PhD in Interdisciplinary Engineering Education

University of Twente



Job description

Are you passionate about how interdisciplinary education can improve interdisciplinary learning experiences at Technical Universities? Interdisciplinary education is a fast developing area of higher education, given the rising demand for skilled graduates who can handle complex societal challenges. Technical universities are at the forefront of these developments. This project might be the way to make a difference. As academic staff are generally specialists in a narrow research niche, implementing interdisciplinary education is not straightforward and staff are eager to find routes that will deliver the interdisciplinary learning goals they aim at. Through the STRIPES2021 (STRIPES: STRucturing Interdisciplinary Projects for Engineering Students) project local and international best practices are collected both with regard to overall set-up as well as zooming in on learning activities that are at the heart of the interdisciplinary learning experience. Examples are model-based reasoning and system engineering approaches that aim to connect concepts from all disciplines involved. Teacher teams are in charge of (re-)designing their courses to become more interdisciplinary, while being supported by educational consultants and experienced students. You will focus on these (re)designs while gathering data and collecting evidence of what works in our Twente context, and how these innovations can be implemented.

The PhD project will be supervised by Jan van der Veen and Miles MacLeod, with Kim Schildkamp as the promotor. You will additionally benefit from a wider 4TU network and international colleagues. You will work at ELAN, the Department of Teacher Development at the University of Twente. The University of Twente has deep expertise in teaching and learning with multiple institutions and departments engaged in educational research and management. The theme of “learning” is a strategic university priority. This position is connected to the 4TU.Centre for Engineering Education and will work closely with the Comenius Leadership project STRIPES2021, both aiming to enhance interdisciplinary engineering education at the University of Twente while applying a systematic approach.

Your profile

  • interest in science and engineering education;
  • a good team spirit;
  • an MSc degree in educational science and affinity with science and engineering, or an MSc degree in science and engineering combined with affinity in educational science;
  • strong analytical skills,
  • a desire to support innovative educational design through an evidence-informed approach;
  • a willingness and enthusiasm for collecting qualitative and quantitative data in order to enhance the evidence base for interdisciplinary engineering education;
  • profound knowledge of English (written/oral) and preferably also of Dutch or willingness to learn Dutch.


Are you interested? We are looking forward to receiving your application through this website which should include:

  • Motivation letter;
  • Detailed CV (resume);
  • University transcripts of M.Sc. education;

Full applications are due November 7th 2019.
For more information please contact Jan van der Veen

Our offer

Opportunity to investigate interdisciplinary engineering education and to advance your scientific skills.

  • Work with a dedicated, interdisciplinary team that works in close collaboration with teacher teams and students in our science and engineering faculties;
  • We appreciate a high degree of responsibility and initiative, there is flexibility and a desire for you to include your own ideas in this research;
  • A full time, 4-year position with a competitive salary and benefits including funding for traveling; Salary and conditions are in accordance with the collective labor agreement for Dutch universities (CAO- NU): you will receive a salary ranging from €2.325,- gross per month at the start to €2.972,- in the fourth year; Excellent other benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, a year-end bonus of 8.3% and a solid pension scheme.
  • A training program in which you and your supervisors will make up a plan for additional suitable education and supervision.

The organization

The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social sciences
The Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social sciences (BMS) strives to play a pivotal role in understanding, co-engineering and evaluating innovation in society. Innovation is driven by advances in technology. Through 'social engineering' these technological advances are embedded in society befitting human needs and behaviour, within proper public and private management and business structures. For this the faculty of BMS upholds high quality disciplinary knowledge in psychology, business administration, public administration, communication science, philosophy, educational science and health sciences. All with a focus on the challenges in society. Research is strongly connected to our institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centra and Digital Society Institute.

In your application, please refer to