Applications now closed

SellSTEM is recruiting 15 Early Stage Researchers, or ESRs, who will be employed by a university and registered on a PhD programme.   All positions - ESR1 to ESR15 - are described below along with location and a link to each candidate brief. At the bottom of the page you will find a list of things you need for the application and a link to the application form.  The application deadline has been extended to 23:00 CET, March 28, 2021.


  • Defined by MSCA ITN 2018-20
  • Living allowance of €3,270 per month, adjusted by a correction coefficient for each country
  • Mobility allowance of €600 per month
  • With family status, a family allowance of €500 per month
  • Total amount received by each ESR will vary as employer and employee payroll taxes and social security costs deducted from the gross salary depend on local laws.


  • Receive a tailored training programme with modules and training events every 6 months
  • Join an international team that is multi-disciplinary and both academic and non-academic
  • Have a supervisory team and be hosted on secondment with a non-academic partner or at another university
  • Be prepared for several roles spread across academic and non-academic sectors

Eligibility Criteria

  • MSCA mobility rule
  • Research career to date < 4 years 
  • Native English speaker or IELTS test score of at least 6.5
  • Academic qualification (both level - Bachelor’s or Master’s -and discipline vary with ESR position)
  • Other knowledge and skills (these vary with ESR position)

WP3 Cognition

Work package 3, Cognition, will focus on how to measure spatial ability throughout childhood, how nature and nurture contribute to spatial ability, how language can be used to understand spatial ability and how spatial ability varies by age, gender, SES and region across Europe

ESR01 Location: Germany, UREG
Title: Spatial ability development in the preschool years and its relation to affective and academic measures in STEM learning
ESR02 Location: Germany, UNI KO-LD
Title: Spatial ability development during primary school and its relation to affective and academic measures in STEM learning
ESR03 Location:Norway, NTNU
Title: Nature or nurture: which factors of spatial ability are most sensitive to development through focused instruction?
ESR04 Location: United Kingdom, Bangor
Title: Examining language as a medium of representation in relation to STEM learning tasks and spatial ability.
ESR05 Location: Ireland, TU Dublin
Title: Project Space and Shape: A European study of the influence of spatial ability on attraction towards and performance in STEM learning

WP4 Development

Work package 4, Development, will examine how spatial ability can be developed through activities that are separate and integrated with STEM learning and will also look at design learning and STEM outreach activities can be adapted to encourage spatial ability development.

ESR06 Location: Austria, PLUS
Title: Structured online
learning and training for primary school children to promote spatial ability development
ESR07 Location: Netherlands, ULEI
Title: Spatial ability, working memory and STEM learning in primary school
ESR08 Location: Netherlands, TU Delft
Title: Exploring the potential for enhancing spatial ability through spatially challenging STEAM project work in the zone of proximal development & formative assessment
ESR09 Location: Austria, PLUS
Title: Development and Evaluation of learning material for the structured model of the eight basic routines of visual perception and spatial ability
ESR10 Location: Ireland, TU Dublin
Title: STEM outreach or STEM outcast? How to adapt STEM outreach based on gender and spatial ability level so it is a positive experience for all. .

WP5 Pedagogy

Work package 5, Pedagogy, will examine the barriers and enablers to embedding greater amounts of spatial ability development into teaching practice and how to facilitate professional development among teachers to achieve this goal.

ESR11 Location: Ireland, TU Dublin
Title: Barriers and enablers to raising spatial ability of primary school children beyond existing levels: A study of teaching practice in Europe
ESR12 Location: Sweden, KTH
Title: An analysis of how national and European policies for primary school education are aligned with current research on spatial skills development to support STEM learning
ESR13 Location: Netherlands, TU Delft
Title: An examination of the potential of formative assessment in STEAM projects to promote spatial ability development
ESR14 Location: Latvia, LU
Title: Improving spatial ability development in the primary school classroom by changing teaching practice
ESR15 Location: Ireland, TU Dublin
Title: The craft of coaching in maker space: how to coach children from low to high spatial ability through maker education

Before you apply

Download and review the list of questions you will be asked during the application survey so you can be prepared to provide answers to all questions and complete your application.  Incomplete applications cannot be considered.