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30 Fully Funded PhD Programs at Utrecht University, Netherlands

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Are you holding Master’s degree and looking for fully funded PhD positions? Utrecht University, Netherlands invites online application for multiple funded PhD Programs / fully funded PhD positions in various research areas.

Candidates interested in fully funded PhD positions can check the details and may apply as soon as possible. Interested and eligible applicants may submit their online application for PhD programs via the University’s Online Application Portal. 

1. Fully Funded PhD Position in Agent-based Modelling for Inspection Simulations

Summary of PhD Program:

In this PhD position, you will focus on simulating the inspection processes. Strategies that inspectorates use for selection of targets and enforcement in response to non-compliances invoke changes in the behaviour of the target population. In turn, these changes invoke updates in the strategies of the inspectors. It is difficult—if not impossible—to study and test the interactions between an inspectorates’ actions and the behaviour of inspectees outside of a lab setting because of practical and ethical constraints. In this project we aim to develop data-driven agent-based models to study these behavioural dynamics in a synthetic environment, and thereby enabling the evaluation of (data-driven) inspection strategies before field deployment, while testing for effectiveness, robustness, and fairness of target selection strategies.

Application Deadline: 19 May 2024

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2. Fully Funded PhD Position in Colonial Environmental History (19th Century Dutch East Indies)

Summary of PhD Program:

As a PhD candidate, you will be working on a project titled “Conservation before conservationism: Resilient environments in Dutch East Indies in the 19th century” funded by the PhD Programme Faculty of Humanities. This project explores the introduction and development of the system of plantation and enforced labour – known as the Cultivation System – on the island of Java under Dutch rule between 1830 and 1870. You are expected to compare environments that were transformed by such system and environments that resisted to it, and identify key factors able to explain the differentiated output. The overarching goal of the project is to look at local-imperial dynamics and find out strategies that determined the non-transformation of Indonesian nature.

Application Deadline: 17 May 2024

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3. Fully Funded PhD Position in characterisation of polymer-based gene delivery vehicles

Summary of PhD Program:

Our DNA is an intricate database holding all information essential to life. Although often correct, small errors can lead to (severe) genetic disorders. A promising strategy to cure these diseases is to rewrite the genetic database. In principle, this can be achieved by delivering therapeutic nucleic acids. To facilitate delivery, the nucleic acid cargo is packaged in nanoparticles. Despite the hypothesised potential, these particles typically only deliver a fraction of their cargo. Evidently, this is unacceptable for clinical translation and major improvements are needed.

Application Deadline: 12 May 2024

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4. Fully Funded PhD Position in Investigating Nanoparticulate Vaccine Behaviour in RA

Summary of PhD Program:

Current therapeutic approaches for RA often rely on broad immune suppression. While effective in managing symptoms, this hampers crucial immune responses including vaccine efficacy. Our research indicates that vaccination with antigen-carrying nanoparticles holds promise for long-term RA relief. In this PhD project, you will spearhead the translation of this approach to human patients, investigating how nanoparticulate vaccines interact with RA patient material, considering factors like disease state and medication impact. Your findings will be pivotal in predicting vaccine safety and efficacy for future clinical trials.

Application Deadline: 30 April 2024

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5. Fully Funded PhD Position in philosophy of science

Summary of PhD Program:

We are offering a fully funded four-year PhD position to a researcher interested in philosophically and experimentally investigating scientific hype, i.e., the phenomenon that occurs when scientists ‘oversell’, exaggerate, or overgeneralise findings (e.g., to untested populations) when communicating their research to other scientists or the public. This phenomenon has important implications for the social epistemology and ethics of science, as it may involve deception, corrode people’s trust in science, and contribute to failures of scientific replicability. However, scientific hype may also have yet unexplored benefits.

