Job description

We are looking for a Postdoctoral researcher within the Dynamics of Youth research domain ‘Becoming Adults in a Changing World’ (2022-2026). The position involves both research within and development/organisation of the domain.

From 2022 onwards, the UU strategic theme Dynamics of Youth 

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 will be organised in four research domains. ‘Becoming Adults in a Changing World’ is one of those domains. Broadly, research in this domain focuses on conceptualising and predicting the transition to adulthood from various perspectives (developmental psychology, education, economics, philosophy, etc.). Such transitions can revolve around life choices, establishing an identity, finding a place on the job market, housing, identity issues, wellbeing after/with COVID, media use, sustainability discussions, fake news, etc. The domain is chaired by Dr. Marije van Braak from the Humanities Faculty, and Prof. Dr. Jaap Denissen from the Faculty of Social Science. The Postdoc will conduct their tasks in close collaboration with the domain chairs and can be based at either faculty.

The creation of the domain ‘Becoming Adults in a Changing World’ in 2022 builds on earlier organisational structures that facilitated interdisciplinary research 

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 around this and similar themes. The novel domain provides ample opportunities for creative development of meaningful connections between research and society, researchers and adolescents, and cutting-edge projects. To create the structures and momentum for such research, we need innovative ideas, strong communicators, and exploratory pioneers. Building structures and networks around research themes or societal issues for collaboration will be a key activity involved in this work.

The Postdoctoral research will be shaped in coordination with the Postdoc and can involve:

  • setting up research projects that advance our understanding of becoming an adult in our current society (e.g., literature review on the concept of adulthood from various disciplinary perspectives);
  • proactively reaching out to interested and potentially interested researchers and societal partners to establish sustainable collaborations to develop the organisational structure of the domain;
  • organising a variety of inspiring and activating activities to connect researchers and partners within the domain;
  • contributing to scientific and practical publications that contribute to our knowledge and facilitation of adolescents’ transition into adulthood;
  • actively contributing to ensuring the relevance and recognisability of the domain within and outside the UU.


This position requires a dynamic mix of high-quality academic research and translation of that work into benefits for society.  
Qualifications are: 

  • a completed a PhD in a relevant discipline;
  • written and oral fluency in English and ideally in Dutch (or willingness to acquire fluency in the latter);
  • expertise in qualitative and/or quantitative research;
  • ability to think broadly and creatively in an interdisciplinary fashion;
  • experience with collecting and/or analysing data, ideally in adolescent and/or early adult context;
  • team work skills: building a team/community, networking, taking and sharing responsibility, good sense of group dynamics;
  • project development and organisational skills: being proactive and flexible, organising meetings, and keeping track of deadlines.


We offer: 

  • a mixed research and organisation position (0.8 FTE) beginning September 1, 2022, until June 30, 2026. Approximately 0.4 FTE is reserved for research, the other 0.4 FTE for development and organisation of the domain;
  • a gross monthly salary, ranging between €3,557 and €4,670 (based on a full-time basis, scale 10 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) plus a yearly 8% holiday allowance in May, and an 8.3% end-of-year allowance in December;
  • networking and support for personal development and career planning;
  • a wide range of secondary employment conditions, such as excellent technical infrastructure, savings schemes, excellent sports facilities, and parental and maternity leave. More information about the terms of employment; external link
  • the conditions of employment correspond with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU) external link.

About the organisation

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University 

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, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on the Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

Utrecht is a young and vibrant city with an extensive academic population, around 30 minutes south of Amsterdam. It combines a beautiful old city center with a modern university. Utrecht has an excellent quality of life, with plenty of green space and strong bicycle culture.

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences 

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 is one of the leading faculties in Europe providing research and academic teaching in cultural anthropology, educational sciences, interdisciplinary social science, pedagogical sciences, psychology, and sociology. More than 5,600 students are enrolled in a broad range of undergraduate and graduate programmes. The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences has some 850 faculty and staff members, all providing their individual contributions to the training and education of young talent and to the research into and finding solutions for scientific and societal issues. 

The Faculty of Humanities 

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 has around 6,000 students and 900 staff members. It comprises four knowledge domains: Philosophy and Religious Studies, History and Art History, Media and Culture Studies, and Languages, Literature and Communication. With its research and education in these fields, the faculty aims to contribute to a better understanding of the Netherlands and Europe in a rapidly changing social and cultural context. The enthusiastic and committed colleagues and the excellent amenities in the historical city center of Utrecht, where the faculty is housed, contribute to an inspiring working environment.

Additional information

For more information or questions concerning possible interference of the timing of this application and your holidays, please contact dr. Marije van Braak 

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 ( or prof. dr. Jaap Denissen 

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Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. To apply, please submit the following using the ‘apply’ button: 

  • a motivation letter (2 pages maximum) including a description of how you meet the job requirements and preferred qualifications;
  • contact details for three professional references;
  • and of course a CV (6 pages maximum).

After August 7, a selection of candidates will be asked to provide a video response to a set of questions within one week. If this timing interferes with your holidays, we encourage you to apply as early as possible, so that we can review your application and let you know as soon as possible (before August 7, if needed) if you are selected into the video round.

This position will remain open until filled.

The application deadline is 7 August 2022.



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