PhD position in research project “Shaping our action space: a situated perspective on self-control" (1.0 FTE)

Hours per week: 
38 to 40
Faculty of Humanities
departement Filosofie en Religiewetenschap
Application deadline: 
15 March 2020

Job description

The PhD candidate is embedded in the research programme “Shaping our action space: a situated perspective on self-control” funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, and led by Dr Annemarie Kalis (Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Utrecht University). The programme aims to develop a situated account of self-control, arguing that agents are capable of exercising genuine self-control by changing their space of action. The aim of the PhD project is to provide a conceptual analysis of the notion of 'shaping one's action space', and to develop a systematic inventory of the relevant skills and psychological mechanisms involved. The PhD candidate should have a philosophical interest in the relation between activity and passivity in cognition, and in questions concerning agential capacities. Also, the candidate should be capable of engaging with psychological research and be interested in interdisciplinary questions.


The applicant should hold at least these qualifications: 
  • an MA or equivalent degree in philosophy, specializing in philosophy of cognition or moral psychology; 
  • proficiency in academic English;
  • the ability to work both independently and as part of a team, with good organisational and communication skills;
  • a keen interest in interdisciplinary research.


We offer a temporary position (1.0 FTE) for the duration of 18 months. In case of good performance and a positive evaluation, the contract will be extended for a period of 30 months (4 years in total). The gross salary starts with €2,325 per month in the first year and increases to €2,972 per month in the fourth year of employment (scale P according to the Collective Employment Agreement of the Dutch Universities) for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year. In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information about working at Utrecht University can be found here.

About the organisation

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 Humanities has around 6,000 students and 900 staff members. It comprises four knowledge domains: Philosophy and Religious Studies, History and Art History, Media and Culture Studies, and Languages, Literature and Communication. With its research and education in these fields, the Faculty aims to contribute to a better understanding of the Netherlands and Europe in a rapidly changing social and cultural context. The enthusiastic and committed colleagues and the excellent amenities in the historical city center of Utrecht, where the Faculty is housed, contribute to an inspiring working environment.

Additional information

For additional information about the project, please refer to the project description or contact Dr Annemarie Kalis at Please also refer to the website of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies and of Utrecht University for general information.

Employment will become effective in the summer of 2020.


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. To apply, please send your curriculum vitae, including a letter of motivation via the ‘apply’ button below.

Applications should contain the following: 

  1. an application letter showing your motivation for applying (please explain in your letter which aspects of the proposal interest you most, and which aspects you would personally do differently);
  2. a curriculum vitae;
  3. a transcript of grades and/or scan of your Master's Certificate.

The application deadline is 15 March 2020.