PhD Researcher in Educational Effectiveness and Quality

Leuven, Louvain (BE)
Jun 23, 2020
End of advertisement period
Aug 10, 2020
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time


(ref. BAP-2020-474)

The Centre of Educational Effectiveness and Evaluation (CE&E) is a research group of KU Leuven. CE&E conducts research within the fields of ‘educational measurement’ and ‘educational effectiveness and quality’. Educational effectiveness and quality research focuses on the effects of schools, teachers and classes on school achievement and on non-cognitive characteristics of students. Emphasis is put on the identification and improvement of teacher level and school level process characteristics in order to optimize the functioning of teachers, schools and educational systems. The centre has a history of conducting (inter)national assessments and longitudinal educational effectiveness studies. The staff of CE&E consists of about 60 people (tenured staff, PhD students, teaching staff, researchers, free research associates, secretarial staff, …).


The present PhD project fits within an ongoing research line on differential effectiveness of language and reading education. The different studies of this project emphasize the relationship between generic instructional factors and differences in learning gain in reading comprehension between low-risk and high-risk students. More specifically, the project investigates the impact of the teacher characteristics of the dynamic model of educational effectiveness (e.g., orientation, structuring, questioning, teaching-modelling, time management, …) on the quality of reading strategy instruction and students’ learning gain in reading achievement. Further, emphasis is put on the development and evaluation of the effectiveness of a professional development program focusing on the improvement of these teacher characteristics within the context of reading strategy instruction. For this purpose, the different studies of the project will fit longitudinal and randomized controlled trial research designs.


In close dialogue with the supervisor, the candidate defines the theme of the project and designs different empirical studies. Further, the candidate is responsible for data collection, data analysis  and dissemination of the results via international conferences and journals. Within a period of four years, this will lead to a PhD degree in Educational Sciences. The PhD candidate is additionally, but to a limited extent, involved in teaching assistance (first year exclusive).

The candidate:

  • has obtained a Master’s degree in Educational Sciences or a related discipline (e.g. psychology, sociology, linguistics), but with an emphasis on educational research (before 1 October 2020).
  • has completed her/his studies with excellent results
  • has a special interest in reading education, educational effectiveness research or elementary education. Experience in one or more of these topics is considered as a surplus.  
  • shows affinity with/or demonstrable expertise in quantitative research (and is also willing to professionalize)
  • is creative, scientifically curious
  • thinks and works in an analytic, systematic, meticulous and result-oriented way
  • is able to work both independently and in team
  • masters the English and Dutch language (oral and written)


We offer a flexible research environment. You will be part of an enthusiastic team that stimulates you to become a competent and experienced researcher.

You are collaborating with other (inter)national researchers and experts within the research field of educational effectiveness. 

Initially, we offer a one year full-time appointment as a PhD researcher. After a positive evaluation, this period is extended to 4 years.

Your workplace is located at the Faculty in Leuven.

Besides the salary, KU Leuven offers some additional advantages, such as hospitalization insurance, reimbursement for commuting by public transport, a KU Leuven bicycle, eco-vouchers, working from home, et cetera.

The candidate can start from 1 October 2020 onwards.


For more information please contact prof. dr. Koen Aesaert, tel.: +32 16 37 47 74, mail: koen.aesaert@kuleuven.be.

Candidates should submit their CV and application letter. Based on the evaluation of these documents, candidates are selected for an interview. Candidates that are selected for an interview will be informed, no later than August 10, 2020. The interviews will be held on August 17, 2020, in Leuven (if possible). The invitation for the interview will include a preparatory assignment which will need to be presented during the interview.

You can apply for this job no later than August 07, 2020 via the online application tool

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 diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.