Postdoc 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 Postdoc Researcher will be 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 postdoc project will explore the role of 'shaping one's action space' in the development of self-control, and examine how the skill of shaping one's action space differs from other agential skills. Also, it will address the question to what extent we can legitimately expect agents to develop self-control skills. The Postdoc Researcher should have a philosophical interest in situated cognition and its theoretical foundations, and in questions concerning the development of agential capacities. Also, the candidate should be interested in collaborating with external parties in exploring the relevance of the addressed philosophical questions in nonacademic contexts.


The applicant should hold the following qualifications:

  • a PhD degree in philosophy, specializing in philosophy of cognition or moral psychology; 
  • expertise in the field of situated cognition and its philosophical foundations;
  • a keen interest in collaborating with external (non-academic) organisations;
  • proficiency in academic English;
  • the ability to work both independently and as part of a team, with good organisational and communication skills.


We offer a temporary position (1.0 FTE) for a duration of 3 years in an international working environment. Initially the contract will be for 1 year. In case of good performance and a positive evaluation, the contract will be extended for the remaining 2 years. The gross salary - depending on previous qualifications and experience  - ranges between €3,389 and €4,274 (scale 10 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month 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 scan of your PhD certificate.

The application deadline is 15 March 2020.