Application Deadline: 15 May 2024

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6. Fully Funded PhD Position in Caprock Integrity During Temporary Hydrogen Storage in Porous Reservoirs

Summary of PhD Program:

As society is trying to move towards a clean, low-carbon energy system, hydrogen is expected to play an important role, as it is a versatile energy carrier. Green hydrogen, produced from renewable electricity like wind and solar power, can be used as a fuel to (re)generate electricity and/or heat, or serve as feedstock for the chemical industry. However, wind and solar power are of an intermittent nature, meaning that large-scale storage of hydrogen fuel is required to balance seasonal variations in energy supply and demand, as well as to provide strategic energy reserves. Large quantities of hydrogen can be stored in the subsurface, for example in salt caverns or depleted oil/gas reservoirs.

Application Deadline: 15 May 2024

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7. Fully Funded PhD Position in Intentional Actions in Algorithms

Summary of PhD Program:

We are looking for someone who can conduct research and strengthen our research project. The research is embedded in the research theme “Cognition and Social Behaviour”, which includes the Goallab external link that combines fundamental and applied approaches to study human cognition and motivation in social contexts. Moreover, within our university, our group collaborates with other disciplines within the interdisciplinary strategic themes ‘Institutions for Open Societies external link’ and ‘Dynamics of Youth’ and the Focus area ‘Human-Centered AI’.

Application Deadline: 5 May 2024

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8. Fully Funded PhD Position in Market formation for sustainability innovations

Summary of PhD Program:

In this project, you will take an empirical approach to investigate how markets for sustainable innovations have been created in the past, explore how technological, regulatory, and market-related factors contribute to market formations, and develop a future-oriented methodology to better capture what kind of markets we want for sustainable innovations. The study will be conducted in the sustainability-related fields of mobility, energy, food and health, and in close collaboration with societal stakeholders.

Application Deadline: 15 May 2024

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9. Fully Funded PhD Position in Island biogeography through the lens of a geologist

Summary of PhD Program:

Since the days of Darwin and Wallace, islands have played a crucial role in the development of theories and hypothesis on the origin and evolution of species. Islands, being isolated, discrete, and numerous, provide a suite of natural laboratories that can be used as simplified model systems of the natural world. Island biogeography, the field of study of the geographic distribution of life’s diversity, specifically on islands, has traditionally been occupied by biologists. In the classical Theory of Islands Biogeography, which focuses on volcanic hotspot islands, MacArthur & Wilson (1967) postulate that insular species richness is correlated with island size and isolation from the continent.

Application Deadline: 10 May 2024

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10.
Fully Funded PhD Position in Theory or Computer Simulations of Soft Matter

Summary of PhD Program:

In this position, you will work in a dynamic team of PhD candidates and postdocs, who work on exploring adaptive, reconfigurable, shape-shifting, information-processing and computing properties within soft materials. You will have the opportunity to interact with a broad range of scientists working in the field of soft matter. The goal of this project is “the rational design of soft hierarchical materials with life-like functionalities using theory, computer simulations and machine learning”.

Application Deadline: 1 May 2024

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11. 02 Fully Funded PhD Position in Cellular structural biology of spermiogenesis

Summary of PhD Program:

Are you curious about how round male germ cells transform into streamlined sperm? Fascinated by proteins 3D structure? Eager to explore the limits of cryo-electron microscopy? Join our ERC funded team as a PhD candidate for four years of excellent training on an exciting and rewarding project. You will join a dynamic and enthusiastic research group that combines state-of-the-art cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) with biochemical assays to advance our knowledge on sperm biology.

Application Deadline: 6 May 2024

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12. Fully Funded PhD Position in Saying the right word at the right time

Summary of PhD Program:

Infants and toddlers develop through exploration of their environment and in human interaction with caregivers. Initial evidence suggests that the combination of exploration and human interaction, where objects are named at the right time during moments of so-called embodied attention, may serve as main learning mechanisms in early vocabulary development. This study focusses on naturalistic contexts, the home and centre-based childcare in a diverse sample of infants/toddlers.

