PhD Candidate in Computer Science

Radboud University

Employment0.8 - 1.0 FTE
Gross monthly salary€ 2,541 - € 3,247
Required backgroundResearch University Degree
Organizational unitFaculty of Science
Application deadline27 August 2023
Do you have a degree in Computing and a strong interest in understanding how to best foster learning in students of this discipline, with an emphasis on sustainability? Or do you have a degree in Science Education and would you like to explore how educational theories apply to Computer Science Education? With this PhD project you will have the opportunity to take part in developing strategies for teaching and learning, inform current and future practices, and work in an important and impactful research area at the Institute for Science Education (ISE).

We are looking for a motivated and passionate PhD Candidate to contribute to the exciting field of Computer Science Education, particularly in relation to the intersection with the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs). In collaboration with your daily supervisor you will define the exact subject of the project and write a research proposal. You will engage in cutting-edge research and disseminate your results through publication in scholarly journals and participation in international conferences and workshops. Alongside your research, you will be involved in the teaching activities of the institute. You will take part in the institute's research on scientific literacy, which can be seen as the interplay between gaining a knowledge base (science content knowledge), being aware of the influence of science in society (living with science), and understand how science works (nature of science). Current complex sustainability issues require a more powerful interpretation of scientific literacy. Organisations such as UNESCO and OECD have signalled that understanding social contexts in terms of scientific concepts is no longer enough: modern science education must educate young people to feel socially responsible and be willing and able to take real action to bring about necessary changes. This contemporary understanding of scientific literacy calls for transformative science education, in which research (inquiry) and making (design and construction) are important learning activities. We explore suitable approaches to teaching and learning, as well as the roles and competencies required of teachers. Computer science has a dual role in the context of transformative education. It deals with empowering technology, instrumental in facilitating young people's agency through design and construction skills, and crucial in implementing SDGs. On the other hand, sustainability concerns (e.g. relating to power consumption) impact responsibilities and competencies to be addressed in modern computer science education. You will carry out research as a member of the Institute for Science Education, under the supervision of Dr Mara Saeli and Prof. Erik Barendsen. Your teaching load may be up to 10% of your working time.


  • You are an enthusiastic candidate with a Master's degree in a relevant area (Computer Science, Computer Science Education, Science Education, or Cognitive Science).
  • You have a keen interest in education (teaching and learning) and in sustainability issues. Experience with teaching in secondary education and/or the design of instruction materials is an added value, but not a requirement.
  • You appreciate working in a team and are willing to use your managerial and communication skills to play an active role in our institute.
  • You have academic level English language skills, both written and oral. Knowledge of Dutch is a plus.
  • You have excellent communication skills towards colleagues, students and non-experts.

We are

The Institute for Science Education is an interdisciplinary institute hosting a scientific group, Science Education Research, and an outreach organisation, the Radboud Pre-University College (PUC) of Science. Our research aims to develop theories, methods and tools to support the development of science students' subject-specific thinking and science teachers' practical knowledge and skills. Teaching activities include courses in a Master's programme in Science Teacher Education and an elective Science Education programme for Bachelor's students. Our institute contributes to national curriculum development for primary and secondary education. Radboud PUC of Science acts as a bridge between secondary schools and university and organises enriching and inspiring science activities for students and teachers in secondary schools. PUC also provides a practice environment for courses of the institute.

The Institute for Science Education is embedded in Radboud University's Faculty of Science, which is a complete, student-oriented science faculty where research and education are closely related. The Faculty aims to be an academic community with an international character, where staff members from different backgrounds can combine their talents with the common goal of being a leading faculty of science in Europe. In both research and in education, ISE collaborates with the other Faculty institutes, as well with the Radboud Teachers Academy.

Radboud University

We are keen to meet critical thinkers who want to look closer at what really matters. People who, from their expertise, wish to contribute to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This ambition unites more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University and requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!

We offer

  • It concerns an employment for 0.8 (5 year contract) - 1.0 FTE (4 year contract).
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,541 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,247 from the fourth year onwards (salary scale P).
  • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract) or 3.5 years (5 year contract).
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
  • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 29 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.

Additional employment conditions

Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.

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Would you like more information?

For questions about the position, please contact Mara Saeli, Assistant Professor at mara.saeli [at]  Alternatively, you can contact Erik Barendsen, Full professor at erik.barendsen [at]

Practical information and applying

You can apply until 27 August 2023, exclusively using the button below. Kindly address your application to Mara Saeli. Please fill in the application form and attach the following documents:
  • A letter of motivation.
  • Your CV.
The first round of interviews will take place on Monday 4 September. The second round of interviews will take place on Monday 25 September. You would preferably begin employment as soon as possible.

We can imagine you're curious about our application procedure. It offers a rough outline of what you can expect during the application process, how we handle your personal data and how we deal with internal and external candidates.
Application deadline 27 August 2023

We would like to recruit our new colleague ourselves. Acquisition in response to this vacancy will not be appreciated.

Dr Saeli, M. (Mara)

Assistant Professor
mara.saeli [at]