PhD on the Role of Precarious Employment in Developing and Sustaining Work-Life Balance Habits

PhD on the Role of Precarious Employment in Developing and Sustaining Work-Life Balance Habits

Published Deadline Location
24 Apr 19 May Maastricht

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Job description

We are looking for a PhD candidate on understanding the role of precarious employment conditions for developing and sustaining habits supporting work-life balance.

Meta-analytical studies indicate that social class indicators correlate with healthy behaviours such as eating healthy or regularly exercising. One reason for such associations may be that living in socio-economically resourceful conditions facilitates developing and adhering to beneficial habits. On the contrary, precarious employment as a condition encompassing aspects indicating lower socio economic resources (e.g., job insecurity, low income, limited workplace rights) may hinder developing and maintaining beneficial habits and thus drives social inequality.

This PhD project focuses on habits beneficial for work-life balance. Examples are habits that facilitate boundary management (e.g., leave work at fixed times) or that support engagement in non-work roles (e.g., regularly playing with kids). The project will examine if precarious employment conditions link to encountering specific obstacles (e.g. financial shortages, limited mobility) and hinders that individuals can apply effective strategies when forming and maintaining beneficial habits. We plan to use qualitative interviews, longitudinal designs (potentially using existing databases), and intensive experience sampling (diary) designs to understand these complexities.

Job description
We offer a 4-year PhD position to study how precarious employment conditions may support or hinder the development of adaptive habits. The project combines qualitative, experience-sampling and longitudinal studies and aims at setting the stage for a more contextualized understanding of habit development at the intercept of work and private life. As part of the PhD trajectory, you will develop hypotheses, collect and analyze data, present findings at international conferences, and write articles to be published in peer-reviewed scientific journals that will be part of the PhD thesis. The position also entails a 10% teaching task (being a tutor in the Work and Organizational Psychology Master programme, supervision of bachelor and master theses) and the opportunity to obtain the university teaching qualification (Basis Kwalificatie Onderwijs, BKO). You will be supervised by Dr. Wilken Wehrt, Dr. Bram Fleuren and Prof. Ute Hülsheger and embedded in an enthusiastic team of PhD students, Assistant and Associate Professors that will support you in developing the necessary research and teaching skills.

  • Master’s degree in Work, Social and Organizational Psychology or adjacent fields; Interest and/or knowledge of sociology or related topics is a plus;
  • Quantitative research and data analytic skills; experience with and/or affinity to work with data analysis software such as SPSS, R, Matlab, Mplus; Experience in conducting longitudinal or experience sampling studies and/or qualitative designs is a plus;
  • Good scientific writing skills;
  • Good self-management skills and high levels of proactivity and conscientiousness; experience with approaching people and conducting interviews is a plus;
  • Demonstrable interest in research on social inequality, work-life balance and/or habits;
  • High willingness to learn and diligence;
  • High proficiency in written and spoken English

What we offer
As PhD on the Role of Precarious Employment in Developing and Sustaining Work-Life Balance Habits at Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, you will be employed by the most international university in the Netherlands, located in the beautiful city of Maastricht. In addition, we offer you:
  • Good employment conditions. The position is graded in scale P according to UFO profile PhD, with corresponding salary based on experience ranging from €2770,00 and €3539,00 gross per month (based on a full-time employment of 38 hours per week). In addition to the monthly salary, an 8.0% holiday allowance and an 8.3% year-end bonus apply.
  • An employment contract for a period of 12 months with a scope of 1,0 FTE. Upon a positive evaluation, an extension of 3 years will follow.
  • At Maastricht University, the well-being of our employees is of utmost importance, we offer flexible working hours and the possibility to work partly from home if the nature of your position allows it. You will receive a monthly commuting and internet allowance for this. If you work full-time, you will be entitled to 29 vacation days and 4 additional public holidays per year, namely carnival Monday, carnival Tuesday, Good Friday, and Liberation Day. If you choose to accumulate compensation hours, an additional 12 days will be added. Furthermore, you can personalize your employment conditions through a collective labor agreement (CAO) choice model.
  • As Maastricht University, we offer various other excellent secondary employment conditions. These include a good pension scheme with the ABP and the opportunity for UM employees to participate in company fitness and make use of the extensive sports facilities that we also offer to our students.
  • Last but certainly not least, we provide the space and facilities for your personal and professional development. We facilitate this by offering a wide range of training programs and supporting various well-established initiatives such as 'acknowledge and appreciate'.

The terms of employment at Maastricht University are largely set out in the collective labor agreement of Dutch Universities. In addition, local provisions specific to UM apply. For more information, click here.

Maastricht University
Why work at Maastricht University?
At Maastricht University (UM), everything revolves around the future. The future of our students, as we work to equip them with a solid, broad-based foundation for the rest of their lives. And the future of society, as we seek solutions through our research to issues from all around the world. Our six faculties combined provide a comprehensive package of study programmes and research.

In our teaching, we use the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) method. Students work in small groups, looking for solutions to problems themselves. By discussing issues and working together to draw conclusions, formulate answers and present them to their peers, students develop essential skills for their future careers.

With over 22,300 students and more than 5,000 employees from all over the world, UM is home to a vibrant and inspiring international community.

Are you drawn to an international setting focused on education, science and scholarship? Are you keen to contribute however your skills and qualities allow? Our door is open to you! As a young European university, we value your talent and look forward to creating the future together.

Click here for more information about UM.

Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience
The Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience (FPN) is an international faculty with students and staff from various cultural backgrounds, who are connected by their shared curiosity about human behaviour and our brains.

This curiosity inspires us to explore the wide field of psychology from different perspectives (such as a biological and cognitive viewpoint). By using small-scale and student-centred methods, such as problem-based learning and project-based learning, we encourage a similar kind of curiosity in our students, as we provide them with the tools to discover the world of the human brain.

The PhD will be a member of the Work and Organizational Psychology (WOP) section that is embedded in the Department of Work and Social Psychology of the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience of Maastricht University. With its research activities, the WOP section seeks to contribute to a better understanding of how the challenges of a changing world of work can be addressed and working conditions can be created that benefit both organizations and employees. With this goal in mind, the WOP team investigates a broad range of topics in the area of occupational health, team flourishing, leadership, and organizational behavior (

We are committed to conducting high-quality research that addresses societal challenges and matters while at the same time being theory-driven and contributing to a refined understanding of psychological processes in the context of work. We value collegiality, knowledge exchange, and collaboration within our research group as well as with other research groups within and outside Maastricht University.

Further information can be obtained from Dr. Wilken Wehrt (, Dr. Bram Fleuren ( and Prof. Ute Hülsheger (

Or are you already convinced and ready to become our new PhD on the Role of Precarious Employment in Developing and Sustaining Work-Life Balance Habits? Apply now, no later than May 19, 2024 for this position.

The vacancy is open for internal and external candidates. In case of equal qualifications, internal candidates will be prioritized.

Please click on 'apply now' to register and upload your CV along with a motivation letter outlining your motivations for applying for this position.

Maastricht University is committed to promoting and nurturing a diverse and inclusive community. We believe that diversity in our staff and student population contributes to the quality of research and education at UM, and strive to enable this through inclusive policies and innovative projects led by teams of staff and students. We encourage you to apply for this position.


Maastricht University (UM)


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 911


Maastricht University (UM)

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Universiteitssingel 40, 6229ER, Maastricht

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