PhD candidate for the project Non-Linear Intensive Longitudinal Methods

PhD candidate for the project Non-Linear Intensive Longitudinal Methods

Published Deadline Location
18 Apr 22 May Tilburg

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Tilburg University | Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences is looking for a PhD candidate (1.0 FTE) for the project Non-Linear Intensive Longitudinal Methods for the Department of Methodology and Statistics, location Tilburg.
Duration of employment contract is 12 and 36 months.

Job description

The employment is dedicated towards statistical and methodological research with the aim to publish several academic articles and/or conference proceedings papers in high-impact academic outlets. The PhD candidate will be based at the Department of Methodology and Statistics and will join an active research group around the topic of intensive longitudinal methods. This project is supervised by Dr. Leonie Vogelsmeier, Dr. Joran Jongerling, and Dr. Ir. Joris Mulder. 

The position also involves contributions to teaching giving the candidate the opportunity to build a teaching portfolio during the PhD project. The position and the academic environment in which the candidate will be embedded provide an optimal starting point for an academic career after having obtained the PhD degree. The candidate will follow a customized track of graduate courses as part of the Interuniversity Graduate School of Psychometrics and Sociometrics (IOPS) program, as well as specialized courses provided by the Tilburg Experience Sampling Center (TESC), which will further develop the candidate’s research skills, background knowledge, and bring them into contact with a varied and multidisciplinary group of collaborators.

You are encouraged to make this research your own, by choosing your own specific focus and project implementations.

Project description
Researchers are increasingly aware that valid insights about psychological constructs and effective treatment of mental disorders require studying processes as they unfold over time. This has led to a sharp increase in the use of intensive longitudinal data (ILD) and methods. However, ILD research is currently ill-equipped to analyze non-linear i) processes (e.g., the evolution of verbal abilities), ii) (treatment) effects (e.g., treatment effects in cancer patients), and iii) measurement models (i.e., relationships between indicators and latent variables).

Methods that can handle non-linearity exist (e.g., Latent Change Score models, Gaussian Processes, and Splines), but not all of these are suitable for ILD in general and measurement models in ILD in particular yet, and none have been extensively studied and compared. In short, it is yet unclear which methods are (most) suitable for studying the temporal non-linear processes in the social sciences. With this project, we are going to change that! We will develop non-linear intensive longitudinal methods that can faithfully model the underlying processes we typically encounter in the social sciences. Not only will this help prevent the bias that is often present in simplified models for experience sampling data, it will also provide novel insights into processes that can impact theory-building across all domains of the social sciences regarding temporal nonlinearity and (personalized) treatment effects.


Tilburg University


The ideal candidate would have:

  • a research MSc (or finishes one soon) in a relevant area such as (applied) statistics, psychology, or another related discipline;
  • strong programming skills in R;
  • a strong interest in intensive longitudinal methods & data;
  • knowledge of psychometrics and multilevel analysis;
  • familiarity with latent variable modeling, non-linear models, Bayesian statistics, and time series analysis;
  • enthusiasm about cross-disciplinary research;
  • affinity and preferably experience with writing research papers;
  • good social and communication skills and willing to work with other team members;
  • enthusiastic about translating scientific insights into practical guidelines and advice;
  • demonstrable competences as conceptual capacity, presenting, planning and organizing and monitoring.

Tilburg University is an international university, firmly rooted in the region and therefore bilingual. We expect our employees to meet the language level appropriate for the position. For academics, an excellent command of English is required: CEFR level C2.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 12 and 36 months.

This is a position for 1.0 FTE (40 hours per week) of the full-time working week. 
The salary amounts to a minimum of €2.541 and a maximum of €3.247 gross per month for full time employment contract, based on UFO profile PhD student and salary scale number PhD’s of the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. Tilburg University uses a neutral salary system for scaling that is based on relevant education and work experience. You are entitled to a vacation allowance of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% of your gross annual income. If you work 40 hours per week, you will receive 41 paid days of leave per year.

Tilburg University offers excellent employment conditions. We think flexibility, professional and personal development, and good employee benefits are important. We make clear agreements about career paths and offer all kinds of facilities and schemes to maintain an optimal balance between work and private life. You can also follow numerous training courses, for example, in the areas of leadership skills, personal effectiveness, and career development.  

Tilburg University values an open and inclusive culture. We embrace diversity and encourage the mutual integration of groups of employees and students. We focus on creating equal opportunities for all our employees and students, so that everyone feels at home in our university community.

Tilburg University has a lively campus in beautiful green surroundings that is easily accessible by public transport. We are committed to a sustainable society and challenge you to make an active contribution.

Please visit working at Tilburg University for more information on our terms of employment. 


Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences

About Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences (TSB) is one of the five faculties of Tilburg University. The teaching and research of the Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences are organized around the themes of “Adaptive societies, organizations, and workers”, “Healthy life span”, and “Personalized prevention and care”. The School’s inspiring working environment challenges its workers to realize their ambitions, involvement and cooperation are essential to achieve this.   
Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences | Tilburg University

About Tilburg University 

Serving society and making it better for its citizens. That is what drives us. Tilburg University's founder, Martinus Cobbenhagen, believed that anyone who wants to understand society must be actively and consciously involved in it. These ideas still form the basis of our university.

Under the motto Understanding society, our more than 2,800 employees develop and transfer knowledge and bring people from different disciplines and organizations together. In this way, we want to contribute to solving complex social issues. In doing so, we work from the fields of economics, business and entrepreneurship, social and behavioral sciences, law and administration, humanities and digital sciences and theology.

We educate our 20,000 students of 132 nationalities to become Tilburg University Shaped Professionals: responsible and entrepreneurial thinkers, driven by solidarity, a sense of responsibility and empathy, who are able to influence and give direction to a rapidly changing society in an innovative way.


Department of Methodology and Statistics

The Department of Methodology and Statistics is an internationally renowned group, holding several experts in data science methods, latent variable methods, psychometrics, meta-research, survey methodology, and other applied statistics fields. The department has a strong tradition of working with the other (substantive) research programs in our faculty. The department is responsible for the teaching and research in the area of methodology and statistics for the social and behavioral sciences, the Data Science programs (including the joint BSc in Data Science together with the Technical University Eindhoven), and the Liberal Arts and Science program of Tilburg University. The department is a member of the Interuniversity Graduate School for Psychometrics and Sociometrics (IOPS).


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2541—€3246 per month
  • University graduate
  • 21527



Warandelaan 2, 5037 AB, Tilburg

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