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  3. PhD position in Professional identity development and career choices of STEM students and young professionals

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PhD position in Professional identity development and career choices of STEM students and young professionals

While the popularity of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) study programs increased over the past 10 years, dropout rates among STEM …

ongeveer een jaar geleden


Drienerlolaan, Enschede, Overijssel
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 38 uur
€ 2222 - € 2588 per maand


While the popularity of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) study programs increased over the past 10 years, dropout rates among STEM students are high during college years, and during the transition to the labour market: less than half of all highly-educated STEM graduates opts for a career in the technical sector. In our previous project ‘Mind the gap’, we discovered that STEM students’ professional identity formation forms an important parameter to explain career choices. Especially non-prototypical STEM students (e.g., females, generalists) identify less with their future profession, have less confidence in a career in the technical sector, and thus have a lower tendency to choose for a career in STEM. The follow-up project ‘Bridge the gap’ (https://www.techyourfuture.nl/a-955/bridge-the-gap), focusses on how professional identity of STEM students and professionals changes over time in interaction with the (technical) study or work context. In addition, tools and interventions will be developed, tested and implemented to strengthen STEM students’ and professionals' professional identity formation and guide them in making conscious career choices. This PhD project forms an excellent opportunity to conduct scientific research that is directly relevant and applicable to field practitioners.

As a PhD candidate in this project, your job is to

  • Design and conduct longitudinal field studies and intervention studies
  • Implement evidence-based tools on professional identity development in educational and corporate STEM contexts
  • Work in close collaboration with researchers in the project team (including a post-doctoral researcher; click here for post-doc vacancy), as well as stakeholders and practitioners in the technical (educational and corporate) field.
  • Present findings for a scientific and a non-scientific audience
  • Report findings in peer-reviewed scientific journals, research reports, and finalise a dissertation.

The division of tasks between the PhD-position and post-doc position will be done based on expertise and interests of the candidates. The 3,5-year research project is a collaboration between University of Twente, Utrecht University and Saxion University of Applied Sciences. In addition, a consortium of five higher education institutes, 18 technical companies, and three expertise centres is participating in the project. The project is funded by TechYourFuture, 4TU Centre of Engineering Education, and TechniekPact Twente.


You have a MSc. degree in (Social, Organizational, Business) Psychology, Educational Science, or a related field. In addition, you:

  • have expertise or demonstrable interest in professional learning and development;
  • have an interest in the challenges related to STEM students’ school-work transitions; also from a gender and diversity perspective
  • have experience in field research with an interest in longitudinal field research and intervention studies;
  • have strong methodological and statistical knowledge and a willingness to learn additional statistical skills;
  • have good social and communication skills in academic as well as non-academic contexts;
  • are fluent in English and Dutch (minimum C1-level) and have excellent writing skills;
  • are willing and have proven ability to work independently, but also to collaborate with the team and stakeholders.

Job application

Your application should include the following documents:

  • a cover letter (in English or Dutch) which explains your interest in the position and your qualifications for it;
  • a curriculum vitae which also includes the name and e-mail address/telephone number for (preferably) two or more references;
  • a copy of your master's thesis or, if it is not yet available, a summary and table of contents of the thesis and an additional writing piece.

Applications should be uploaded via the application link below. Since only three documents can be uploaded per application, please combine documents if needed.

The application deadline is May 30th, 2018. Interviews will be held in June.

For additional information about this position you can contact dr. Ruth van Veelen (r.vanveelen@uu.nl) or dr. Maaike Endedijk (only after appointment via Sandra Schele, s.schele@utwente.nl / 053-4892022).

More information about the department of Educational Science can be found on the following website: https://www.utwente.nl/en/bms/owk/


A 3,5 year fulltime PhD position at the University of Twente (starting date September 1st, 2018), with a qualifier after 1 year. In accordance with the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement for Universities, the monthly salary starts at € 2.222 gross per month in the first year, leading up to € 2.840 gross per month in the last year. Employees are also entitled to a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus.

We offer excellent auxiliary terms of employment, such as professional and personal development programs; a secondary remuneration package; a dynamic environment with enthusiastic colleagues; an organization focusing on internationalization and a high degree of responsibility and independence.