PhD Candidate Gravitation Project New Science of Mental Disorders

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: ;

The department of psychology of the University of Amsterdam (UvA), is partner in a large national gravitation grant on the new science of mental disorders (lead by Maastricht University). In the workpackage on cognitive control other collaborating partners are from Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (RUG) and Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR).

The general perspective taken in the gravitation project is that mental illnesses can be described as dynamic and complex networks of symptoms that interact with one another over time. We will focus on (1) the estimation of complex and dynamic networks of individual patients, which can change over time, (2) disorder-transcending network-based interventions tailored at the individual, and (3) in-depth fundamental studies into transdiagnostic behavioural, cognitive, neurocognitive and interpersonal processes that can drive connectivity between symptoms.

What are you going to do

In this PhD project you will investigate the role of cognitive control (CC) in the development and maintenance of common mental disorders from a network perspective: how do differences in CC relate to network dynamics in people experiencing symptoms of common mental disorders (e.g., does it predict general spreading of activation of symptoms, or specifically the relationships between certain symptoms but not of others, etc.). We intend to assess CC in relation to both reward and punishment sensitivity, and will investigate whether different aspects of CC moderate the development of common mental disorders. We will assess symptoms of common mental disorders using intense measurements (Ecological Momentary Assessment, EMA). Using an individual network approach, we hope to identify individual symptom networks, which may help to co-develop an intervention with the client.

This project will be supervised by  Prof. Reinout Wiers and Dr. Ilya Veer (UvA psychology) and there is a larger steering group involved including Prof. Prof. de Jong (RUG), Prof. Franken and Dr. Cousijn (EUR) and Prof. Linden (UM).  You will be hosted at the department of psychology of the UvA.

What do we require of you


  • have a (research) master in psychology, or related discipline;
  • have experience with network modelling or related skills and/or experience with analyses of intense data acquired with EMA;
  • have experience with analysing and programming in R;
  • have experience with time series analysis and/or methodological research;
  • have some experience with (experimental) clinical psychology;
  • have experience with or genuine interest in the assessment of Cognitive Control;
  • have an excellent written and spoken command of the English language (speaking Dutch or willingness to learn Dutch is also recommended);
  • have strong communication, interpersonal and social skills;
  • have an interdisciplinary mindset;
  • are proactive and independent.

Our offer

The appointment will be on a temporary basis for 38 hours per week for a period of 12 months and after satisfactory evaluation and barring other unforeseen circumstances it can be extended for a total duration of four years. The appointment should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). An educational plan will be drafted that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. The PhD candidate is also expected to assist in teaching bachelor and master students. 

This project will be interdisciplinary by nature and you will work together with experts from various fields including methodology, psychology, psychiatry.

The gross monthly salary will range from €2,395 (first year) up to a maximum of €3,061 (last year), based on fulltime (38 hours a week), exclusive 8 % holiday allowance and 8.3 end-of-year bonus. A favorable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

About us

A challenging work environment with a variety of duties and ample scope for individual initiative and development within an inspiring organization. The social and behavioral sciences play a leading role in addressing the major societal challenges faced by the world, the Netherlands and Amsterdam, now and in the future.

To work at the University of Amsterdam is to work in a discerning, independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterized by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society. Here you can read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.


Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:

  • Prof. Reinout Wiers

Job application

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

If you recognize yourself in the above qualities, we welcome you to submit an application.

To apply, please provide the following documents:

  • CV
  • cover letter
  • transcript of (research) masters diploma with subjects and grades

The deadline for applications is 28 Augustus 2021.


No agencies please


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