Assistant Professor of Developmental Psychology (1.0 FTE) at Utrecht University

This temporary position (until August 2025) offers recent PhDs in developmental psychology or neighboring disciplines the chance to learn and grow as an academic while preparing for a tenured position elsewhere.

You will be employed in the Developmental Psychology section of the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Utrecht University.

You have begun or are ready to develop an independent line of research that would contribute to the section’s research program that seeks to understand and promote youth’s social and personal growth. You are also committed to delivering high quality education to our bachelor degree program in Psychology or our international master degree program in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. Teaching in the bachelor is in Dutch, in the master in English.

The position allows ample opportunity for training (e.g. basic teaching qualification, grant proposal writing) and getting ‘on-the-job’ experience, mentored by the program chairs (Jaap Denissen, Sander Thomaes) and other colleagues.

The position involves 60% teaching responsibilities and 40% research responsibilities.


Teaching responsibilities will be dependent on your expertise and interests and determined in consultation with the teaching coordinator. Teaching responsibilities will typically involve course coordination, teaching lectures or workgroups, and individual student supervision (e.g. research theses, internships) in our bachelor and master programs.


You would conduct independent research within the context of the section’s research program, in collaboration with the program chairs and other colleagues. Our section prioritizes theory-driven research that fosters understanding of social and personal growth and maladjustment, and psychologically precise intervention to help youth thrive. Much of our research addresses societal challenges relevant to youth, in line with Utrecht University’s Dynamics of Youth strategic theme. You would be supported to publish and disseminate high quality research with societal impact, and to seek external research funding to solidify your independent research.



  • Strong commitment to quality of teaching and student supervision
  • Proven effectiveness of teaching and student supervision as evident from student learning outcomes
  • You do not need to have experience with course coordination or educational innovation, but we would ask you to invest in learning to take on these responsibilities, mentored by colleagues


  • Potential to do high quality research, demonstrated by high quality publications that have innovated the field
  • Potential to develop an independent program of research that fits with and complements the section’s expertise
  • You do not need to have experience with ensuring societal impact of your research, or obtaining external research funding, but we would ask you to invest in learning to take on these responsibilities, mentored by colleagues

Personal attributes

  • Team orientation: positive, interdependent attitude and proven ability to forge connection with colleagues
  • Eagerness to invest in professional growth (e.g. by acquiring a basic teaching qualification, by preparing grant proposals) that will place you in good position to apply for a tenured academic position by the end of your contract

Candidates who have recently (typically within three years) received a PhD in developmental psychology or neighboring disciplines are invited to apply.

Conditions of employment

We offer a full-time position for roughly four and a half years (contract until August 2025). Your salary will range from a minimum of € 3,746 to a maximum of € 5,127 gross per month based on a full-time employment (i.e. salary scale 11 according to the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

In addition, we offer attractive and flexible secondary terms of employment such as an annual holiday pay of 8%, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% per year and partially paid parental leave. We also provide an attractive working environment and a vibrant research climate. For more information visit Working at Utrecht University.

The starting date is preferably January or February 2021, but can be negotiated. At the moment, working from home (including much of the teaching) is the norm at Utrecht University, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. If working from home is difficult, we try to accommodate your needs.


A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences, and Sustainability.

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences 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. Almost 6.000 students are enrolled in a broad range of undergraduate and graduate programmes. The Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences has some 850 faculty and staff members, all providing their individual contribution to the training and education of young talent and to the research into and finding solutions for scientific and societal issues. 

Additional information

Additional information about this position can be obtained from Prof Sander Thomaes,