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PhD position in TYF-project Scientific thinking in interaction with reading comprehension in an online learning context


Job description

Summary of the project

Knowledge regarding physics of students in Dutch prevocational secondary schools shows a downward trend according to recent PISA-results. Furthermore, these students have low reading comprehension abilities, making it complicated to gain knowledge from textbooks used in schools. By doing experiments, accompanying texts can be processed in a more interactive and meaningful way. In the current project, we aim to implement online virtual laboratories with scaffolds to support reading comprehension in the mostly used physics methods (Nova) in secondary schools. In the project, we work closely together with schools, and a publisher. The project consists of experimental studies using eye-tracking and retrospective think-aloud to examine online learning behavior. Intervention studies focus on improving online learning behavior and examine the effects of the integrated (reading and experimenting) method on domain specific knowledge and motivation for physics.

As a PhD candidate in this project, your job is to:

  • Design and conduct the studies as described above.
  • Work in close collaboration with researchers and practitioners in the project team.
  • Present findings for a scientific and a non-scientific audience.
  • Report findings in peer-reviewed scientific journals, research reports, and finalise a dissertation.
  • Participate in the doctoral program of the Twente Graduate School (30 EC).

Your profile

Your application should include the following documents:

  • a cover letter (in English or Dutch) which explains your interest in the position and your qualifications for it;
  • a curriculum vitae which also includes the name and e-mail address/telephone number for (preferably) two or more references;
  • a copy of your master's thesis or, if it is not yet available, a summary and table of contents of the thesis and an additional writing piece.


Submit your application online (via the “Apply now’ button) before June 5, 2020.

Interviews will be held on June 12, 2020. The starting date for the position is September 2020.

For additional information about this position, or to receive the full text of the proposal you can contact prof. Eliane Segers (

  • A Research Master’s degree in Educational Science, Behavioural Science, Educational Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, or another relevant study.
  • Affinity with science education at a secondary school level.
  • Broad experience with quantitative research.
  • Outstanding methodological and analytical qualities, and experience with collecting and analysing data. Eye-tracking experience is an advantage.
  • Excellent oral and writing skills in Dutch (minimum B2-level) and English (minimum C1-level).
  • Organisational talent, accompanied by independence and perseverance.
  • Affinity with and understanding of the target group of children with developmental language disorders.
  • An independent, flexible and proactive work style.
  • An affinity for challenges.

About the department

The department of Instructional Technology (IST) specializes in knowledge acquisition. This includes the cognitive processes of developing and using knowledge and skills, as well as the design of instructional support to facilitate these processes. The department plays a prominent role in (inter)national research on learning and instruction. Staff members participate in the ICO research school (the Interuniversity Centre of Educational Sciences) and the Twente Graduate School.

Our offer

A 4 year fulltime PhD position at the University of Twente (starting date September 1st, 2020), with a qualifier after 1 year. In accordance with the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement for Universities, the monthly salary starts at € 2.325,- gross per month in the first year, leading up to € 2.972,- gross per month in the last year. Employees are also entitled to a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus.

We offer excellent auxiliary terms of employment, such as professional and personal development programs; a secondary remuneration package; a dynamic environment with enthusiastic colleagues; an organization focusing on internationalization and a high degree of responsibility and independence.

The organization

The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social sciences The Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social sciences (BMS) strives to play a pivotal role in understanding, co-engineering and evaluating innovation in society. Innovation is driven by advances in technology. Through 'social engineering' these technological advances are embedded in society befitting human needs and behaviour, within proper public and private management and business structures. For this the faculty of BMS upholds high quality disciplinary knowledge in psychology, business administration, public administration, communication science, philosophy, educational science and health sciences. All with a focus on the challenges in society. Research is strongly connected to our institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centra and Digital Society Institute.
PhD position in TYF-project Scientific thinking in interaction with reading comprehension in an online learning context
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