PhD Candidate in development of financial decision making, within the GUTS consortium

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: ;

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Department of Clinical, Neuro- and Developmental Psychology of the Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences is looking for a PhD candidate in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, (0.9-1.0 FTE)

What are the optimal conditions for youth to grow up successfully? Are you interested in investigating this question? Join the Growing Up Together in Society (GUTS) consortium as a PhD student and learn to do cutting edge research on adolescent behavioural and brain development in a dynamic and interdisciplinary team. 

Location:            AMSTERDAM
FTE:                     0.9 - 1.0 FTE

Job description
GUTS consortium

Your PhD project is part of the GUTS project, a collaboration among seven Dutch universities to find answers to the question of how young people grow up successfully. This PhD project is part of the Amsterdam team, which has the unique aim to include 600 young participants (ages 10-22-years) from a diverse background in one study including brain imaging using (f)MRI, measures of self-report, smart phone app questionnaires and behavioural testing. While the GUTS project is a longitudinal study spanning 10 years, your PhD project involves working on the project during the initial measurement waves. As a PhD student you will work as part of a team of other PhD students and postdocs. You will receive training in various methods and go in-depth on your personal research topic. In addition, the GUTS project offers opportunities to develop yourself in terms of interdisciplinary research, societal impact, outreach, and open science.

Your duties
A pressing societal issue is the rise in financial debt in youth. Neuroscience and psychology provide the opportunity to understand the development of underlying mechanisms of financial decision making. Better understanding of these mechanisms is the first step to prevention of financial problems. The PhD student financial decision making in adolescence will examine how children, adolescents and young adults make decisions involving financial outcomes. You will use experimental task, questionnaires, daily assessments and structural brain imaging (grey matter) to assess the development of financial decision making. Furthermore, you will assess how these measures are related to social economic status.  Your research will be based on the Amsterdam data set. You will contribute to the data collection, including MRI data, for the first wave of the project. For the data collection you will collaborate with a team of 6 PhD students and one postdoc. We are committed to Open Science and you will learn how to implement Open Sciences practices throughout your research. The project will be supervised by Dr. Barbara Braams (daily supervisor) and Prof. Dr. Lydia Krabbendam.


We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with a research Master’s degree in cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, (neuro)psychology, or related areas (completed or to be completed in 2023). The ideal candidate can work effectively in an interdisciplinary research environment and has a goal-driven attitude.

In addition you possess the profile below:

  • A willingness to learn and an affinity for programming. Experience with programming (preferably Python, R) andexperience with working in linux environment are a plus but not required.
  • Advanced statistical skills, with prior experience analyzing structural MRI being a plus but not required;
  • Proficiency in Dutch, as you will be interacting frequently with youth;
  • Academic English in speaking and writing;
  • Excellent social, communication and organizational skills to work both independently and in a team to collect a large dataset in the consortium;
  • The ability to connect with youth from diverse backgrounds

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts 2.541 euros per month during the first year and increases to 3.247 euros per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile: promovendus is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.9 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for an additional duration of 3 years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance.

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,000 students. We employ over 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences
The Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences focuses on the broad domain of behaviour and health. Our teaching and research programmes are devoted to current developments in society, from healthy aging to e-health, from juvenile crime to dealing with depression, from training for top athletes to social media as a teaching tool. We are unique in that we combine three academic disciplines: psychology, movement sciences and education.

Working at Behavioural and Movement Sciences means working in an ambitious organization that is characterized by an informal atmosphere and short lines of communication. Our faculty offers tremendous scope for personal development. We employ more than 600 staff members, and we are home to around 3,400 students.

Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until June 11th 2023. The job interviews are planned for June 19th-23rd and July 3rd-7th, when possible please take them into account when applying for the position.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name:             Dr. Barbara Braams
Position:          Associate Professor
E-mail:            b.r.braams [at]

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