PhD student for interdisciplinary Social Connection project in Mental Health

PhD student for interdisciplinary Social Connection project in Mental Health

Published Deadline Location
28 May 12 Jun Amsterdam

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Do you want to contribute to designing innovative social connection interventions for people with mental health disorders? Are you interested in intervention development, mental health, interdisciplinary research, eHealth, and mathematical approaches? ...

Job description

The project aims to develop novel approaches to develop mental health interventions using empirical data, complex systems research and computational modeling. The position starts in September 2024, and will be fulltime for the duration of 4 years.

In the first phase, you will collect empirical data on social connection in a large group of participants in ongoing group interventions at Arkin, and you will use computational analysis to identify and predict quality social connections and decreases in loneliness among patients with depressive symptoms. Then, you will collect unique data in a pilot study where we match people on a personal level to social group interventions, based on the computational analysis. The pilot data will be used to calibrate, validate and test the computational model. Finally, you will develop an ehealth tool to foster social connection based on the outcomes of the previous studies. You will write several international scientific papers on this project, resulting in a dissertation.


Amsterdam UMC


We are looking for an ambitious candidate, who wants to work in a novel research area with an interdisciplinary team, and:
  • Preferably someone who has completed a Research Master in the field of psychology, interdisciplinary sciences, computational sciences or related fields;
  • You should have a strong interest in research methods, mathematics, computational techniques, and intervention research, and you want to develop skills in this area;
  • You have knowledge of (mental) health, and excellent writing skills;
  • A good command of the Dutch language is a requirement.

Conditions of employment

  • A flying start to your career in scientific research.
  • Plenty of room for personal development with a wide range of training & development of academic skills
  • Working on large-scale and own research, with motivated colleagues
  • A contract for 12 months with the possibility of a 3-year extension.
  • Salary scale: OIO: € 3.017 tot € 3.824 bruto (based on a fulltime workweek), depending on qualifications and experience.
  • Additional benefits including an 8.3% end-of-year bonus and 8% holiday pay. Calculate your net salary here.
  • Your pension is accrued at BeFrank. A modern, understandeble en fair pension
  • Excellent accessibility with public transportation and reimbursement of a large portion of your travel expenses. Additionally, we have plenty of parking spaces at the AMC location and a good bicycle scheme.


Amsterdam UMC

You will be appointed at the department of psychiatry at Amsterdam UMC. This project is supervised by dr. Nadia van der Spek, she is a senior researcher at Amsterdam UMC and coordinator of the Shift Left academic workplace, where this PhD position is also embedded.

Shift Left is chaired by prof. C. Bockting, who is professor of clinical psychology at Amsterdam UMC and co-director of the centre for Urban Mental Health. Dr. Mike Lees is the co-supervisor in this project, he is the group leader of the Computational Science Lab at UvA and is a Principal Investigator at the Institute for Advanced Study (UvA).

This research project is funded by the centre for Urban Mental Health at the University of Amsterdam, which is the biggest research priority of the UvA. The PhD student is expected to be an active member of the centre and the community associated with the centre. You will be working with Mental health researchers as part of the Academic Workplace Shift Left, a collaboration between Amsterdam UMC and Arkin. You will also be part of the Computational Science Lab at the University of Amsterdam’s Institute for Informatics.


  • PhD
  • Health
  • max. 36 hours per week
  • €3017—€3824 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 11827



Meibergdreef 9, 1105AZ, Amsterdam

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