PhD position: Improving work-based assessment systems: focus on student engagement in self-directed

Jul 22, 2016
Oct 24, 2016
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time

PhD student: Improving work-based assessment systems: focus on student engagement in self-directed and active learning in workplace settings.

Job Specifications - (uitleg)

Solliciteer binnen 30 dagen op deze vacature

Job Description

SHE (the School of Health Professions Education, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML) at Maastricht University) is looking for a PhD-candidate for the project “Improving work-based assessment systems: focus on student engagement in self-directed and active learning in workplace settings.”

Background: Medicine is a self-regulatory profession, and medical students are expected to develop into self-regulatory learners. Medical students are thus required to become agentic learners in the clinical setting, whose learning results from engagement in the cyclical processes of (proactive) goal setting, strategy planning (to attain these goals), monitoring of task performance as well as evaluation and reflection upon outcomes – to generate useful information for subsequent performance. While developing into self-regulatory learners, students are then expected to deliberately and purposively engage in practice activities that maximize improvement; to not only receive but also self-generate meaningful feedback and to use this feedback to improve specific aspects of task performance. Research findings, however, suggest that learning in clinical settings is often reactive or implicitly gained from practice or experience, that opportunities to intentionally learn from work experiences are insufficiently used, and that development of SRL skills may be insufficiently supported. Moreover, recent studies on effectiveness of assessment in clinical settings (i.e. workplace-based assessments; WBA) suggest that current WBA disengages rather than engages students in work-based learning and that assessments, through their focus on measurement of outcomes, actually interfere with development of students into self-directed, effective learners.

The purpose of the research project therefore is to better understand Self-Regulated Learning (SRL) c.q. self-improvement strategies of students in undergraduate medical clinical settings (clerkships) and to explore how assessment design may enhance development of SRL/self-improvement in medical students.


MSc in Educational Science, Psychology, Medicine (MD), or other relevant domain.

  • Expertise and/or demonstrable interest in education and assessment for health care professions;

  • The candidate is highly motivated, proactive, creative and enthusiastic about conducting research in educational settings

                    - has excellent knowledge of research design and analysis of quantitative and qualitative data

                    - writes in English at a standard required for scientific publication and has a fluency in spoken Dutch and English

                    - is able to collaborate with a diverse group of researchers and practitioners.


Contract: Temporary, for the duration of 4 years (o.8 or 1.0 fte).
Salary will be € 2.174,-- gross per month in the first year, mounting to € 2.779,-- gross per month in year 4, according to the PhD-candidate salary scale.
Performance evaluation and assessment will take place annually.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website > Support > UM employees.


Temporary, 4 years


Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 16,000 students and 4,000 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Humanities and Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.


Graduate School of Health Professions Education (SHE)

The Graduate School of Health Professions Education (SHE) within the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences of Maastricht University offers a PhD program where national and international PhD candidates carry out educational research in the area of medical or health sciences education. PhD candidates receive supervision from highly experienced and internationally acknowledged educational researchers associated with the SHE. The two main research themes are: learning and innovative learning arrangements and assessment and evaluation. For further information contact: press button PhD program.

Additional Information

Dr. Marjan Govaerts, email, phone 043-3885746.

Applicants are requested to write a letter in which they describe their abilities and motivation, accompanied by a curriculum vitae, to be send to the e-mail addresses