMRI data, for example with FSL;
  • You are accurate, constructive, and creative;
  • You have good writing and presentation skills;
  • You value open science;
  • You have the ability to function well both in a team as well as independently;
  • You can start between the 1st of September and the 1st of December 2023.

About the department

This PhD project is located at the department of Developmental Psychology , University of Amsterdam. It is supervised by Hilde Huizenga, Brenda Jansen, Ilya Veer, all at the University of Amsterdam, and Anna van Duijvenvoorde (Leiden University). The supervisors create an open atmosphere in which everybody feels free to ask questions and make suggestions.

Additional Information

The position concerns temporary employment of 38 hours per week for a maximum term of four years The initial employment is for one year. Following a positive assessment and barring altered circumstances, this term will be extended to four years in total, which should result in the conferral of the doctorate. We will put together a curriculum which will also include the opportunity to attend training courses and both national and international events.

For this position the University Job Classification profile "Promovendus" applies.

Your salary will be €2541 gross per month in the first year and will increase to €3247 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%.

About the University of Amsterdam

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.

Selection process

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 15 June 2023. You may apply online by using the link below.

Applicationsin 1 combined .pdf should include:

  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a letter of motivation;
  • include a list with courses and grades.

Additional comments

Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:

  • Hilde Huizenga, , T: +31 205256826

Website for additional job details

Work Location(s)
Number of offers available
Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Postal Code
Nieuwe Achtergracht 166

Where to apply



Spui 21
Postal Code

1012 WX

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