Postdoctoral Researcher 'Multilingual voices in STEM education' (Multi-STEM) (0.7 FTE)

Hours per week: 
24 to 28
Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Departement Educatie & Pedagogiek
Application deadline: 

Job description

The Department Development & Education of Youth in Diverse Societies of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences is looking for an enthusiastic and motivated postdoctoral Researcher for the Multi-STEM project.

The Multi-STEM project is a joint research project of Utrecht University, Hogeschool Utrecht and Hogeschool iPabo, which aims to promote the participation of multilingual children in education: both in Science & Technology and Mathematics.

Aims of the Multi-STEM project
The core idea of pedagogical translanguaging is that students’ home languages (other than the language of instruction) are used as resources for participation in education. The Multi-STEM project studies this idea in mathematics, science, or technology (STEM) education, where Dutch is the language of instruction. Using design-based implementation research, multilingual strategies will be developed, implemented and evaluated in collaboration with stakeholders (teachers, museum professionals, parents, children). The aim of the Multi-STEM project is to understand how these multilingual strategies can promote migrant children’s STEM participation (achievement and inclusion) in and across formal, non-formal and informal learning.

The postdoc will collaborate with three PhD candidates. While the PhD projects focus on pedagogical translanguaging in and across school, science museums, and home contexts, the postdoc will conceptualize pedagogical translanguaging as a form of boundary crossing. The theoretical framework of boundary crossing allows for the identification of learning mechanisms as well as the conditions under which they occur. The postdoc will conduct a longitudinal study focusing on the mechanisms and processes involved in the use of home languages across formal (school), non-formal (science museum) and informal (home) contexts.

More specifically, the objectives of this postdoc project are to:

  • determine teachers’ and parents’ attitudes towards translanguaging;
  • investigate interactions between non-formal and informal learning settings and the role of translanguaging strategies therein;
  • identify the mechanisms and processes involved in migrant (and other) children’s participation across formal, non-formal, informal settings and articulate the role of translanguaging strategies therein;
  • develop a theoretical framework for pedagogical translanguaging as a form of boundary crossing.


You are an enthusiastic and motivated researcher with: 

  • a PhD degree in one of the following or neighboring disciplines: Multilingualism, bilingual education, boundary crossing across learning contexts, parent involvement in education;
  • good communication skills in English and in Dutch (or the willingness to learn Dutch within a year);
  • knowledge of translanguaging and/or boundary crossing;
  • affinity with methodology (e.g., design research, research–practice partnerships);
  • affinity with science, technology, or mathematics at the primary school level.


We offer a temporary position (0.7 FTE) for 5 years. The gross salary - depending on previous qualifications and experience - ranges between €2,838 and €4,474 (scale 10 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment.

The salary is supplemented with an annual holiday pay of 8%, and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% per year. We offer flexible employment conditions and terms of employment to support a good work – life balance of our employees. Other secondary conditions include a pension scheme and partially paid parental leave. For more information, please visit Working at Utrecht University.

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 Social and Behavioural Sciences is one of the leading faculties in Europe providing research and academic teaching in cultural anthropology, educational sciences, interdisciplinary social science, pedagogical sciences, psychology, and sociology. Almost 6.000 students are enrolled in a broad range of undergraduate and graduate programmes. The Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences has some 850 faculty and staff members, all providing their individual contribution to the training and education of young talent and to the research into and finding solutions for scientific and societal issues.

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact Elma Blom (Professor) by email:


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. Please also include contact information for two professional references in your CV.

In connection with the current measures regarding Covid-19, the conversations will possibly take place online.

The procedure consists of two rounds of interviews:

  • The first interview is scheduled to take place on November 9, 2021.
  • The second interview, if necessary, is scheduled to take place on November 23, 2021.

Preferred starting date: February 1, 2022.

Acquisition as a result of this vacancy is not appreciated.

The application deadline is 31 October 2021.