Vacancie: PhD researcher for a research project on a strengths-based approach to professional development of teachers

The Department of Human Resource Studies is looking for an enthusiastic

PhD researcher for a research project on a strengths-based approach to professional development of teachers

Job description
The PhD project is part of a research project on professional development of teachers, granted by NRO, the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research within Education (Nederlands Regieorgaan voor Onderwijsonderzoek). The project will be conducted by the Department of Human Resource Studies at Tilburg University.

Stimulating professional development of teachers is an important way to improve quality of education. In this research project, we depart from the positive psychology approach, and more in particular from the strengths-based approach to professional development. A central proposition is that when teachers are supported in identifying and furthering their strengths, this may lead to better professional development than when they are urged to remediate their deficits.

In one part of this project, we develop a strengths-based intervention that aims to support teachers in identifying, developing, and using their strengths. In a next step, we investigate to what extent this intervention leads to an increase in professional development of teachers by setting up a field experiment in various VET colleges (in Dutch: MBO-instellingen).

In another part of this project, we set up a Professional Learning Community (PLC) in which all researchers, trainers and representatives of the participating VET colleges (team leaders, HR professionals, and policy advisors) of our consortium collaborate. In this PLC, we will discuss the various quantitative and qualitative results of the first part of this project. The members of the PLC will evaluate these results on their value for their own VET colleges. Based on these discussions, we will develop, test, and implement concrete instruments (e.g., manuals and instruction video’s) that are based on a strengths-based approach and that can support VET colleges, team leaders and individual teachers in enhancing professional development.

Job requirements and qualifications
For the PhD project, we look for highly motivated, inquisitive, enthusiastic, and result-driven PhD candidates with an appropriate MSc degree (preferably research masters) in organizational psychology, educational sciences, Human Resource Management / Development. Excellent research skills and analytical abilities are required as well as excellent communication skills and proficiency in English and Dutch (both oral and written). Finally, we look for candidates who like to work in a team and possess cooperative skills.

Terms of employment
Tilburg University is among the top of the Dutch employers and has an excellent policy concerning terms of employment. The appointments are intended to lead to the completion of a PhD thesis. The PhD appointment begins with a period of 12 months. Continuation of the appointment with another 36 months (with an appointment for 1.0 fte) will be based on performance evaluation.

The gross salary for the PhD position amounts € 2.266 per month in the first year, rising to € 2.897 per month in the fourth year, based on a full-time appointment (38 hours per week).

Application and information concerning the vacancy
Applicants should send their CV and a covering letter to Hans-Georg van Liempd MSc, Managing Director, Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, only by the link mentioned below.

The closing date for applications is October 11th 2018, however applications will be reviewed upon receipt until the position is filled. Preferred start date is December 2018.

 Additional information about the vacancy at Tilburg University can be obtained from: Dr. Marianne van Woerkom (013-4662165

Tilburg University and the department of Human Resource Studies

Tilburg University is a modern, specialized university. The teaching and research of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences (TSB) are organized around the themes of Health, Organization, and Relations between State, Citizen, and Society. The School’s inspiring working environment challenges its workers to realize their ambitions; involvement and cooperation are essential to achieve this.

The Department of Human Resource Studies within TSB is a well-established department with a strong reputation in academia. The department is well-known for its expertise on the balanced approach to strategic HRM, strength-based and lifespan approaches to HRM, and inclusive HRM. Tilburg has been the only university in the Netherlands to offer both a Bachelors and Masters program in HR Studies.

For more information about the HR Studies department and other members of staff, please visit:

Acquisition regarding this vacancy is not appreciated.

Applications can be made via Academic Transfer: