PhD researcher on the interdisciplinary project In search of trust: understanding and improving youth-police interactions in contemporary ‘superdiverse’ societies (1 fte)

In search of trust: understanding and improving youth-police interactions in contemporary ‘superdiverse’ societies.
Discrimination by police officers is among the reasons why ethnic minority and lowly educated majority youth have relatively low levels of trust ...

7 dagen geleden


Landelijk / geen vaste standplaats
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
40 uur


In search of trust: understanding and improving youth-police interactions in contemporary ‘superdiverse’ societies.

Discrimination by police officers is among the reasons why ethnic minority and lowly educated majority youth have relatively low levels of trust in the police. Ethnic and class discrimination are not fully exogenic, however; the ways in which youth and young adults approach authorities influence how police view and approach them, and impact the chances that interactions result in formal punishment. Using insights from relevant sociological and psychological theories (stigma theory, procedural justice theory, role theory, cultural and emotional intelligence theory, theories about trust, distrust, and suspicion) you assess the relative influence of various hypothesized psychological and situational characteristics on youth-police (dis)trust and (perceived) discrimination.

The study will significantly improve our understanding of the determinants of trust in the police in contemporary ‘superdiverse’ societies, and the mechanisms producing ethnic and class biases in punishment. Additionally, it is expected that the study will create much needed societal impact. It is expected that the findings and questionnaires can be used to identify police officers and youth who are at risk of generating distrust and unequal punishment, and who would benefit the most from receiving trainings.
The position is at the Department of Public Administration and Sociology, but staff members of the Department of Psychology, Education & Child Studies Department will also be involved in the project, so as to enhance its interdisciplinary character.
Candidates may obtain a more detailed project description on demand. See below at Additional information and application.
• Carrying out internationally oriented, empirical research within the framework of the Erasmus Initiative Vital Cities and Citizens that is publishable in established international refereed journals;
• Writing an article-based dissertation as part of the project “In search of trust”;
• Participating actively in the Erasmus Initiative Vital Cities and Citizens, and the Erasmus Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Humanities (EGSH), as well as in relevant international scientific associations and networks;
• Presenting research results at national and international conferences;
• Assisting in the organisation of workshops and other knowledge sharing activities;
• Contributing to financial acquisition activities;
• Teaching activities (0.1 fte) in the Department of Public Administration and Sociology


We are looking for a highly motivated researcher with:
• A completed (or nearly completed) Master degree in sociology, psychology, educational sciences or criminology, preferably a Research Master;
• A keen interest in the topics to be investigated, preferably demonstrated by previous work on similar topics;
• A keen interest in cross-disciplinary research and/or collaboration;
• A solid background in both quantitative and qualitative research methods;
• Strong planning skills, ability to manage own and others’ work and related activities, ability to meet deadlines;
• Good research qualities and writing skills, demonstrated for example by the Master thesis and possibly other publications;
• Good writing skills and fluency in written and spoken Dutch and English;
• Good communicative skills, proactive and independent work attitude;
• A great curiosity and enthusiasm for scientific research!


Employment starts as soon as possible. The initial contract will run for a term of 1.5 years, which - depending on performance – will be extended with a second term of 2.5 years. The conditions of employment correspond with the “CAO Nederlandse Universiteiten” (CAO NU). The trial period is two months.
For the job of PhD Candidate (Promovendus) the salary starts at € 2.222,- gross per month on a 38 hour per week contract in the first year, which will increase annually up to a maximum of € 2.840,- gross per month on a 38 hour per week contract in the fourth year (Grade P).
The EUR has attractive employment conditions, which include holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, an end-of-year payment of 8.3% of the yearly salary and 232 hours leave per year (based on a full-time appointment of 38 hours). In case of a working day of 8 hours, you will weekly save 2 hours extra for annual leave (totally 328 hours).

In addition, EUR takes part in the ABP pension scheme, and we also offer partially paid parental leave. Moreover, EUR staff members can make use of the facilities at the EUR campus, including the Erasmus Sports Centre and the University Library. Substantial tax benefits apply to non-Dutch citizens, conditional on permission granted by the Dutch Tax Office. Applicants should have the right to work in the Netherlands for the duration of the contract.
Diversity is one of our strategic priorities. Female candidates, candidates with an international background and/or candidates from an ethnic minority are encouraged to apply. Under the condition of equal suitability, these candidates will have a priority position.

