PhD position on the Psychology of Science Scepticism
University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences – Department of Psychology

PhD position on the Psychology of Science Scepticism

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences – Department of Psychology

Working at the UvA

PhD position on the Psychology of Science Scepticism

Publication date 16 September 2019

Closing date 18 October 2019

Level of education Master's degree

Hours 38 hours per week

Salary indication €2,325 to €2,972 gross per month

Vacancy number 19-584

We are looking for a highly motivated candidate for a 4-year PhD position on the psychology of science scepticism, which is part of a project funded by an ERC grant awarded to Dr Bastiaan Rutjens. Within the project, you will work closely together with the other members of the core project team, which will consist of Bastiaan Rutjens, a postdoctoral researcher, another PhD student, and a research assistant.


The PhD project will be conducted within the Social Psychology programme group at the University of Amsterdam. Within the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, the discipline of Psychology offers a range of Bachelor's and Master’s degree programmes, while its research is carried out at the Psychology Research Institute (Psyres). The successful candidate will be part of the Social Psychology programme group.


Job description

Increases in science scepticism among the public represent an important societal challenge. While recent research has shed light on some of the ideological correlates of specific manifestations of science scepticism - such as climate change denial and vaccine hesitancy - a unifying psychological principle that can be applied to science scepticism more generally has not yet been identified. In this project, psychological distance to science will be investigated as a precursor of science scepticism in various domains. This will be done with large-scale cross-national surveys, controlled experiments, and daily diary studies.


The PhD candidate will work under the daily supervision of Dr Bastiaan Rutjens and Prof. Frenk van Harreveld, who are both based at the Department of Psychology of the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, which is ranked 16th in the QS World University Rankings. The University of Amsterdam has access to state-of-the-art research facilities (Psychology labs / Spinoza center) to implement and coordinate the proposed research. The PhD candidate will report the research results at project meetings, conferences and in international journals, ultimately leading to a PhD dissertation. The candidate will also provide teaching assistance (15%).




  • Master’s degree (preferably obtained in a research master program) in Social Psychology, Cultural Psychology, Sociology, Communication Science, or equivalent programme;
  • passion for research and a demonstrable interest in the topic of the project;
  • strong writing skills;
  • excellent English proficiency;
  • willingness to learn Dutch (if applicable).

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

Dr Bastiaan Rutjens

Would you like to learn more about working at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)? Then please visit our website.


The PhD position is for four years (initial employment is 12 months and after a positive evaluation, the appointment will be extended with 36 months). The project should lead to a dissertation. Based on a full-time appointment the gross monthly salary will be €2,325 in the first year, increasing to €2,972 in the fourth year (in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities).


Job application
The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.


Does this profile sound like you? If so, we look forward to receiving:

  • your CV;
  • a letter explaining your motivation and qualifications;
  • a grade list;
  • the names of 2 references.

The deadline for applications is 18 October 2019.


You can apply online by clicking on the link below.

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Psychoneuroxy


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