PhD candidate (social and emotional factors contributing to pro-environmental engagement)

PhD candidate (social and emotional factors contributing to pro-environmental engagement)

Published Deadline Location
6 Feb 20 Feb Leiden

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The Institute of Psychology of the Faculty Social and Behavioural Sciences is looking for a

PhD candidate, Social and emotional factors contributing to pro-environmental engagement (1.0 FTE)

Job description

Are you interested in researching the factors that contribute to youth’s pro-environmental engagement? Consider joining the Horizons project as a PhD student to be involved in two research projects, including a new study on social and emotional factors influencing pro-environmental engagement of young adolescents and a study from the Growing Up Together in Society (GUTS) consortium. Within this PhD trajectory, you will gain the skills and knowledge to conduct cutting-edge research on adolescent development, and be part of a dynamic and interdisciplinary team.

Applications are invited for a four-year PhD position under the supervision of Dr. Evelien Broekhof, Dr. Lisa Schreuders, and Prof. Dr. Berna Güroğlu (Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology of Leiden University). We are looking for an enthusiastic student who would like to launch their career in the field of developmental psychology.

The PhD student will contribute ideas about the design of the new study on adolescents’ pro-environmental engagement, recruit and test participants, carry out data handling and analyses, and write articles which will culminate in a dissertation. About 10% of the time will be spent on teaching, such as supervising BSc and MSc thesis projects.

Project description
How do social and emotional factors contribute to pro-environmental engagement in youth? This the central question of this PhD project. To answer this research question, you will be involved in a study that examines how moral emotions, such as guilt, anger, and empathy may influence pro-environmental behavior. Additionally, the project will investigate the impact of the social environment and connectedness alongside social cognitions like trust and emotional support. The study will be designed to explore daily emotions and behaviors, offering a comprehensive understanding of the interplay between these factors in day-to-day lives of early adolescents (aged ±12-17 years).

In addition to this project, you will also contribute to the Growing Up Together in Society (GUTS) consortium, a collaboration among seven Dutch universities. The overarching goal of this research project is how relationships and social network position of individuals relate to societal outcomes. As part of the Leiden team, your PhD project, involves working with complete social networks of young adults (total size of ca. 200 individuals) aged 16-25. The project will employ a range of measures including self-report and peer-report (sociometric) questionnaires, behavioral testing, and brain imaging (fMRI sessions). This PhD position on the social and emotional factors on pro-environmental engagement aims to examine how social dynamics within a closed social network relate to pro-environmental behavior. As this PhD trajectory is connected to a project neuroscience project, there is an opportunity to gain research experience in fMRI data acquisition in case the PhD student is interested in this field. . Based in Leiden, this part of the project involves collaboration with Groningen University and the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN). The PhD student will work together with PhD student(s) of other sites.

If you are passionate about exploring the complex interactions between individual behavior, emotions, and social context, then we encourage you to apply for this exciting PhD position. You will have the chance to develop your research skills, work with a dynamic team, and make a valuable contribution to the field of developmental psychology.


Leiden University


The qualifications needed for this position include:
  • A completed or upcoming (in 2024) (research) master's degree in psychology, family studies, developmental psychology, or a related field;
  • A passion for discovering factors that enhance the likelihood of engaging in environmentally friendly ways;
  • The ability to connect with youth from diverse backgrounds and a strong value for diversity and inclusion;
  • A collaborative mindset, openness to learning new skills, and willingness to share knowledge;
  • Proficiency in Dutch, as you will be interacting frequently with youth;
  • Good analytical, statistical skills, with prior experience analyzing experience sampling and/or social network data being a plus but not required;
  • Excitement about setting up a large study independently and with fellow PhD students
  • Attention to detail and clear communication skills;
  • During data collection, it is important to note that the role requires flexible availability, including evenings and weekends, to accommodate the needs of study participants. However, these hours are compensated during the week, and the team highly values a healthy work-free time balance.

Conditions of employment

Our organization
The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences comprises four institutes: Education and Child Studies, Political Science, Psychology and Cultural Anthropology & Development Sociology. The Faculty also includes the Centre for Science and Technology Studies. The Faculty is home to 7,000 students and 1000 members of staff. Our teaching and research programmes cover diverse topics varying from adoption to political behaviour. For more information, please see

The Institute of Psychology comprises six units for teaching and research: Health, Medical and Neuropsychology, Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental and Educational Psychology, Social and Organizational Psychology, and Methodology and Statistics. The Institute of Psychology offers a stimulating environment that promotes collaboration within and between units. For more information, please see

Terms and conditions
We offer a fulltime (38 hours per week) position as a PhD candidate, initially for a period of 1 year, with the possibility of extension for 3 years after a positive evaluation. Salary range from €2,770 in the first year to €3,539 gross per month based on a full-time employment (pay scale P, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

A part-time position is possible as well. The preferred starting date is the 1st of August 2024.

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. More at

Diversity and inclusion are core values of Leiden University. Leiden University is committed to becoming an inclusive community which enables all students and staff to feel valued and respected and to develop their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High quality teaching and research is inclusive.


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 14530



Rapenburg 70, 2311EZ, Leiden

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