PhD position on effective interventions tot increase social and academic integration of new STEM students

Posted 2 weeks ago

The proposed research belongs to Leuven Engineering & Science Education Centre, the unit “Study career guidance”. Our goal is to improve the first year experience and success of new students in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics, ie. by developing tools and interventions to improved study guidance. See website for an overview of previous and current research projects.
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The PhD student has to investigate the social and academic integration of new students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics)and the challenges that are faced by minorities (ie. first-generation students, women, apprenticeship students) during the transition to higher education. To accomplish this, the PhD student has to

  • develop and validate instruments to measure social and academic integration of these students
  • collect quantitative and qualitative data on social and academic integration of students before and after implementation of innovative interventions that were designed to improve the social and academic integration of new STEM students
  • investigate the effectiveness of the various interventions related to improving social and academic integration, well-being, and perceived support of the above mentioned target groups
  • optimize the innovative interventions in order to improve their effectiveness


  • You obtained a Master degree (cum laude/distinction) in a STEM domain and you combine this with a high interest in education and inclusion, or you obtained a Master degree in Educational or Social sciences, and you combine this with a high interest in STEM (also Master students who will graduate before October 2023 can apply)
  • You are highly motivated, meticulous and creative
  • You have a good statistical knowledge and excellent communication and planning skills
  • You have an excellent knowledge of English and good notions of Dutch. Fluency in Dutch is highly recommended, notions of French are a bonus.
  • You can work independently but are also a team player



  • On condition that the project on social and academic integration is approved and funding is received (decision date June 2023), a shortlist will be made based on the profiles of the candidates. Selection interviews with the shortlisted candidates are planned on Friday July 7th.
  • The candidate that is finally selected will receive a 2-year Ph.D. fellowship that is conditionally extendable up to 4 years;
  • The start date of the Ph.D. is no later than October 1st 2023


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Carolien Van Soom, tel.: +32 16 32 72 83, mail:
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

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