PhD Candidate Mood Disorders in Parkinson's disease

PhD Candidate Mood Disorders in Parkinson's disease

Published Deadline Location
20 Feb 18 Mar Leiden

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PhD Candidate Mood Disorders in Parkinson's disease
PhD Student (0.8-1.0 FTE)

The Health, Medical and Neuropsychology department is looking for a PhD candidate for a research project on anxiety in Parkinson's disease.

Job description

Project description
Parkinson's disease (PD) is primarily known for its motor symptoms such as tremors, stiffness, and bradykinesia. However, PD also encompasses a range of non-motor symptoms that significantly impact patients' quality of life. These non-motor symptoms are increasingly recognized as critical components of the disease, profoundly affecting both clinical management and patient well-being. One non-motor symptom that presents a multifaceted challenge for both diagnosis and treatment, is anxiety. Anxiety in PD is often poorly recognised due to diagnostic imprecision, overlap with other symptoms of PD, and underreporting of symptoms. Therefore, a crucial step towards optimizing treatment is a better understanding of different subtypes of anxiety and their associations with other demographic or PD-specific factors. In this PhD project you will investigate the different subtypes of anxiety in PD and characterize their potentially distinct underlying pathophysiology. Moving away from a one-size-fits-all view of anxiety and instead focusing on individual subtype characteristics may allow for the development of tailored therapies.

Key responsibilities
The PhD student will design and conduct quantitative studies, analyse behavioural and (functional) MRI data, and write scientific articles which will culminate in a dissertation. You will present your results at national and international conferences. About 10% of the time will be spent on teaching, such as supervising BSc and MSc thesis projects. During your PhD you will be following several courses on scientific writing, research integrity and topics related to your thesis.
Within the department, this project will fall within the hub theme ‘Diagnostics and interventions for neurocognitive disorders.’ You will work on this project under supervision of (assistant) professors in neuropsychology: Dr. Julie Hall, Dr. Marit Ruitenberg and Prof. Hanneke Hulst. In addition, you will closely collaborate with the neurologists from the neurology department at LUMC.


Leiden University


Selection Criteria
  • A (research) master’s degree in psychology, neuroscience, or medical sciences (or similar), e.g. neuropsychology, cognitive neuroscience, medicine, human movement sciences, or closely related study programme.
  • Affinity and/or experience with the research topic and the target population of the project.
  • Strong analytical, methodological, and statistical skills, and preferably programming skills in R.
  • Good communication skills, both oral and written, in Dutch and English.
  • Experience with working with patient populations is preferred.

Conditions of employment

Our Faculty/Institute
The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences consists of five institutes: Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, Political Science, and Psychology. The faculty has approximately 7000 students and 1000 staff members. Within the institutes, not only education is provided but also groundbreaking research is conducted that pushes the boundaries of our understanding of human behaviour and societal structures. What makes our faculty unique is the diversity of research topics, the various styles of teaching, and the way professional support is organized; this provides you with the opportunity to explore and develop your interests and expertise. Visit our website for an impression: Welcome to the Leiden Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences - Leiden University.

Terms and conditions
An employment contract for 0,8 – 1,0 fte as a PhD candidate, initially for a period of 1 year, with the possibility of extension for 3 years after a positive evaluation. This contract falls under the CLA of Dutch Universities. Salary range from €2,770 to €3,539 gross per month (pay scale P). Preferred starting date: 01-08-2024.

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development. 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

What we find important
Promoting an inclusive community is central to Leiden University’s values and vision. Leiden University aims to be an inclusive community in which all students and staff members feel valued and respected, and are able to develop to their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High-quality education and research means inclusive education and research.


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 14596



Rapenburg 70, 2311EZ, Leiden

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