PhD researcher 'Young people’s learning in digital worlds: the alienation and re-imagining of education’ native speaker of Dutch (0,8 - 1,0 FTE)

The faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences is looking for a PhD researcher 'Young people’s learning in digital worlds: the alienation and re-imagining of education’ native speaker of Dutch. Are you interested? Then read ...

12 dagen geleden


Landelijk / geen vaste standplaats
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
32 - 40 uur
€ 2222 - € 2840 per maand


We are looking for a PhD student who has an interest in developing a study on young people’s development and learning in digital worlds.

Digital technology offers young people the possibility to gain control over their own development and learning. In alternative spaces such as online interest communities they can develop expertise and shape their identities, relatively removed from (mainstream) gatekeepers and guardians such as parents and teachers. At the same time there are concerns that these new digital spaces threaten, surveil, control and exploit young people. Consequently, societies struggle to adapt to the long-term impact of digitization and what it means to be educated might be troubling and confusing.

How technology impacts upon young people’s perceptions and practices of learning, through its potential to profoundly reshape notions of the self and the social, is an issue that is foregrounded in this project. It starts from the idea that young people are at the forefront of this new imagining of what being educated can or might mean for now and in the future.

From a philosophical analysis of the effects of technology as well as empirical research, the project centres around the question: how are young people re-conceptualizing contemporary cultural narratives of learning? Empirical research will be conducted with young people (14-19) in the last stages of their formal education, focusing on so-called high-end, or high-use, digital “experts” using (digital) ethnography, discourse analysis and social network analysis.

The research project is part of a larger international project in which a collaboration between Utrecht University and Deakin University, Australia is involved. Although the data collection in this PhD project will take place in the Netherlands, the PhD researcher will be part of this international, comparative project and work on cross-comparison across the research sites during this project. At the same time, the project seeks to contribute to policy issues and discussions at a national level on issues such as education in the 21th century or digital citizenship for youth.

The PhD project will be conducted within the larger research program Education and Learning at the Department of Education and Pedagogy, Utrecht University. Project leader of the UU project is Prof Mariëtte de Haan. Project leader of the Deaken University project is Prof Julian Sefton-Green. In the UU project a collaboration is established with the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Dr Claudia van Kruistum).


The candidate will contribute to the research project 'Young people’s learning in digital worlds: the alienation and re-imagining of education’ and further develop this project in collaboration with the team. There is room for the candidate’s own ideas and reflections on how to bring this about.

The candidate will contribute to the further design of the study, data collection, analyses and writing and is expected to publish in international scientific journals, write a dissertation and present results at national and international conferences. The candidate will be encouraged to write for national professional journals and fora.

The possibility exists to follow advanced graduate courses as deemed necessary. It is possible to teach at undergraduate level, in accordance to the specific profile of the candidate and the specific needs of our teaching programs.


We are looking for a motivated, independent and conceptually strong student experienced in empirical research from the Learning Sciences or Educational Sciences, or someone with an interest in the learning and development of young people from Pedagogical Sciences, Anthropology, Media Studies or similar.


- A (research) master's degree in the above mentioned disciplines or similar.

- Native speaker of Dutch.

- Excellent writing skills.

- Excellent social and communicative skills, and willingness to collaborate.

- Excellent research skills: experience with independently carrying out empirical research, experience with qualitative research (conducting interviews, qualitative analysis), preferably also experience with quantitative research.

- Knowledge and/or affinity with (at least a number of) the following fields: digital media, youth, learning, education, philosophy, digital citizenship, cultural diversity.

- Willingness to engage in international research (international travel).

- A good written and oral command of the English language.


The appointment of this position will be for 0.8 FTE for four (4) years. It is possible that, under certain conditions, the position can be supplemented with 0,2 FTE teaching tasks. The initial appointment to the position will be made for a 0.8 FTE or 1.0 FTE for one year that, with satisfactory completion, will result in an extension for an additional four or three years. It is expected that the appointee will complete all requirements for the PhD degree within this period.

The expected start date is no later than January 2018. The salary is € 2,222 gross per month in the first year and is expected to increase to € 2,840 gross per month in the fourth year, for a full time appointment, contingent on satisfactory performance. The salary is supplemented with an 8% holiday-allowance and an 8.3% end–of-year bonus.

We offer an enjoyable working environment, employment conditions and a stimulating research climate. You'll find more information about working at Utrecht University here.

Additional information

The research proposal for this project can be obtained via or via Further additional information concerning this position may be obtained by contacting Prof Mariëtte de Haan via


Utrecht University has great ambitions for its teaching quality and study success rates. This also applies to its clear research profiles, which are centred on four themes: Dynamics of Youth, Institutions, Life Sciences and Sustainability. Utrecht University plays a prominent role in our society and contributes to finding the answers to topical and future societal issues.

The faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences carries out relevant scientific research of a very high quality and provides challenging academic teaching in the fields of human behaviour and society. The faculty’s research and teaching contributes to a critical reflection on society, human behaviour and their interconnection. More than 5600 students follow a broad range of undergraduate and graduate (academic and research) programs, set up by a collaboration of two departments: Behavioural Sciences and Social Sciences. As a result of the faculty’s wide variety of programs and innovative and ground breaking research, some 850 staff members have ample opportunity to benefit from each other’s knowledge and expertise.


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