PhD Astronomy Education

Leiden Observatory invites applicants for the position of

PhD Astronomy Education (1 FTE)

Leiden Observatory’s Astronomy & Society group is a member of the Dutch Black Hole Consortium (DBHC: DBHC is a group of 30+ scientists carrying out an interdisciplinary black hole research program throughout the Netherlands. DBHC develops new telescope technologies, studies the geology of the possible location for the Einstein Telescope (ET) and tries to answer deep theoretical and astronomical questions about space and time. DBHC is curiosity-driven and we want to share our enthusiasm with society as much as possible. As such, a third of the DBHC project is dedicated to education and outreach including developing a citizen science program, museum exhibitions and an educational research project for school children and teachers. 

The DBHC’s educational programme stimulates interest in science and technology amongst young people with a focus on girls and under-represented groups and will achieve these goals through the following activities:
-    developing a lesson package for upper primary school level which will be thoroughly tested in schools;
-    offering teacher training for both primary and secondary school teachers; 
-    organising research experience visits for secondary school teachers (HU). 

The project will strive to increase the participation of teachers from schools with students with low uptake in STEM studies and to improve science teaching methods to support scientific thinking in primary science lessons. Furthermore, the DBHC will work with the national educational policymakers and key national textbook publishers and advocate for the use of black hole content and educational resources in formal educational textbooks. 

The position
Leiden Observatory seeks a PhD student in astronomy education to study and contribute to the impact of the DBHC’s educational programme. The PhD student will develop lessons and conduct educational research in both formal and informal learning environments. 

The PhD programme will be co-supervised by the Smart Education Lab at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) and Leiden's Department of Science Communication & Society. There will also be close collaboration with DBHC partners, specifically the University of Amsterdam (UvA), the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht (HU) and the Education and Outreach team of the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA-NIC). 

Selection Criteria
The ideal candidate has experience in education research, namely: 
●    an MSc. in a relevant field for astronomy education, namely research experience in education sciences, education, astronomy education, STEM education; 
●    excellent quantitative and qualitative research skills in education;  
●    knowledge of the Dutch educational system; 
●    native-level Dutch language;
●    proficiency in spoken and written English and good communication skills;
●    team player and having a collaborative attitude;
●    knowledge on/or interest in research-action is preferred but not required.

For more information, see LINK