PhD position Psychometrics and Statistics 2 (1.0 FTE)

Updated: 8 months ago
Deadline: 01 Apr 2019


Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative centre of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 31,000 students and researchers to develop their own individual talents. Belonging to the best research universities in Europe and joining forces with prestigious partner universities and networks, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.

Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences
The Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences of the UG excels in teaching and research in the fields of behaviour, thinking, learning and how people live together. We want to continue developing our well-founded theoretical and methodological knowledge domains: psychology, sociology, pedagogy, educational sciences and teaching methodology.

The Faculty aims for a leading position in studying and solving social issues and problems people encounter in everyday life. Our ambition is to develop and assess scientifically substantiated interventions, in consultation with social parties. We aim to develop the Faculty infrastructure for empirical research to a leading global level.

The Department
The PhD position will be in the department of Psychometrics and Statistics. Dr. D. van Ravenzwaaij will be the daily supervisor of the project, and Prof. R.R. Meijer and Prof. P. de Jonge will also be part of the supervisory team. For more information about the research in the department, please see:

Job description

This research project is part of the VIDI grant “Back to Bayesics: Solving the Reproducibility Crisis in Biomedicine” awarded to Dr D. van Ravenzwaaij. The project’s nature is interdisciplinary and spans the fields of both Methodology and Statistics as well as Biomedicine. It is concerned with reproducibility of research findings in biomedicine. It is motivated by the fact that large parts of the biomedical literature are difficult to replicate. An estimated 85% of research resources is wasted because of selective reporting and spurious findings (Macleod et al., 2014, The Lancet). A major culprit in this reproducibility crisis is the over-reliance on inappropriate statistical evidence criteria in both basic biomedical research and clinical trials (van Ravenzwaaij & Ioannidis, 2017). This project develops new Bayesian tools for better evaluating statistical evidence in medical research to combat the reproducibility crisis. The prospective PhD candidate will develop tailor-made decision criteria for each of five large drug families using a wisdom-of-the-crowds approach. These new decision criteria will be used to reevaluate both published and FDA clinical trial data in order to diagnose false positives. For this position, we are seeking a candidate with a background in biomedicine or clinical psychology and an affinity for methodology and statistics. The PhD candidate is expected to work closely together with:


We are looking for a PhD candidate:
• with a master’s degree in one of the Social Sciences or Medicine with a strong academic record; a master’s degree in other domains will also be considered
• who has excellent English and academic writing skills
• who has an affinity with statistical procedures for data analysis
• who is a team player with excellent communication and project management skills
• who has (preferably) proficiency with the statistical program R.

Conditions of employment

The University of Groningen offers a salary of € 2,325 (salary scale PhD candidates Dutch Universities) gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 2,972 gross per month in the final year, based on a full-time position, excluding a 8% holiday allowance and a 8.3% end of the year bonus. The position requires residence in Groningen and must result in a PhD thesis within the 4-year contract period. The successful candidate will be offered a temporary position of four years with an evaluation moment at the end of the first year. The prolongation of the contract after this first year is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the next three years is to be expected.

A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Behavioural and Social Sciences.

In addition for the PhD position Psychometrics and Statistics, part of the contract entails implementing teaching tasks in the Psychology bachelor or master program.

The preferred starting date is between 1 May and 1 September 2019.

You may apply for this position until 31 March 11.59pm / before 1 April 2019 Dutch local time by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

Applications must include:
• a letter of motivation
• a curriculum vitae, including a list of publications (if any)
• transcript of master and bachelor degrees
• the contact information of two academic referees.

The interviews are planned in April 2019.

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


For information you can contact:

Dr D. van Ravenzwaaij,

(please do not use the email addresses above for applications)

Additional information
Prof. R.R. Meijer
Prof. P. de Jonge
Dr D. van Ravenzwaaij
View or Apply

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