Post Doc in Developmental Psychology
Utrecht University Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Postdoc in Developmental Psychology (ERC project 'GREENTEENS: Understanding and unleashing adolescents’ eco-friendly behavior') (0.8 FTE)

Job description

This 5-year postdoc project, funded by an ERC consolidator grant awarded to Prof Sander Thomaes, will be conducted in the Developmental Psychology programme at Utrecht University. The aim of the project will be to examine the developmental origins and course of individual differences in adolescents’ eco-friendly behavior. Using a cross-national, prospective longitudinal design, the Postdoc will examine whether and how adolescents’ eco-friendly behavior is rooted in their need for autonomy and peer status. The project will also examine the developmental emergence of environmental skepticism in adolescents. The research seeks to yield the basic knowledge needed to inform global pro-environmental policies (e.g. educational programmes, campaigns) and help tailor them to adolescents.

The Postdoc will be responsible for co-designing, preparing, and coordinating the longitudinal study (data will be collected by a survey company), analyzing longitudinal survey and behavioral data, co-advising PhD candidates who do research central to the project, writing peer-reviewed research publications, and disseminating knowledge to inform pro-environmental policy and decision making processes. All will be done in close collaboration with other team members working on the GREENTEENS project, as well as internal and external (international) collaborators. The Postdoc must enjoy the challenges that come with working in an emerging area of research and be comfortable with working in teams. The Postdoc will receive strong mentorship in further developing their own, independent programme of research and grant development.


We are looking for a highly motivated candidate interested in the developmental and psychological underpinnings of adolescents’ eco-friendly behavior. You thrive in a collaborative environment that also requires independence, and hold a proactive, mastery-oriented approach to your learning process. You are eager to co-advise and invest in the learning process of PhD candidates and Research Assistants.

Research experience in the field of eco-friendly behavior is not essential but would be a plus.

Furthermore your suitability is ideally exemplified by:

  • a PhD degree in developmental, experimental or Social Psychology, Pedagogics, Sociology, behavior change, prevention science, or a related discipline;
  • a proven ability to address original, innovative research questions using thorough research methods;
  • excellent mastery of advanced data analytic methods, preferably longitudinal data analytic methods;
  • a strong proactive, collaborative, and creative work approach;
  • flexibility and strong organizational skills;
  • ability to work in a team while maintaining autonomy;
  • excellent writing and presentation skills (English and preferably Dutch).


We offer a 5-year contract (0.8 FTE). The gross salary - depending on previous qualifications and experience - ranges between €2,709 and €4,274 (scale 10 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year. In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information about working at Utrecht University can be found here.

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 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.

More than 5,600 students are enrolled in a broad range of undergraduate and graduate programmes. The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences has around 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

Interviews will be held by the end of June (through video-call). The preferred starting date is 1 September 2020. For additional information, please contact Prof Sander Thomaes by email:


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome candidates with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. Please apply via the button below.

Applications should include (1) a motivation letter, (2) full curriculum vitae, and (3) a copy of a publication of which you are especially proud.

If you are invited for an interview, you will be asked to provide two letters of recommendation, preferably of a (former) supervisor or other academic collaborators.

The application deadline is


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