Interdisciplinary PhD project on ‘Menopausal Fears’ (1.0 FTE)


Faculty of Arts


University of Groningen

Job description

The Faculty of Arts (University of Groningen) and the Faculty of Medical Sciences (University Medical Center Groningen) offer a four year PhD position within a joint interdisciplinary project led by Prof. Rina Knoeff ( and Prof. Tineke Oldehinkel (

The PhD-project connects two formally separated areas of investigation into menopausal complaints: empirical research and interpretation from a historical and cultural perspective. It adds to the recent medicalization of the menopause an analysis of how negative attitudes (i.e. fears of ageing, loss of femininity and disease) towards the menopause, often expressed in the media, are related to how women experience (peri)menopause. In doing so, it builds on recent research suggesting that the experience of menopause is influenced not only by biological factors but also by sociocultural and psychological ones, and hence contributes to a more comprehensive perception of this transition in women’s lives. Via the Groningen database Lifelines the project investigates current and—in case of peri- and postmenopausal women—former, premenopausal attitudes towards the menopause in 35+-years-old women. To understand what might have influenced these women’s thinking, the project historically researches popular media outlets and feminist writings over the period 1950-2020. This will offer important insights into the cultural roots and societal mechanisms that contribute to how women experience the menopause.

Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative center of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 36,000 students and researchers to develop their own individual talents. Belonging to the best research universities in Europe and joining forces with prestigious partner universities and networks, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.


The PhD student is expected to have the following qualifications:

- a Research Master degree in the historical, medical, health or social sciences, or an equivalent education
- A passion for research
- an interdisciplinary attitude and willingness to bridge history and psychology
- willingness to learn statistical methods to analyse longitudinal data as well as methodologies and datamining techniques as used in the humanities
- fluency in English and Dutch (both oral and written)
- the ability to work independently in an interdisciplinary environment
- the organization skills to finish the PhD project in four years
- a desire to plan, take initiative, write and publish academic articles, and present findings at meetings and conferences
- willingness to move and reside in Groningen

The employment for this position will be full time for 4 years and will be under the Ph.D. conditions of the collective work agreement (CAO) of Dutch Universities.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 4 years.

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

- a salary of € 2,770 gross per month in the first year of the appointment, rising to € 3,539 (salary scale P) gross per month in the fourth year for a full-time position
- a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
- an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance; attractive secondary terms of employment; the position is classified in accordance with the University Job Classification (UFO) system; the UFO profile is PhD candidate
- a temporary employment of 1.0 FTE for a period of four years. You will first be employed for a period of one year. After a positive result and development interview, the contract will be extended for the remaining period of three years
- the PhD candidate is expected to conduct 0.4 FTE teaching during the second, third and fourth year of their appointment
- excellent work-life balance

The preferred starting date is 1 March 2024

Job Application

Your application should include:

- A brief letter of motivation;
- a CV, including a short statement of research interests and the contact details of two referees
- a writing sample of no more than 5,000 words, such as an essay or part of a Master’s thesis
- certified official transcripts of your academic degrees.

Official documents must be in the English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese or Dutch language. Any translation of originals not in these languages must be authenticated.

You may apply for this position until 8 December 2023, 23:59 pm / before 9 December 2023 Dutch local time. Click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website. Please note that the procedure will include interviews, scheduled to take place in the week of 8 January 2024.

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage:[…]/

Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers:

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Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Prof. Dr. Rina Knoeff

Prof. Dr. Tineke Oldehinkel

Lisanne Coolen, for practical matters related to the application

In your application, please always include the job opening ID V23.0759

Digital application form