Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 12 Jul 2021

(ref. BAP-2021-436)

Laatst aangepast : 1/06/2021

The present internally-funded (C1) PhD-project is embedded in an interdisciplinary collaboration between Prof. Dr. Koen Luyckx (School Psychology and Development in Context, KU Leuven), Prof Dr. Laurence Claes (Clinical Psychology, KU Leuven), Prof. Dr. Philip Moons (Department of Public Health and Primary Care, KU Leuven), and Prof. Dr. Steven Eggermont (Leuven School for Mass Communication Research, KU Leuven). The PhD-student will work at the center of Clinical Psychology, Tiensestraat 102, 3000 Leuven, under the daily supervision of Laurence Claes and Koen Luyckx. KU Leuven is one of the most renowned research universities in Europe. At our research center, we perform cutting-edge (longitudinal) research focusing on (experimental) psychopathology of adolescents and young adults from different (community and clinical) populations. The Phd-student will work in a stimulating environment in which collaboration and exchange of ideas and expertise is key.


The present project focuses on how identity and body image co-develop over time and how they are related to functioning and pathological symptoms, such as eating disorder symptoms. Although the link between one’s body experiences and identity development has been highlighted repeatedly, little integrative work has been conducted. To remedy these shortcomings, this project upholds a differentiated perspective on identity(process, status, and narrative identity) and the body (body image and embodiment) using longitudinal and mixed-methods designs. Different populations will be targeted across the normative and clinical range. WP1 assesses community adolescents and emerging adults, focuses on sociocultural and psychological mechanisms linking identity and the body, and how these variables play into functioning and maladaptive behavior. WP2 focuses on chronic illness(type 1 diabetes) affecting how youth see themselves and inhabit their body. We examine how these constructs are related to illness adaptation and generic functioning in the long term, testifying to the clinical relevance of the identity-body link. WP3 (1) examines how individuals with eating disorders  perceive and inhabit their body and how these body experiences relate to identity; and (2) zooms in on daily processes and narrative story-telling to capture this identity-body interplay. WP3 applies a mixed-method, sequential quantitative-qualitative design focusing on short-term, daily dynamics and narrative interview. The PhD-student will work on WP3, in close collaboration with other PhD-students of L. Claes and K.Luyckx.


At the starting date (October 1, 2021), you have a master degree in psychology or educational sciences or related disciplines and you graduated with excellent study results.

You can work independently, accurately, and systematically. At the same time, you are a team-player with excellent interpersonal and communication skills both in Dutch and English (a C1 proficiency level in both is needed).

You are interested in clinical psychology and you have skills to collaborate with clinical patients, more specifically, patients with eating disorders.

You are open to collaborate on other research going on in the research group.

You are enthusiastic and highly motivated and you are highly interested in quantitative/qualitative data-analysis. Experience with ecological momentary assessment is an asset.

You value the principles of open science and clear science communication.

You have excellent planning skills which are needed for this interdisciplinary collaboration.

Strong academic writing skills are a prerequisite.

You have good problem-solving skills and have a collegial, respectful, and collaborative attitude.

Guiding and educating students is important to you.

We offer a full-time PhD position of 1 year, renewable for an additional 3 years (based on a successful intermediate evaluation at KU Leuven after the first year). 

In total, the PhD-position is for a period of 4 years.

Being part of the doctoral school at our faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences at KU Leuven, you will be given the opportunity to follow various training, courses, and workshops during your PhD-trajectory.

We will provide you with a stimulating and challenging environment with a high degree of flexibility and autonomy and with many opportunities for learning and development.

The exact starting date of the position is scheduled for October 1 2021 but is negotiable to some extent. 


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Laurence Claes, tel.: +32 16 32 61 33, mail: or Prof. dr. Koen Luyckx, tel.: +32 16 32 59 78, mail:

When applying, please provide a cover letter, CV, transcripts of your grades, and contact details of one or two reference persons.

Job interviews will be held in the second half of July.

You can apply for this job no later than July 12, 2021 via the online application tool 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

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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