Postdoctoral Researcher: Physiological and Implicit Indicators of Popularity Motivation and Bullying

Postdoctoral Researcher: Physiological and Implicit Indicators of Popularity Motivation and Bullying

Published Deadline Location
19 Jan 19 Feb Nijmegen

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Job description

Do you want to develop novel ways to measure how much youth care about popularity? Do you want to conduct research at schools to find out whether this causes youth to bully or support bullies? If yes, you have a part to play! We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher who is motivated to critically and creatively develop innovative ways to measure how youth may feel rewarded by popularity or threatened by the risk to be unpopular.

Bullying among youth is a major problem with devastating consequences for the victims. In order to develop more effective anti-bullying programmes, we have to better understand what drives bullying and following bullies. Previous research has mainly focused on striving for high status on the deliberate level, but found only weak associations with bullying. We may thus be overlooking other (status) motivations that impact bullying involvement to a much greater extent. In the MAD2bully project - funded by an ERC starting grant - you will not only examine the motivation to 'be on top', but also the motivation to 'not dangle at the bottom' in the social status hierarchy. In addition, as some youth may not be able or willing to truthfully report their deliberate status motivation, you will also examine motivation at the automatic level through implicit and physiological measures.

In this position, you will focus on co-developing status motivation measures, including questionnaires, reaction time paradigms, and especially physiological measures. For the physiological measurement a new paradigm has to be designed and programmed in order to measure responses to status reward and status threat in social (bullying) situations. Furthermore, appropriate procedures for processing the data have to be developed. You will pilot test these measures with primary school students and write articles about the measurement development and research questions that have your interest.

In addition, you will be working in a team with 2 PhD candidates on the project, who will write their dissertations on how these status motivations relate to bullying and following bullies in primary and secondary schools. They will also examine how these associations are affected by individual and contextual factors. You will co-supervise the organisation of data collection, data analysis and the writing of papers, resulting in your co-authoring of PhD candidates' articles.


Radboud University


  • You hold a PhD in psychology, educational science, or a related field.
  • You have knowledge of and experience with physiological measures such as heart rate and galvanic skin response in youth.
  • You have a background in peer relations, and preferably in bullying and popularity research.
  • You have good writing skills which have resulted in published/in press journal articles.
  • You have affinity with measurement development and testing its reliability and validity.
  • You are a loyal team member, able to focus on your own interests/productivity while also supporting the team.
  • You are curious, enthusiastic and sociable.
  • You have excellent social skills, especially regarding interactions with teachers, parents, and youth.
  • Speaking Dutch would be considered a plus but is by no means required.
We encourage you to apply regardless of whether you fit all profile criteria.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: Depending on the preferred appointment, the employment is for a total period of 3 to 4 years, with an initial one-year contract.

  • It concerns an employment for 0.6 - 0.8 FTE.
  • The gross monthly salary amounts to a minimum of €3,974 and a maximum of €5,439 based on a 38-hour working week, depending on previous education and number of years of relevant work experience (salary scale 11).
  • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • It concerns a permanent employment for a total period of 3 to 4 years depending on the preferred appointment, with an initial one-year contract.
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
  • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 30 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.
Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.


The Behavioural Science Institute (BSI) is a multidisciplinary research institute and one of the three research institutes of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Radboud University. Our researchers collaborate across the boundaries of psychology, educational science and communication science. Our mission is to strengthen people through understanding the foundations of human behaviour, by creating synergy between different paradigms and by facilitating craftsmanship, curiosity and connection in academic research.

BSI has seven research programmes covering three major research themes, namely human development, connection and health. BSI conducts fundamental as well as applied/translational research and provides excellent facilities and support for lab and field research. Moreover, BSI is known for its successful graduate school and strong commitment to open science.

Radboud University

We want to get the best out of science, others and ourselves. Why? Because this is what the world around us desperately needs. Leading research and education make an indispensable contribution to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This is what unites the more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!


  • Postdoc
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 32 hours per week
  • €3974—€5439 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 1203895



Houtlaan 4, 6525 XZ, Nijmegen

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