1. Vacatures
  2. Universiteit Utrecht (UU)
  3. PhD candidate 'Individual profiling of detection dogs' (1.0 FTE)

Helaas, deze vacature staat inmiddels niet meer online

Kijk gerust verder naar andere vacatures.

PhD candidate 'Individual profiling of detection dogs' (1.0 FTE)

For the project ‘Individual profiling of detection dogs' we are looking for a creative Researcher with a passion for animal (dog) behaviour.

ongeveer 2 maanden geleden


Domplein, Utrecht, Utrecht
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
36 - 40 uur
€ 2395 - € 3061 per maand


As part of a collaborative project between Utrecht University (UU) and the Dutch Police, we seek an enthusiastic candidate for a PhD position within the field of biometric data use to simultaneously improve detection performance and welfare in police dogs. This position is within the project ‘Individual profiling of detection dogs’.
A more efficient usage of a detection dog’s functional qualities and behavioural needs, thus taking welfare and performance into consideration, will add to community safety as provided by the Dutch police.

The goals of the PhD project are threefold:

  1. to define detection dog performance criteria;
  2. to develop and validate methods allowing for individual behavioural profiling of 'good’ detection dogs, and
  3. to investigate the possible relationship between detection quality and lateralization as a possible additional measure for detection quality. Dogs better applied to their functions may guarantee better welfare.
You will make use of a variety of techniques (partly to be developed) for instance to gain insight into individual coping styles, stress responses, physical, mental and social needs. Furthermore, you need to master the development, implementation and analysis of questionnaires (Delphi technique) as a start of the project. The planned start of the project is 15 December 2020.

The findings of the PhD project will be published in peer-reviewed journals and you will present your work in the department and at international conferences. You will be responsible for the daily supervision of students participating in the project.
As this PhD position is part of a bigger collaborative project between Utrecht University and the Dutch Police, you will closely collaborate with at least one other PhD candidate (to be recruited).


  • an MSc degree in ethology, veterinary sciences or equivalent;
  • a highly motivated curiosity-driven and creative individual with a passion for animal (dog) behaviour;
  • experience with behavioural techniques and a profound knowledge of statistics. Please specifically describe your experience and motivation in your cover letter;
  • willingness to travel;
  • very good Dutch communication skills;
  • proficiency in English, both spoken and written;
  • high technical affinity and analytical skills;
  • demonstrable organisational skills, perseverance and an independent, pro-active working style;
  • a strong motivation to (learn how to) communicate your research in journal papers and international conferences;
  • a keen interest in the outreach of your work outside the academic setting (e.g. through meetings with our collaboration partner);
  • an enthusiastic mindset as a team player;
  • the willingness to look beyond the borders of your own discipline and a strong motivation to work in a multidisciplinary team.


We offer a position (1.0 FTE), initially for a period of four years. The gross salary - depending on previous qualifications and experience - ranges between €2,395 and €3,061 (scale P 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.

Additional information

For more information, please contact Prof Saskia S. Arndt (Chair in Animal Behaviour), via s.s.arndt@uu.nl. Please do not send your application letter to this e-mail address.