Updated: 2 months ago
Deadline: 17 Jun 2022

(ref. BAP-2022-359)

Laatst aangepast : 30/05/2022

For a Global PhD Partnership project between the Center Neuropsychiatry (KU Leuven, Belgium) and the Dementia Care & Research Center (Peking University Institute of Mental Health, China), we offer a PhD-position at KU Leuven. The project will be carried out under supervision of prof. dr. Jan Van den Stock, prof. dr. Mathieu Vandenbulcke (both KU Leuven) and prof. dr. Huali Wang (Peking University).


How people interact with others and respond to their emotional expressions (social cognition) is susceptible to cultural differences. These cultural differences are typically more pronounced in psychiatric and neurological conditions that are associated with symptoms in social interaction. Here, we will conduct a comprehensive assessment of social cognitive processes in healthy subjects and neuropsychiatric populations in both the Western (Flemish) and Chinese cultural setting. We will investigate the similarities and differences between both cultural settings and investigate their neural basis. In doing so, we will analyze the data that are already available at both centers from routine social cognition assessments and at the same time collect new data by means of recently developed instruments in both centers. The second aim of the project will make use of the same data to optimize the current clinical procedures at each center. Most of the research will be performed at KU Leuven, but the PhD-student will also spend 2 semesters in Peking.


Applicants with a cross-cultural interest and a master’s degree or similar in domains like psychology, Chinese studies, sociology, biomedical sciences, neuropsychiatry or neurosciences are invited to apply. Affinity with clinical populations is a plus. Excellent Dutch and English language skills are required. According to the project program regulations, students with the Chinese nationality are NOT eligible to apply.

The tasks will consist of performing and analyzing neuropsychological examinations in healthy and neuropsychiatric populations, designing innovative social cognition assessment tools, and disseminating the results at international conferences and in scientific journals. 


We offer a fulltime PhD-position for the first year, which may beprolonged to a maximum of 4 years. Salary is competitive in accordance withuniversity standards. The anticipated start date is October 1st, whena suitable candidate is selected.


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Jan Van den Stock, tel.: +32 16 37 78 43, mail: or Prof. dr. Mathieu Vandenbulcke, tel.: +3216348005, mail:

Applicationsshould include contact information of at least two supervisory referencepersons, in addition to a motivation letter and CV. 

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

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