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PhD position on socioeconomic inequalities in early Child Development and School Performance

The section of Clinical Developmental Psychology conducts research and education in the field of normal and deviant psychological development spanning the …

bijna 4 jaar geleden


De Boelelaan, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
40 uur
€ 2267 - € 2897 per maand


The section of Clinical Developmental Psychology conducts research and education in the field of normal and deviant psychological development spanning the period of birth to young adulthood. Research is aimed at understanding the development of externalizing and internalizing problems, psychopathology, school achievement and learning. Both children from the general population and clinical populations are studied. The department is involved in various longitudinal research projects focusing on the (joint) influence of biological, family, peer and teacher factors on child and adolescent development.

The persistence of large inequalities in health, disease and premature mortality between people with a different socioeconomic position is one of the main challenges for public health. Improving early child development and education is part of WHO’s main strategy to tackle health inequalities. However, the mechanisms through which socioeconomic inequalities in early child lead to poorer cognitive, social developmental and (mental) health outcomes remains unclear.

The overall aim of this project is to: (i) describe socioeconomic inequalities in cognitive and social-emotional development outcomes and school-related outcomes at age 12, and the underlying trajectories of inequalities in these outcomes; and (ii) examine the role of school, peer, family and neighbourhood-related conditions in explaining these inequalities and trajectories. Data will come from the Happy Children, Happy Adolescents Study, which is a school based longitudinal study in which children are followed longitudinally from kindergarten to early high school.

This project is a collaboration between the section Clinical Developmental Psychology of the Faculty of Behavioral and Movement Sciences of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and the Department of Public Health of Erasmus MC (professor F. J. van der Lenthe).

• The PhD candidate will assist in the yearly data collection and will be responsible for data cleaning and archiving
• The PhD candidate is furthermore responsible for the analyses and scientific reporting of results in national and international peer reviewed scientific journals
• The PhD candidate will participate in department meetings and department presentations
• The PhD candidate will complete the required PhD training in the Graduate School of the Faculty of Behavioral and Movement Sciences. Attending specific courses on complex longitudinal data analyses and presenting results in international scientific conferences is part of the PhD training
• The project will result in a PhD thesis


• Ambitious candidate with an MSc degree - preferably a research master - in any of the following (or related) fields: psychology, developmental psychology, epidemiology, education and child studies, health sciences.
• Outstanding study results
• Knowledge of developmental psychological theories and models of developmental psychopathology
• Excellent quantitative and analytical skills, good knowledge of and experience with advanced quantitative data analysis techniques, preferably demonstrated via previous experience in analyses of longitudinal data
• Excellent writing skills, preferably demonstrated through a publication in a peer reviewed scientific journal
• Well-organized and be able to work well in a team as well as independently


The appointment will be for a total of 42 months. The initial appointment will be for a period of one year, extendable up to 42 months upon a positive evaluation.

You can find information about our excellent fringe benefits of employment at www.workingatvu.nl like:
• 8% holiday allowance
• solid pension scheme (ABP)
• a minimum of 29 holidays in case of full-time employment
• competitive commuting expenses scheme
• discounts on collective insurances (healthcare- and car insurance)
• participation in Individual Choices model

The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel, and amounts € 2,267,00 gross per month in the first year up to € 2,897.00 in the fourth year (salary scale ) based on a full-time employment.

Additional information

For additional information please contact: prof. dr. P.A.C. van Lier
phone: +31 20 598 1515

Applicants should send a cover letter with their motivation, CV and, when applicable, list of publications before 19 July 2018 to:

Eugène Langendijk
Section Developmental Psychology
Department of Clinical, Developmental-, and Neuropsychology
VU University Amsterdam
De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam

It is also possible to apply via the application button.

Please mention the vacancy number in the e-mail header or at the top of your letter and on the envelope.

The job interviews for candidates who will be invited, will be held in the week of August 20-25 or 27-31.

The candidate must start the project no later than 1 October 2018.

Any other correspondence in response to this advertisement will not be dealt with.