Application Deadline: 19 May 2024

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13. Fully Funded PhD Position in δelta protein project

Summary of PhD Program:

The project “δelta protein” of the Delta Climate Center aims to explore opportunities for a transformation towards sustainable protein production and consumption in Zeeland, creating a more sustainable delta within planetary boundaries and with futureproof business models for entrepreneurs. Concretely, this means an evolution of terrestrial and marine food production practices, changes in the downstream value chain, and dietary adaptations. This is part of the development and implementation of a broader vision for the future in which the Zeeuwse delta is the source of healthy, sustainable, tasty and affordable food from the marine and terrestrial environment.

Application Deadline: 10 May 2024

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14. 03 Fully Funded PhD Position in Delta Adaptation

Summary of PhD Program:

Are you passionate about contributing to research on climate change impacts, which are becoming increasingly urgent? Join us in expanding our understanding of topics such as the effectiveness of risk reduction measures and their physical feasibility amidst rising climate change and sea-level rise. At the department of Physical Geography, we explore these adaptation options and link them to adaptation pathways aiming to promote sustainable deltas. To contribute to this research, we seek a team of three PhD candidates who will each work on a separate project.

Application Deadline: 12 May 2024

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15. Fully Funded PhD Position in Digital Calorimetry

Summary of PhD Program:

The analysis of the data of this new detector prototype advances into uncharted territory in the physics of particle detection. While a conventional calorimeter provides a small number of signals (of the order of 5-10 real numbers) per measured high-energy particle, a digital calorimeter such as the EPICAL-2 yields a high-precision 3-dimensional spatial map of tens of thousands of pixel hits. The much higher information content will need completely new approaches for the efficient reconstruction of measurements. You will be a key person in understanding the working principle of the new technology, obtaining world-wide unique results on detector physics and developing the new algorithms. 

Application Deadline: 29 April 2024

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16. Fully Funded PhD Position in Logic and Philosophy of Informational Content

Summary of PhD Program:

In this project, you will formally investigate the notion of informational content – a notion that is sometimes identified with meaning or cognitive significance. Content is what sentences communicate, what agents believe, and what norms express. This notion can also be useful for analysing relevance logics, which require a ‘content connection’ between the antecedents and consequents of valid conditionals. Because content plays a central role in belief, relevance, and explanation, a correct understanding of this notion is vitally important for theorising about agency.

Application Deadline: 1 May 2024

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17. Fully Funded PhD Position in Multilingual Books as Cultural Brokers in the Sixteenth Century

Summary of PhD Program:

As a PhD candidate in this project, you will investigate the role of multilingual books printed in two sixteenth-century cosmopolitan European cities, Antwerp and London, in empowering individuals from various social groups to navigate their multilingual societies. Multilinguals books enabled individuals to familiarise themselves with other languages and improve their multilingual skills. Several sixteenth-century cities were thoroughly multilingual places where encouraging competence in multiple languages was key to economic success. For many, strengthening their language skills was vital to fully participate in city life, with London and Antwerp standing out as the stage for this evolution of multilingualism because of the high degrees of literacy in these two cities.

Application Deadline: 26 April 2024

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18. Fully Funded PhD Position in Transformative Learning when Engaging with Biodiversity at the UU Campus

Summary of PhD Program:

You will theoretically innovate and empirically deepen the understanding and evaluation of transformative learning (pathways, outcomes, and experiences) from engaging with biodiversity in urban spaces and university campuses. The PhD research will result in a review of the learning experiences and outcomes, including shifts in mindsets and paradigms of young people, and new people-nature connections. The research will result in a critical examination of what, and how transformative learning takes place, with a focus on different biodiversity enhancing measures, and a new conceptual framework on how to transform university campuses to living labs enhancing people-nature connections.

Application Deadline: 30 April 2024

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19. Fully Funded PhD Position in Contributing to biodiversity recovery using university campuses as labs

Summary of PhD Program:

We are seeking a PhD researcher to (1) evaluate the contribution of innovative biodiversity recovery measures at university campuses to biodiversity conservation targets at the city, regional and national scale, as well as international biodiversity conservation and recovery targets (EU targets, Aichi targets); (2) identify most effective measures for biodiversity recovery; and (3) evaluate how university communities can contribute to effective, long-term monitoring of biodiversity developments. Concretely, the PhD researcher will combine novel tools and approaches for biodiversity monitoring and mobilise students, researchers and other stakeholders to participate in such assessments. 

