The Eindhoven School of Education (ESoE) of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) has a vacancy for a fulltime Postdoc position on the pedagogy of challenge-based learning.

In their vision document ‘Strategy 2030’ Eindhoven University of Technology has indicated their ambition to move towards challenge-based learning (CBL) as a model for educating the engineers of the future. Central to CBL is that students acquire knowledge by engaging in real-life challenges, often in multi-disciplinary teams. CBL is an innovative educational model which is getting shape through the involvement of a broad variety of staff at the university, inspired by own experiments and knowledge of comparable innovations elsewhere. The development of CBL is research-based: the effects of CBL pilots on student’ learning are carefully studied so the design of CBL can be adapted based on the research outcomes. The focus of this postdoc project is on the optimal pedagogy of CBL, in general and for different subgroups of students. Important research questions that will be addressed are:

• What is the optimal balance between student autonomy and self-regulation on the one hand and teacher guidance and support on the other for realizing productive CBL processes?

• How does this differ for 1st, 2nd and 3rd year students, and for postgraduate students?

• How should subject area differences be taken into account in designing CBL?

• How can knowledge acquisition and knowledge application best be integrated in CBL?

• How can the complexity of challenges and students’ self-regulated learning be systematically increased during a Bachelor program?


The postdoc will be based in the research group of Eindhoven School of Education. ESoE is the expertise centre of Eindhoven University of Technology in the field of the education and professional development of (future) teachers, and research and educational innovation in the STEM domain in secondary as well as higher education. ESoE is active in three areas: education, research and innovation. Recently the research portfolio of the group on research and development of higher engineering education has been growing significantly.


The postdoc will:

• Conduct a literature review on CBL and related educational models

• Design and conduct empirical research on the effects of CBL experiments

• Design and adapt tools for measuring effects of CBL on students’ learning and engagement

• Collect and analyse data, both qualitatively and quantitatively

• Report the research results for both practice-oriented as well as scholarly audiences, both verbally and in writing.

• Present their work at national and international conferences

• Contribute to writing project proposals and applying for funding for future research

Functie eisen

• PhD in a relevant discipline

• Good research skills for review and empirical research in higher education

• Knowledge of innovations in higher education

• Knowledge of or affinity with engineering education

• Positive attitude towards innovative teaching and learning

• Being able to work independently and collaboratively

• Excellent communication skills both verbally and in writing

• Creative and analytical mind


• A 1.0 or 0.8 fte temporary employment for a period of 5 years

• A gross monthly salary between € 3.225 and € 4.274 (on a full-time basis), depending on knowledge and experience; plus holiday allowance (8% of annual salary, in May) and end-of-year allowance (8.3% of annual salary, in December)

• Support for personal development and career planning

• A wide range of secondary employment conditions, such as excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, daycare, savings schemes, excellent sports facilities, and parental and maternity leave.

• Membership of a vibrant research and educational community

Startingdate:1 February 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter


The application must consist of the following components:

• A letter explaining motivation and qualifications for the position

• A detailed Curriculum Vitae (including publications)

• The names of 2-3 referees.

It is possible that selected candidates are first invited for a Skype interview and later for a visit to the TU/e.