News and Events: Open Positions

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PhD on Benchmarking Scientific Explanation in Psychological Practice

Deadline: Monday 6 May 2024
Faculty/Services: Faculty of Humanities
Educational level: Master
Function type: PhD position
Closing date: May 6 2024
Vacancy number: 12858

Are you looking for a PhD position in a dynamic setting? Do you want to execute philosophy of science research informed by and engaging scientific practices? The Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) ( currently has a vacant PhD position for a talented student as part of the project Benchmarking scientific explanation in psychological practice, led by principal investigator Dr. Dingmar van Eck. The ILLC is one of the five Research Schools within the Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research.

Research at the ILLC is organized into six research units (Research units ILLC). This project is based in the Epistemology and Philosophy of Science (EPS) research unit. Within the methodology and philosophy of science, this position will connect to the team’s work on scientific explanation and methods applied to areas such as AI, Mathematics, Quantum Physics, Cognitive Science, Life Science and the Engineering Sciences.

What are you going to do?

You will develop an account of the explanatory power of scientific explanations in cognitive science. For this you will analyse and use philosophy of science literature on scientific explanation and explanatory power to select and investigate a number of empirical case studies drawn from cognitive science, understood broadly to include psychology, psychiatry, and neuroscience.

Tasks and responsibilities:

  • submission of a PhD thesis, within the period of appointment;
  • participating in meetings of the project research group;
  • publishing peer reviewed articles;
  • presenting intermediate research results at workshops and conferences;
  • assisting in outreach activities to cognitive scientists;
  • Participation in the PhD programme of the ILLC;
  • (Co-)teaching courses at the BA-level in the 2nd and 3rd year of the appointment (max. 0,2FTE per year)

What do you have to offer?

We seek to hire a candidate with a strong background in philosophy of science and who is knowledgeable of cognitive science. You are a team player, but can also work independently. You are curious, persistent, and ambitious. It is crucial that you are able (to learn) to process empirical case studies for philosophical purposes.

Your experience and profile:

  • a completed Master's degree in philosophy or related discipline, with a focus on philosophy of science. You may apply if you have not yet completed your Master's degree only if you provide a signed letter from your supervisor stating that you will graduate before 01 September 2024;
  • excellent research skills demonstrated by an outstanding Master's thesis.
  • a strong cooperative attitude and willingness to engage in collaborative research;
  • enthusiasm for communicating academic research to non-academic audiences;
  • good command of English.

Please note that if you already hold a doctorate/PhD or are working towards obtaining a similar degree elsewhere, you will not be admitted to a doctoral programme at the UvA.

What can we offer you?

We offer a temporary employment contract for the period of 48 months. The first contract will be for 16 months, with an extension for the following 32 months, contingent on a positive performance evaluation within the first 12 months. The employment contract is for 38 hours a week. The preferred starting date is 01 September 2024.

The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week and relevant experience, ranges from € 2,770 up to a maximum of € 3,539. This sum does not include the 8% holiday allowance and the 8,3% year-end allowance. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

What else do we offer?

  • excellent possibilities for further professional development and education;
  • an enthusiastic, inspiring and professional academic team.

About us

The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands' largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 42,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates study and work in a diverse range of fields, connected by a culture of curiosity.

The Faculty of Humanities provides education and conducts research with a strong international profile in a large number of disciplines in de field of language and culture. Located in the heart of Amsterdam, the faculty maintains close ties with many cultural institutes in the capital city. Research and teaching staff focus on interdisciplinary collaboration and are active in several teaching programmes.

The Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) is a research institute at the UvA in which researchers from the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Humanities collaborate. Its central research area is the study of fundamental principles of encoding, transmission, and comprehension of information. Research at ILLC is interdisciplinary and aims at bringing together insights from various disciplines concerned with information and information processing, such as logic, mathematics, computer science, linguistics, natural language processing, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, music cognition, and philosophy.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.


Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact (during office hours):

Job application

If you feel the profile fits you, and you are interested in the job, we look forward to receiving your application. You can apply online via the link below. The deadline for applying for this vacancy 06 May 2024.

Applications should include the following information (submitted in one .pdf by uploading in the required field ‘CV’):

  • A letter of motivation.
  • A half page description of your scientific familiarity with a topic in philosophy of science that relates to the research topic specified in the advertisement text.
  • A full academic CV.
  • A list of all Master-level modules you have taken, with an official transcript of grades.
  • The names and contact details of two references, including your advisor, who may be approached by the selection committee.

Only complete applications received within the response period via the link below will be considered.

The interviews will be held in the course of May 2024.

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

Application form:

Please note that this newsitem has been archived, and may contain outdated information or links.