PhD position 'The influence of the home environment on academic skills'

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    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)
    Cultural studies
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    22/03/2018 23:00 - Europe/London
    Netherlands › Amsterdam

The Department of Biological Psychology is looking for a PhD student for a project that is part of the NWO gravity program "Why some children thrive and others do not" from the national Consortium on Individual Development (individualdevelopment.nl). The project focuses on the interplay of genetic and environmental influences in school performance and behavioural control. You will use data from the Netherlands Twin Register (www.tweelingenregister.org) and actively contribute to the continuation and enrichment of the data collection. The project focuses on the effect of the home environment on school performance and behavioural control in adolescents. Are adolescents with a lower socio-economic background more likely to go to a lower level of secondary education than can be expected based on their school performance and behavioural control? Is the effect of the home environment on school performance and behavioural control larger in a lower socio-economic environment? What is the influence of several characteristics of socio-economic status (parental education, family income and neighbourhood deprivation) on school performance and school level?

As a PhD student you are responsible for part of the data collection at Statistics Netherlands and make use of the unique large-scale longitudinal database of the Dutch Twin Register. You investigate the causes of differences and similarities in school performance and behavioural control. In your PhD research you carry out behavioural genetic (genetic architecture and gene-environment interaction / correlation) and molecular genetic analyses (polygenetic risk score analyses).


The employment contract is entered into for a period of 12 months and with sufficient perspective extended to a total of 3 years. At the end of the third year, the employment contract must be concluded with a dissertation.

The Vrije Universiteit has attractive secondary conditions of employment and regulations such as:
• 8.3% end-of-year bonus and 8% holiday allowance;
• A minimum of 29 days' holiday with full working hours;
• Market-based travel expenses scheme.

You can find our terms and conditions of employment at our website.

Salary is in accordance with the CAO for universities. The salary is € 2.588,00 gross per month for a full-time appointment. The maximum salary is
€ 2.840,00 gross per month.

Selection process

Applications can be sent to Natascha Stroo, department manager, stating the vacancy number in the e-mail header and with a motivation letter, recent CV and grade list in one attachment.

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

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

Additional comments

For more information on the project, please contact: Prof. dr. Dorret Boomsma or dr. Eveline de Zeeuw.

Web site for additional job details

Offer Requirements

Specific Requirements

A completed research master in biological psychology, behavioural genetics, psychometrics, developmental psychology, or similar; knowledge of statistical methods (structural comparison models as implemented in Mx, Mplus, Lisrel and R); knowledge of genetic epidemiology and family research; experience with dealing with large, longitudinal datasets; interest in / knowledge of children's development; affinity with questionnaire research; willingness to take responsibility for data collection / data linkage; knowledge of quantitative genetics; good writing skills in (academic) English; good speaking and writing skills in Dutch are a plus.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
1081 HV
De Boelelaan 1105

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EURAXESS offer ID: 286480
Posting organisation offer ID: 45978