PhD position on identity and autonomy in Adolescence
Utrecht University, Department of Education and Pedagogical Science

PhD position on identity and autonomy in Adolescence 


Job description
The Department of Education and Pedagogical Science, division Youth and Family, has a vacancy for a PhD student on the project Development of Adolescent Identity and Autonomy during Transitional Periods: Putting the Individual Back into Development (INTRANSTION). The INTRANSITION project has been funded by an ERC Consolidator grant. You will be part of a larger project team, containing the principle investigator, three PhD candidates, two postdocs and a number of student assistants.


The INTRANSITION project examines how identity and autonomy are formed in daily interactions with parents and friends, during important school transitions from childhood to adolescence and from adolescence to emerging adulthood. Identity develops through interactions with parents and friends and is important for adolescents’ relational functioning and societal participation. The project will examine intra-individual (or within-person, as opposed to inter-individual or between-person) processes of change in identity and autonomy. Adolescents will be followed longitudinally during important transitional periods: a cohort that transitions from elementary to secondary education and a cohort that transition from secondary to tertiary education. Data will be collected in a longitudinal design using a combination of experience sampling, observations of interactions with parents and friends, and questionnaire data. The PhD candidate will focus on the transition from secondary to tertiary education.

The candidate will contribute to the collection of data. In addition, the candidate is expected to disseminate the knowledge gained from the project through publishing five research articles in international research journals, the dissertation and presenting results at international and national conferences.

The candidate will be a part of the local PhD Programme of the Utrecht Centre for Child and Adolescent Studies (UC-CAS) within the Utrecht Graduate School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (UGSSBS). The candidate will also be expected to follow advanced graduate courses as deemed necessary including advanced statistics and methodology courses offered by UU-CAS training and education programme. The candidate will also be expected to spend 10 % of his/her time providing teaching assistance at undergraduate level.


We are looking for a motivated candidate who has:

  • affinity with psychosocial development and relationships during adolescence;
  • aresearch master's degree or equivalent in child and adolescent studies, (developmental) psychology or a related discipline in social sciences;
  • expertise in and affinity with psychosocial development of adolescents;
  • excellent research and writing skills, experience using longitudinal statistical methodology;
  • agood written and oral command of the English language;
  • fluency in Dutch;
  • good social skills and affinity with data collection.


We offer a temporary position of 0.8 FTE for a period of 5 years, or 1.0 FTE for a period of 4 years. The first year you’ll be offered a temporary contract, after which an evaluation will decide whether or not the contract will be extended to the full 4 or 5 years. During this period the PhD has to be completed. Expected starting date: as soon as possible, but before April 1st, 2019.

Based on a full-time contract, the gross salary per month amounts €2,266 in the first year, to €2,897 per month in the last year. In addition, we offer attractive and flexible secondary terms of employment such as an annual holiday pay of 8%, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% per year and partially paid parental leave. Finally, we also provide an attractive working environment and a vibrant research climate. More information is available at: working at Utrecht University.

About the organization
A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.


The city of Utrecht is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, with a charming old center and an internationally oriented culture that is strongly influenced by its century-old university. Utrecht city has been consistently ranked as one of the most liveable cities in the Netherlands.


The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences is one of the leading faculties in Europe providing research and academic teaching in cultural anthropology, educational sciences, interdisciplinary social science, pedagogical sciences, psychology, and sociology. Research and teaching activities are concentrated in five areas:

  • Behaviour in Social Contexts;
  • Child and Adolescent Studies;
  • Cognitive and Clinical Psychology;
  • Education and Learning and
  • Methodology and Statistics.


More than 5,600 students are enrolled in a broad range of undergraduate and graduate programmes. The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences has some 850 faculty and staff members, all providing their individual contribution to the training and education of young talent and to the research into and finding solutions for scientific and societal issues.

Additional information
Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from: Prof. dr. Susan Branje,

You can apply by using the button below.

Please upload a motivation letter and your curriculum vitae.


The application deadline is

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