PhD candidate in Developmental Psychology

PhD candidate in Developmental Psychology

Published Deadline Location
4 Jun 20 Jun Leiden

Job description

PhD candidate in Developmental Psychology

Are you curious about the impact of the online world on adolescents? Project SMART (Social media, Misinformation, Adolescence, Risk Taking) seeks a motivated and enthusiastic PhD student to develop innovative, multi-method studies.

What you will do
In today's digital age, adolescents are heavily engaged with the online world through their smartphones. The SMART project addresses crucial challenges related to social media use, that may particularly impact adolescents: online risk-taking (such as sexting and online gambling) and susceptibility to misinformation. To explore these challenges throughout adolescence, the SMART project aims to combine questionnaire design with the development of new behavioural experiments to understand adolescents’ online behaviour. We are seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic PhD candidate with an interest in experiment design and complex data analyses, and affinity for youth.

Key responsibilities:
  • Designing and carrying out questionnaire and lab experiments
  • Recruiting participants and collecting data (participant age range 13-25 years old)
  • Performing data analyses, such as latent variable analysis, network modelling and computational modelling of behavioural data
  • Report results in scientific articles in international journals, culminating in a dissertation
  • Presenting at national and international scientific conferences
  • Supervise BSc and MSC thesis projects

This is a four-year position with a preferred starting date of September 1st 2024, and is supervised by Dr. Neeltje Blankenstein, Dr. Ili Ma, and Dr. Anna van Duijvenvoorde. The position provides an excellent opportunity to cultivate a broad and advanced skill set and advance your career in social cognitive science with a developmental focus. The project involves cognitive computational modelling (including reinforcement learning), network modelling, and psychophysiological measures.

The outcomes of this fundamental research project carry practical implications for enhancing youth’s resilience to misinformation and preventing detrimental online risk-taking. It is considered an asset if you have a passion for communicating scientific concepts and for engaging youth in research. Join our team in unravelling the intricacies of online behaviour and contributing to a smarter, safer digital experience for today's youth.

Where you will work
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.

Institute of Psychology
The Institute of Psychology educates new generations to contribute to the challenges of our society, now and in the future, based on leading behavioral scientific research and education. This is achieved through collaboration both within and outside our institute in the field of Psychology and related research areas, both fundamental and applied. The broad bachelor's program and a wide variety of master's specializations also contribute to this goal. Within the institute and the academic community, there is a committed and passionate atmosphere. The themes of Health and Well-being, Social-Cognitive-Affective Decision Making, Development and Learning, and Advanced Behavioral Research Methods guide research and education. The institute values conducting these activities in a safe and inclusive environment and provides space for new developments such as open science, recognition and appreciation, and interdisciplinarity, which are anchored in its strategy. With approximately 5,000 students and 600 staff members, the institute includes the Institute Office, the Department of Bachelor Education, and 6 units for education and research: Health, Medical and Neuropsychology, Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental and Educational Psychology, Social, Economic and Organisational Psychology, and Methodology and Statistics. The PhD position is embedded in the Unit of Developmental and Educational Psychology.

What you bring
  • A completed or upcoming (research) master's degree in Developmental psychology, Methods & Statistics, Cognitive Science, or related field
  • Strong analytic, research, and organisational skills
  • Experience with R and/or Python
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English
  • Proficiency in Dutch is highly preferred as you will be frequently interacting with youth
  • Affinity for working with adolescents and young adults
  • Collaborative mindset, openness to learning new skills and willingness to share knowledge
  • Enthusiastic about translating scientific findings to practical implications

If you immediately recognise yourself in this profile, or if do you not quite meet all the requirements, but you believe that this is the right job for you, we look forward to your application!

What we offer
Our goal is to work together to create a transparent and inclusive work environment in which everyone feels welcome and appreciated. Our organisation is always evolving and we need your ideas for improvement and innovation to take us further. We want to devote attention to your personal development.
You can expect an enjoyable job within the socially relevant world of education and research. The University's challenging and international work environment is located just steps away from Leiden’s lively city centre or the bustling city centre of The Hague. We also want to work with you to devote attention to your health and vitality, for example with the fun activities we organise through Healthy University.

We also offer:
  • PHD: An employment contract for (38 hours per week) 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;
  • A salary of a minimum of € 2,770 gross per month in the 1st year up to € 3,539 gross per month in the 4th year, based on a full-time appointment (38 hours) (scale P);
  • A holiday allowance (8%), an end-of-year bonus (8,3%), and an attractive pension scheme at ABP;
  • Flexible working hours: as a standard, you are entitled to a minimum of 29 leave days on the basis of a full-time working week of 38 hours; you can also save for extra leave, for example by working 40 hours a week, and in this way accrue an extra 96 leave hours, or exchange 96 leave hours for a 36-hour week.
  • Lots of options when it comes to secondary employment conditions; we can, for example, discuss options for a sabbatical or paid parental leave. Within our terms of employment individual choices model, you can exchange leave days and/or salary for benefits such as an advantageous sports subscription or bicycle scheme, and we also offer child-care options;
  • If your work allows it, hybrid working is possible within the Netherlands;
  • A home-working allowance (day and internet allowance) and attention for good workplaces. The University will also provide you with a laptop and a mobile telephone (if applicable for the position).

For more information about employment conditions, see

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.

Want to apply or find out more?
If you want to apply straight away, click the application button.

If you would like more information about what the job entails, please contact dr. Neeltje Blankenstein, Assistant Professor, via

You can apply until June 20; applications will be processed immediately.

To help us get to know each other better, we follow a number of steps in the application procedure. For more information, see
  • We believe mobility is very important. That is why we are also publishing this vacancy internally. In case of equal suitability, we will give priority to the internal candidate.
  • A pre-employment screening (references, diplomas, certificate of good conduct (VOG)) may be part of the selection procedure.
  • Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated. If you nevertheless choose to send us CVs, no rights can be derived from this. #LI-Hybrid


Leiden University


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 14907



Rapenburg 70, 2311EZ, Leiden

View on Google Maps

Interesting for you


Apply for this job

Apply for this job

This application process is managed by the employer (Leiden University). Please contact the employer for questions regarding your application.

Thank you for applying

Please contact the employer for questions regarding your application.

Tip: save this job as favorite in your AcademicTransfer account. This gives you an immediate overview and makes it easy to find the job later on. No account yet? Create it now and take advantage of other useful functionalities too!

Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 20 Jun 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).