Additional information

You can obtain more information about the Department of Public Administration and Sociology essb and respectively.
Additional information about Erasmus Initiative Vital Cities and Citizens can be found here:
For additional information on the vacancy of PhD researcher In search of trust and project description please send an email to the supervisor dr. Arjen Leerkes (

Candidates are welcome to send their application including a Curriculum Vitae before 9 October 2017 by e-mail to: Please mention ‘In search of trust’ in the subject of your email.
We ask you to submit:
- a motivation letter, including your ideas on the In search of trust project
- your CV, including a list of successfully completed courses and grades, and academic output (e.g. Master thesis, eventual other publications) and contact details of two referees.

The selection committee will invite a limited number of candidates for an interview. You will receive a confirmation e-mail within 5 working days; interviews are planned to take place in mid-October.


Erasmus University Rotterdam is a modern, highly ranked, international research university, based in the dynamic and diverse city of Rotterdam. We were founded in 1913 and nowadays host 25.000 students. Our faculties and institutions work on global, national and local social challenges in the areas of: healthy development, wealth, governance, culture.

The quality of research at Erasmus University, named after Rotterdam-born humanist and theologian Erasmus, is reflected in its consistent top-100 position in most major universities rankings. On the lively, modern campus, students and scholars of more than 100 nationalities are constantly encouraged to develop their talents and meet their ambition.

Working at the Erasmus University Rotterdam means working in a professional environment, where development is encouraged through an active career and mobility policy. The Erasmus University Rotterdam highly appreciates flexibility: we have a 38-hour workweek, flexible working hours, possibilities to work part-time, and maternal/paternal leave. Moreover, the University has a company childcare scheme, possibilities to participate in a terms of employment option model, company savings program and life insurance schemes and favourable collective insurance schemes. Employees can also make use of facilities such as sports facilities and library.

Erasmus Initiative Vital Cities and Vital Citizens
The Erasmus University has recently launched three so-called Erasmus Initiatives, through which academic excellence and multidisciplinary collaboration in research is stimulated. One of these is the Vital Cities and Citizens project which aims to (i) to advance our understanding of the ways in which social and cultural transformations affect urban life - and (2) by doing so – to help cities thrive as places of inclusion, tolerance and cohesion, and better articulate the aspirations of their diverse, resilient and creative citizens. The Erasmus Initiative Vital Cities and Citizens is a collaboration between the Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS, coordinator), the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC), and the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS).

Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB)
The Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences is home to a vast diversity of scientific disciplines: public administration, pedagogical sciences, psychology and sociology. In addition, the Erasmus University College, IHS, and two research institutes RISBO and DRIFT are linked to the faculty. This also reflects in the content of the (international) bachelor's and master's programmes and in research. Our activities are always focused on people and society. At the ESSB fundamental, internationally oriented research is of paramount importance. In addition, social research for professionals, policy makers, and the society is part of our research activities. ESSB offers a stimulating research environment where major national and international research grants are received. Appealing guest researchers and ambitious PhD candidates come along to conduct their research. Our education is small-scale and works with innovative forms of education such as Problem-Based Learning (PBL). Both the Dutch and English programmes are highly ranked by students and alumni. ESSB is home to over 2500 students and 300 staff-members.

Department of Public Administration and Sociology (DPAS)
The department benefits from a key position in the European public administration landscape through numerous editorial board positions and participation in several cross-national networks. Leading sociologist in the field of migration, political sociology and families are based in the department and participate actively in public debates and international research projects. Cooperation with third parties and conducting research with societal impact are key values of the department. The bachelor and master programmes reflect our diverse expertise and educate students to become active professionals. You will become part of an exciting, highly societally relevant project that examines the determinants of ethnic and class differences in perceived police legitimacy and formal punishment. Additionally, the aim of the project is to develop an instrument to identify youth and police who would benefit the most from receiving trainings. The project is embedded within the Erasmus Initiative Vital Cities and Citizens.


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