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  3. PhD position: Visual perception and the art of material depiction

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PhD position: Visual perception and the art of material depiction

Understanding the perceptual expertise of artists can generate novel scientific insights about visual perception. Vice verse, perceptual analysis of art can …

4 maanden geleden


Mekelweg, Delft, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
36 - 40 uur
€ 2325 - € 2972 per maand


Understanding the perceptual expertise of artists can generate novel scientific insights about visual perception. Vice verse, perceptual analysis of art can contribute to new art historical insights. This is the starting point for our project where we specifically focus on how artists depict material properties. The rendering of material properties is of interest throughout art history but also has contemporary relevance, ranging from computer animation to (online) product photography.

In this project we use psychophysical methods to relate perceptual responses to image content. Most of our experiments will take place online which means you will program in HTML and JavaScript. Typical data analysis requires knowledge of linear algebra and statistics.

The project mostly relates to visual perception of material properties, but is also related to art history. Furthermore, it is related to the field of visual communication design, as we are also studying (and designing) novel ways of communicating material properties (e.g. for online shopping purposes).

The (fully funded) PhD position is linked to the NWO-Vidi project ‘Visual communication of material properties’ lead by Maarten Wijntjes.


Applicants should have a recent MSc degree in (experimental) physics, experimental psychology, computer science, industrial design, or a similar field. The candidate has proven ability for doing quantitative research and scientific writing. Furthermore, the candidate has some experience in programming, or can convince the committee that she or he is able to pick this up smoothly. Experience with software such as R, Matlab or Mathematica is a pre. Since studying material perception often involves some understanding of light and matter, basic understanding of optics (or physics in general) would be a pre.

The goal of any PhD project is to become an independent scientist, so the candidate should be able to show independence potential. Furthermore, a perseverant and goal directed attitude is required, yet at the same time should be a team player fitting well in our team of PhD students.


TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. At the start of your appointment your salary will be 2325 euros gross per month (based on a fulltime appointment; salary scale P, step 0). When your performance is adequate, your salary will be increased annually to the next step in the salary scale until you reach the maximum of the salary scale (salary scale P, step 3). As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit www.tudelft.nl/phd for more information.

Additional information

Please do not hesitate to send informal questions about the position and project to dr. Maarten Wijntjes, email: M.W.A.Wijntjes@tudelft.nl, tel: +31614382500. Applications will be reviewed at the end of Februari, 2019, yet applications will be accepted until position is filled.

For information about the selection procedure, please contact Amanda Klumpers-Nieuwpoort, HR Secretary, email: afdelingID-personeelszaken-IO@tudelft.nl.

To apply, send a letter of application, a detailed CV, one recent academic publication (or master's thesis), a statement of research interests (concerning this project) and the affiliations and contact info of two people who could furnish a letter of reference.