PhD candidate on intimate partner violence: psychopathology, relational dynamics and motivation

PhD candidate on intimate partner violence: psychopathology, relational dynamics and motivation

Published Deadline Location
21 Mar 30 Apr Tilburg

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Tilburg University | Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences is looking for a PhD candidate on intimate partner violence: psychopathology, relational dynamics and motivation (1,0 fte, 4 years), for the Department of Developmental Psychology, location Tilburg, scientific area is Social science.

Job description

The Department of Developmental Psychology at Tilburg University is looking for an enthusiastic PhD student on a broader view on intimate partner violence: integrating psychopathology, relational dynamics and motivation in needs- and risk- assessment and ESM.

Project description
The objective of this research project is to revolutionize the assessment of needs and risks associated with individuals engaging in intimate partner violence (IPV) while simultaneously enhancing treatment outcomes and reducing recidivism rates. Traditional approaches to IPV research have often employed typological frameworks, which oversimplify the multifaceted nature of IPV dynamics, thereby limiting our understanding of its complexity. This project aims to investigate these limitations by integrating a theoretical framework that considers the interaction of various factors contributing to the emergence and persistence of IPV. The key research questions of the project are: 

  • Are variations in IPV influenced by relationship dynamics, contextual stressors, and psychopathological factors? 
  • To what extent can a needs and risk assessment model be developed based on these multifaceted factors? 
  • How can IPV treatments be optimized through the implementation of enhanced assessment strategies? 

The methodology of the PhD project adopts a comprehensive approach that encompasses a systematic literature review followed by an observational study utilizing a mixed-methods approach. The Experience Sampling Method will be used to assess risk factors and their context in an IPV population and their network. By examining relationship dynamics, psychopathological factors, and contextual stressors, we seek to gain deeper insights into the intricacies of IPV and its treatment. Finally, based on the output, a VR-scenario will be adapted to meet the identified risk factors and applied in a new ‘in vivo’ treatment approach. Through this project, we aim to contribute significantly to both academic scholarship and clinical practice by providing a nuanced understanding of IPV dynamics and by developing innovative strategies to improve intervention and treatment outcomes.

Job description 
The PhD-student will work at the Department of Developmental Psychology. The main task is to develop, coordinate, and execute a PhD project within the research program mentioned above, publish the research results, actively participate in open science, and present the results at conferences. The candidate must be willing to contribute to team science.  Responsibilities are: 

  • Planning and conducting mixed method research, as well as independently performing appropriate data-analyses, such as multilevel regression analyses
  • Actively participating in the project team and engaging with the Department of Developmental Psychology, which involves attending departmental meetings and contributing to collaborative discussions
  • Writing scientific publications for international journals
  • Presenting research at national and international scientific conferences and disseminating findings to real-world practice, a non-scientific audience, including policy makers and educational professionals
  • Involvement in teaching and supervision activities, such as supervising bachelor theses and POP groups, with a maximum workload of 0.2 FTE (Full-time Equivalent)


Tilburg University


Job requirements and qualifications of the candidate
We are looking for a highly motivated, curious, enthusiastic, proactive, and result-driven PhD student. Applicants should hold a relevant MSc degree, preferably a research master, in fields such as forensic psychology, experimental developmental psychology, cognitive neuroscience, or a related field. 

  • Strong interest in conducting high-quality research in offender populations / complex relationship dynamics
  • Excellent project management and organizational skills, demonstrating the ability to effectively plan, coordinate, and execute the research project 
  • Excellent communication and collaboration skills, with a willingness to work in a team but also the ability to work independently
  • Proficiency in both Dutch and English languages, allowing for effective communication and documentation 
  • Able to be flexible and can cope with stressful situations 
  • Affinity with forensic practice / IPV and conducting research within that context 
  • Preferably experience in working with patients with anger management problems
  • Good qualitative and/or quantitative research skills, as evidenced by a good assessment of the master's thesis and/or scientific publications;
  • Interest in contributing to the educational activities of the department, which may involve supervising bachelor’s theses and POP groups.
  • Excellent research skills and data analytical abilities, including in-depth knowledge of statistical programs (e.g., SPSS, Mplus or R) 

The PhD student will play an important role in all stages of the research project, from conceptualization and data collection, to analysis and dissemination of findings. This is an excellent opportunity for a motivated Ph.D. student to contribute to research aimed at addressing a critical social issue and making a meaningful impact on both academic scholarship and real-world forensic practice.

Conditions of employment

The PhD candidate will be employed by Tilburg University, which is among the top of the Dutch employers and has an excellent policy concerning terms of employment. The appointments are intended to lead to the completion of a PhD thesis. The PhD appointment begins with a period of 12 months. Continuation of the appointment with another 36 months will be based on performance evaluation. The gross salary for the PhD position amounts to € 2,770.- per month in the first year, rising to € 3,539.-  per month in the fourth year, based on a full-time appointment (38 hours per week).

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.

All employees of the university are covered by the so-called General Pension Fund for Public Employers (Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP). Researchers from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a tax-free allowance of 30% of their taxable salary. The university applies for this allowance on their behalf. 

Tilburg University offers excellent employment conditions with attention to flexibility and (personal) development and attractive fringe benefits.

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


Tilburg University and the Department of Developmental Psychology

Tilburg University is a modern, specialized university. The School of Social and Behavioral Sciences (TSB) has an inspiring working environment that challenges its employees to realize their ambitions; involvement and cooperation are essential to achieve this.

Tilburg University offers a bachelor’s and several master’s programs in psychology, including the research master “Individual Differences and Assessment” and “Social and Behavioral Sciences”, and a bachelor’s and master’s program in (clinical) forensic psychology.

The Department of Developmental Psychology is a well-established department with a strong reputation in international academia that focuses on individual differences in development. In the department, development, life course changes and life course transitions are investigated in interaction with the environment.  The department is well-known for its expertise on developmental disorders and delinquent behavior. In addition to forensic psychology, research is done on psychopathology, personality, psychosocial, and cognitive changes during the entire lifespan, and interactions between these changes with social relationships and life events.
For more information about the Department of Developmental Psychology, please visit:


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3538 per month
  • University graduate
  • 22199



Warandelaan 2, 5037 AB, Tilburg

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