Netherlands: 2 PhD candidates and one Postdoctoral researcher – Amsterdam School of Communications Research

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The Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR) is the research institute in Communication Science at the University of Amsterdam. It is the largest research institute of its kind in Europe and is among the largest worldwide. More than 50 senior researchers are permanently associated with ASCoR, and its English-language PhD program has more than 35 students.

ASCoR currently has two vacancies for PhD candidates and one vacancy for a postdoctoral researcher for the ERC-funded project ‘The entertainization of childhood’.

The project focuses on the positive and negative effects of entertainment media on children and adolescents. It is funded by an Advanced Investigators grant awarded by the European Research Council (ERC) to Professor Patti M. Valkenburg. ERC grants are aimed to identify and fund the most excellent scholars in Europe. The project will be embedded in the Center for Research on Children, Adolescents and the Media (CCAM), which is hosted at ASCoR.

The aim of the project is to investigate the interplay between genetic disposition, environmental influences, and media use on the cognitive, social, and behavioral development of children and adolescents. The project involves three subprojects:

  1. The first subproject will address potential positive and negative effects of media entertainment on children’s cognitive ability and learning.
  2. The second project will address effects of media entertainment on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
  3. The third project involves media entertainment effects on developing prosocial and antisocial behavior.

The three subprojects all involve a longitudinal study among 900 Dutch families with at least 2 children in the ages of 2 to 14 years. The recruitment of these families will be outsourced. The set-up and analyses of the project will be realized by an interdisciplinary team of senior and junior researchers from different disciplines, such as communication science, psychology, family studies, and pedagogy. All members of this team will collaborate closely with each other in all stages of the project, so that each individual researcher will benefit maximally from the expertise of other team members.

Postdoc and PhD candidates from all relevant disciplines are invited to apply. Although it is possible to apply for more than one subproject, candidates are encouraged to indicate and motivate their preference for at least one subproject. The division of subprojects over candidates will be made according to the backgrounds and preferences of the post-doc and PhD candidates.

The candidates are expected to do research and publish on the basis of the research. In the case of the PhD projects the candidates will also complete a PhD dissertation each.


All candidates should:

  • Have the ability and interest to work in a team.
  • Have the ability to interact with scholars from different disciplines.
  • Have an excellent written and spoken command of English.
  • Be able to speak or willing to learn Dutch.

In addition, prospective PhD candidates should:

  • Hold a relevant Master’s degree in behavioral, social, or medical sciences, preferably a Research Master’s degree. Candidates who are due to graduate before September 1st are also welcome to apply.

In addition, prospective postdocs should:

  • Hold a relevant PhD degree in behavioral, social, or medical sciences. Candidates who are due to finish their dissertation before September 1st are also welcome to apply.
  • Have excellent organizational skills.
  • Have the ability to supervise PhD candidates.
  • Have an excellent publication track record relevant to the project.

Conditions of employment

All positions start per September 2010, and are initially for 1 year. Extension of the contracts after the first year to a total of four years is subject to satisfactory performance.

The gross monthly salary will be in accordance with the salary scales for PhD candidates and postdocs at Dutch universities, i.e., ranging from €2,042 in the first year to €2,612 gross, based on fulltime employment, in the final year for PhD candidates, and ranging from €2,379 to €4,374 (Scale 10/11) gross, based on fulltime employment, for postdocs, depending upon experience and qualifications.

Contract type


Additional information

The project description may be obtained from the ASCoR Secretariat (

Questions about the project content should be addressed to Professor Patti M. Valkenburg ( Questions about the application procedure and other general questions should be addressed to the ASCoR Research Manager, Ms Dr Maaike Prangsma (

You may find the following websites useful:

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