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PhD Astronomy Education (1 FTE)

Vacancy number
Job type
PhD positions
Hours (in fte)
External/ internal
Placed on
13 September 2022
Closing date
15 October 2022 Vacancy closed

Leiden Observatory invites applicants for the position of

PhD Astronomy Education (1 FTE) 
Vacancy number: 22-577

Leiden Observatory’s Astronomy & Society group is a member of the Dutch Black Hole Consortium (DBHC: https://www.dbhc.nl). DBHC is a group of 30+ scientists carrying out an interdisciplinary black hole research program throughout the Netherlands. DBHC develops new telescope technologies, studies the geology of the possible location for the Einstein Telescope (ET) and tries to answer deep theoretical and astronomical questions about space and time. DBHC is curiosity-driven and we want to share our enthusiasm with society as much as possible. As such, a third of the DBHC project is dedicated to education and outreach including developing a citizen science program, museum exhibitions and an educational research project for school children and teachers. 

The DBHC’s educational programme stimulates interest in science and technology amongst young people with a focus on girls and under-represented groups and will achieve these goals through the following activities:
-    developing a lesson package for upper primary school level which will be thoroughly tested in schools;
-    offering teacher training for both primary and secondary school teachers; 
-    organising research experience visits for secondary school teachers (HU). 

The project will strive to increase the participation of teachers from schools with students with low uptake in STEM studies and to improve science teaching methods to support scientific thinking in primary science lessons. Furthermore, the DBHC will work with the national educational policymakers and key national textbook publishers and advocate for the use of black hole content and educational resources in formal educational textbooks. 

The position
Leiden Observatory seeks a PhD student in astronomy education to study and contribute to the impact of the DBHC’s educational programme. The PhD student will develop lessons and conduct educational research in both formal and informal learning environments. 

The PhD programme will be co-supervised by the Smart Education Lab at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) and Leiden's Department of Science Communication & Society. There will also be close collaboration with DBHC partners, specifically the University of Amsterdam (UvA), the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht (HU) and the Education and Outreach team of the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA-NIC). 

Selection Criteria
The ideal candidate has experience in education research, namely: 
●    an MSc. in a relevant field for astronomy education, namely research experience in education sciences, education, astronomy education, STEM education; 
●    excellent quantitative and qualitative research skills in education;  
●    knowledge of the Dutch educational system; 
●    native-level Dutch language;
●    proficiency in spoken and written English and good communication skills;
●    team player and having a collaborative attitude;
●    knowledge on/or interest in research-action is preferred but not required.

For more information, see https://www.science.leidenuniv.nl. and  https://workingat.leiden.edu/

Leiden Observatory, the astronomy department of Leiden University, is leading or involved in several important European and global educational programmes in astronomy at the elementary or secondary school level.  The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are driven by curiosity to expand fundamental knowledge and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future. The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organized in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 1,300 staff and almost 4,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together. 

For more information, see https://www.science.leidenuniv.nl. and  https://workingat.leiden.edu/ 

The Smart Education Lab (https://www.hva.nl/smarteducation) is part of the Centre for Applied Research in Education at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and focuses on the reinforcement of science education within the chain of primary education, secondary education, professional education and teacher training programmes. The core question driving the research efforts of the group is which didactic interventions are effective for developing knowledge, skills and attitudes in science and mathematics education. 

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science. Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness.
Diversity and inclusion are core values of Leiden University. Leiden University is committed to becoming an inclusive community which enables all students and staff to feel valued and respected and to develop their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High quality teaching and research is inclusive.
If you have any questions regarding the position, please contact Dr.Pedro Russo ( russo@strw.leidenuniv.nl )

Please submit your application through: https://jobs.strw.leidenuniv.nl/2022/AstroEduPhD/  including the following documents:
●    A letter of motivation;
●    An updated CV;
●    Contact details by at least two former supervisors.
Application deadline is 15th October 

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