PhD student "On the role of citizens in Community Policing"

The department of Psychology of Conflict, Risk, and Safety at the University of Twente in the Netherlands is looking for a

PhD student (four-years) on the role of citizens in Community Policing

The department of Psychology of Conflict, Risk and Safety (PCRS) of the Faculty of Behavioural Sciences at the University of Twente is looking for a talented PhD student (four years) for a project on the role of citizens in Community Policing. The project is in close cooperation with the department Human Behavior & Organizational Innovation of TNO, an independent research organization where knowledge is developed and applied in the field of social innovation.

Job specification

In the transition from welfare state to participation state there is a growing need for citizens to take more responsibility for their own safety and welfare. The main question is how citizens can be activated to do so. The present project focusses on the public safety domain referring to issues such as crime and social disorder and aims at identifying the mechanisms underlying citizen participation. The first step is to identify the main psychological processes for participation in policing: why do citizens want to participate, for which issues and under what conditions? In the second phase, interventions will be developed and tested as how to improve citizen participation. How, for example, can social media be used to improve the interaction with citizens? And which interventions are most effective in motivating citizens to participate? As a research method we will explore possibilities of virtual environments or in situ research methods.

Your profile

We are looking for highly motivated, talented, and enthusiastic candidate with a pro-active attitude and excellent communication and collaborative skills. You have completed a (preferably 2-year research) master in social or cognitive psychology. You have experience with programming in, for example, EPrime and Matlab. Affinity with new technology that can be used for analyzing social interactions and behavior is an advantage. You have an excellent command of the English language.

Our offer

We offer you a four-year full-time Ph.D. position. You are expected to finish the project with a PhD thesis and disseminate the results through publications in peer-reviewed journals, and presentations at (inter)national conferences. You will participate in the Kurt Lewin Institute (KLI), which offers a 4-year inter-university graduate teaching and training program. Your main responsibility will be to carry out research, but you will be given the opportunity to acquire some teaching experience as well. In accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, the monthly salary starts at € 2083,- gross per month in the first year, leading up to € 2612,- gross per month in the last year. Additionally, the University of Twente provides excellent facilities for professional and personal development, a holiday allowance (amounts to 8%) and an end-of-year bonus (amounts to 8.3%), and a number of additional benefits. The anticipated start date is June, 1, 2014 (negotiable).

Information and application

For more information about the position, please contact prof. dr. José Kerstholt (e-mail:, tel +31-(0)6 20372594).

Your application should include a CV, a writing example (e.g. thesis or article), a letter of application, and contact information of two or more references and should be sent before May 1st, 2014.. Applications should be uploaded via

The Organisation

The University of Twente is a young, entrepreneurial university. It sets standards in the field of new technology and seeks to stimulate change, renewal and progress in society. Its strength lies in their capacity to combine. They work with the technologies of the future - information technology, biotechnology and nanotechnology - in which behavioural and social science research play a vital role. After all, the most interesting and relevant innovation takes place at the interface between technology and its implications for mankind and society. The University of Twente is the only campus based university in the Netherlands. The work of the department Psychology of Conflict, Risk and Safety (PCRS) focuses on themes in the areas of risk perception and risk communication, conflict and crisis management and the antecedents of risky, antisocial and criminal behaviour. The department is in charge of an unique Psychology Mastertrack: Conflict, Risk & Safety (CRV).