PhD position in Consumer Attitudes and Behavior Towards Climate Change
University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences – Department of Psychology

PhD position in Consumer Attitudes and Behavior Towards Climate Change

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences – Department of Psychology

Publication date
30 November 2017

Level of education
Master's degree

Salary indication
€2,222 to €2,840 gross per month

Closing date
18 December 2017

38 hours per week

Vacancy number

The Department of Psychology is a part of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG), which is the largest educational and research institution in the social sciences in the Netherlands.

Project description

Despite being one of the most important societal challenges of the 21st century, public engagement with climate change currently remains low. Mounting evidence from across the behavioral sciences has found that most people regard climate change as a non-urgent and psychologically distant risk (spatially, temporally, and socially), which has led to deferred public decision making about mitigation and adaptation responses. Moreover, if consumers do experience a sense of urgency about mitigating climate change, they often have limited insight into how to effectively translate this into behavior. In this project, insight will be provided into what causes consumers to experience a sense of urgency to combat climate change and 2) how their environment as a consumer can be modified to make the translation of this sense of urgency into behavior most likely.

The PhD project will be conducted within the program group of Social Psychology at the Department of Psychology at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, which is ranked 10th in the QS World University Rankings. The University of Amsterdam has access to state-of-the-art research facilities (Labs psychology / Spinoza center) to implement and coordinate the proposed research. The PhD candidate will develop and execute experimental studies in the context of the research project, and report results at project meetings, conferences and in international journals, leading to a PhD dissertation. The candidate will also provide teaching assistance (15%).

The PhD candidate will work under the daily supervision of dr. Frenk van Harreveld (Social Psychology, UvA) with Prof. Gert-Jan Gruter (UvA, Chemistry) and Prof. Bas Haring (LIACS, UL) as co-promotors. This PhD project is part of the NWO-funded program New Materials for a Circular Economy, which involves various partners from academia (UvA, UL) and the industry (Avantium, LEGO).


We are looking for highly motivated candidates preferably with a 2-year research master diploma in Psychology or Communication Science, and with demonstrable interest in the topic of the PhD project. The present research strives for scientific and societal impact and candidates are therefore expected to have an interest in the societal applications of their research. Applicants should also possess strong writing skills and have an excellent command of English.

Further information

Requests for further information may be sent by email to:

dr Frenk van Harreveld


The PhD position is for four years (initial employment is 12 months and after a positive evaluation, the appointment will be extended further with 36 months) and should lead to a dissertation. Based on a full-time appointment the gross monthly salary will be €2,222 in the first year, increasing to €2,840 in the fourth year in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

Job application

For full consideration, applications should be send by email to, and include a CV, a letter of motivation, a grade list, and the names of 2 references. Please put 'PhD position van Harreveld 17-605' in the subject line to ensure that your application will be considered. All applications submitted before 19 December 2017 will be considered. #LI-DNP

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