Postdoc Psychophysiological Markers Of Societal Changes (1.0 Fte)

Utrecht University
May 29, 2023
Offerd Salary:€ 2,960
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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Postdoc Psychophysiological markers of societal changes (1.0 FTE)

Job description

The organisational behaviour group at Utrecht University is looking for a postdoctoral researcher to develop a mobile psychophysiological paradigm for studying societal changes in field settings (e.g., in companies, at festivals, market squares, community centers, schools, etc.). The position is part of a broader NWO-Open Competition project on 'A threat and coping perspective on social change', involving researchers from Utrecht University (PhD project on diversity/ sustainability) and Leiden University (PhD project on migration). In this project we aim to develop a psychophysiological threat-and-coping model of social change. Linking social, psychological, and physiological levels of analysis, the aim with the model is to describe and explain the interplay between lower-level physiological responses and higher-level information processing, to understand how people form opinions about social change. We use the biopsychosocial model of challenge and threat, which makes it possible to discern at a physiological level specific motivational states of challenge and threat. We link these more maladaptive (threat) and benign (challenge) stress responses to the development of attitudes about social change in relation to a variety of societally relevant topics (e.g., migration, shifting gender roles, globalization, crises like Covid-19, social movements like #BLM). We furthermore aim to test the model both in more controlled lab experiments as well as field studies, to optimize both internal and external validity, and to more effectively inform interventions for overly defensive responses to inevitable societal changes.


We are looking for someone with

  • a finished PhD dissertation in (social) psychology, psychophysiology, or neuroscience;
  • experience with psychophysiological measurements, ideally with cardiovascular measures (ECG, ICG, blood pressure);
  • affinity with the topic of social change, e.g., in the context of migration, diversity, or sustainability;
  • experience with psychophysiological data scoring and analysis (e.g., in Matlab, r);
  • experience with programming experiments (e.g., in Python);
  • a good ability to work independently and in a team;
  • a good command of the Dutch and English language;
  • good academic writing skills;
  • publications in relevant international peer-reviewed journals;
  • excellent communicative and organizational skills;
  • a certain assertiveness, extraversion and open-mindedness in engaging with external parties and research participants in field settings.
  • Offer

    We offer a temporary position (1.0 FTE) for one year in an international working environment. After positive evaluation, this can be turned into a renewal of one year. The gross salary - depending on previous qualifications and experience - ranges between € 2,960, and € 4,670 (scale 10 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year- end bonus of 8.3% per year.

    About the organization

    Sharing Science, shaping tomorrow. A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major strategic themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

    Additional information

    For more information about this position, please contact Professor Daan Scheepers (professor of psychophysiology) at [email protected].

    Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. Utrecht University wants to make a visible contribution to an inclusive university community, to a just society, and equal rights and equal opportunities for all.

    The application deadline is 29/05/2023

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