Application Deadline: 30 April 2024

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20. 02 Fully Funded PhD Position in Understanding Artificial Agents’ Impact on Family Dynamics

Summary of PhD Program:

In this project, we will take a neurocognition-at-home approach to measure distinct aspects of social dynamics. We will develop a mobile lab that combines the strengths of self-report, behavioural, and brain measures, and assess social dynamics within homes of families living with an artificial agent. We will test theoretical predictions on how living with AI influences the similarity in trust, empathy, theory of mind, and affiliation between members and how this impacts family well-being. Besides in-depth interview, questionnaire, and behavioral assessments, you will be using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to record brain activity of all members simultaneously.

Application Deadline: 5 May 2024

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21. Fully Funded PhD Position in Assessing Carbon Sequestration in Blue Ecosystems

Summary of PhD Program:

The C-Blues project on Carbon sequestration in BLUe EcoSystems aims to advance the scientific knowledge on blue carbon ecosystems – seagrasses, tidal marshes, mangroves and macroalgae – in order to promote the role of blue carbon ecosystems in sequestering greenhouse gas emissions and their inclusion into climate mitigation.

Application Deadline: 15 May 2024

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22. Fully Funded PhD Position in Computer Science Education with Generative AI

Summary of PhD Program:

Recent progress in artificial intelligence (AI) is changing how we work with computers. Generative AI (GenAI), including large language models (LLMs) such as GPT-4, GitHub Copilot, and LLaMA, can now create and understand, to a large extent, programming code and instructions in human language. These new technologies have caused the computing education community to ask how they should change their teaching methods to face these challenges and make the most of this new technology. In this context, you will conduct research in the field of Computer Science Education, focusing on the relationship between computational thinking skills and the use of GenAI for programming.

Application Deadline: 5 May 2024

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23. 03 Fully Funded PhD Position in History and Philosophy of Physics, Biology and Science

Summary of PhD Program:

Bohr has been hugely influential both in physics and outside physics, but he is also largely misunderstood, partly because a few of his writings have been overstudied at the expense of many others. This ERC project is devoted to his philosophical legacy. It will establish an unprejudiced understanding of Bohr, building on a current revival of interest in Bohr’s ideas in the philosophy of physics, and extending it among other things to his wider influence in other scientific disciplines, specifically in biology, and on general debates such as on science and objectivity.

Application Deadline: 22 April 2024

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24. Fully Funded PhD Position in Theoretical Physics

Summary of PhD Program:

We seek an enthusiastic, capable PhD candidate who is interested in working on the numerical and theoretical characterization of colloidal gels – suspensions of micron-sized particles that stick together to form open network structures. You will become a part of the CoCoGel Marie Skłodowska-Curie Industrial Doctoral Network, together with 14 other PhD candidates, who will be working throughout Europe on bringing rational design to the structuring of colloidal gels. In this position, you will participate in the collaborative and training activities hosted by the CoCoGel network. You will be employed by Utrecht University, but as a part of the project, you will also be embedded in InProcess-LSP for a period of 18 months.

Application Deadline: 30 April 2024

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25. Fully Funded PhD Position in Quantitative Water Resources Systems Modelling

Summary of PhD Program:

Quantitative water resources systems models help decision-makers evaluate and improve the resilience of water supply systems. However, quantitative modelling frameworks often miss critical social dimensions and power dynamics that dictate outcomes for vulnerable populations. In this PhD position, you will develop new methods to operationalise equity considerations in quantitative water resources systems modelling. Working with a case study in the Federal District of Brazil (FDB), a region with a history of drought and a legacy of inequitable historical development, you will expand an existing modelling framework, explore the equity implications of climate change and socioeconomic uncertainties on the FDB system, and develop new policies to guide equitable and sustainable water supply planning.

Application Deadline: 1 May 2024

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