PHD position Tilburg University

Depression, substance use, and minor delinquency steeply increase during adolescence. Parents are in a unique position to counter these adaptation problems, but each family is different. Tailoring advice to the family-specific needs and strengths may help parents in their important task of promoting adolescent behavioral and emotional well-being. Unfortunately, theoretical knowledge of how parenting processes operate at the level of individual families is missing. The ADAPT-program, of which this PhD-position will be part, aims at obtaining these fundamental theoretical insights into how parenting promotes adolescent well-being in individual families.

The project has a strong focus on applying new methods to this question, but it also entails data collection among high school students. It will use smart phones to obtain highly frequent, real-time, multi-informant assessments of parent-child interactions (i.e., Experience Sampling Methods). To analyze these intensive data, the project involves first applications of state-of-the-art data-analytical approaches to intensive longitudinal data (e.g., Continuous-Time structural equation modeling; time series models for dyadic data). Thus, in order to quantify the complex reality of parenting adolescents at the level of individual families, the PhD-student will embrace technological and data-analytical innovations.

The project is funded by a NWO-VIDI grant, awarded to Loes Keijsers. The PhD-student will be part of a larger project-team working on solving similar theoretical problems and developing applications to translate novel theoretical findings into e-health applications. Moreover, (s)he can rely on a broader network of expertise of the Tilburg Experience Sampling Center for analytical and methodological support.

Deadline: 22 Dec

Additional information about the vacancy can be found on academic transfer:


Registration VNOP CAS Researchdays 2018 open!

Dear VNOP members.

Registration for the VNOP CAS Research Days 2018 is open!

The Research Days are organized annually by members of VNOP and CAS and are interesting for all researchers within the field of developmental psychology and pedagogics. The days provide a unique opportunity for young researchers to develop themselves and to present their work.

For further information and to register, go here
Registration is open until November, 9, 2018

For any questions, please contact us at

Kind regards,
Jochem Spaans
On behalf of the 2018 VNOP CAS Researchdays organizing committee

Deadline VNOP-CAS Researchdays extended to 1st of October

Dear VNOP members,

The deadline for abstract submissions for the VNOP-CAS Researchdays (taking place on the 22nd and 23rd of November) has been extended to the 1st of October, 2018.

For submission guidelines and submitting your abstract, visit the Researchdays website here:

Please note that:

  • All presentations will take place on the 23rd of November. The program on the 22nd of November consists of workshops for PhD students and a social activity.
  • These Research Days are interesting for all researchers working in the field of developmental psychology or pedagogics. You do not need to be a member of VNOP or CAS.

For any questions, please contact us at

Kind regards,
Jochem Spaans
On behalf of the 2018 VNOP CAS Researchdays organizing committee

PhD position Groningen (Dutch)

Young refugee students in primary education

Jonge vluchtelingleerlingen vormen een kwetsbare groep in het primair onderwijs. Voor leerkrachten is het lastig is om goed aan te sluiten bij de onderwijsbehoeften van deze leerlingen. Allereerst is er met name in de jongste groepen van het primair onderwijs een grote behoefte aan een geïntegreerde onderwijsmethode voor het leren van de Nederlandse taal (NT2). Ten tweede blijken vluchtelingleerlingen volgens hun leerkrachten vaak moeite te hebben om tot leren te komen. Ze observeren dat er in internationale klassen meer conflicten zijn, dat er minder optimaal leergedrag is en vermoeden dat er vaak sprake is van lijdensdruk (‘distress’) of trauma.

In dit project wordt een NT2-lespakket voor groep 1-2 samengesteld, doorontwikkeld en op effectiviteit onderzocht middels van een combinatie van kwalitatieve en kwantitatieve data. Taalverwerving en sociaal-emotioneel welbevinden zijn van cruciaal belang voor de ontwikkeling en het leren op school en zijn met elkaar verweven. Het voorgestelde onderzoek biedt daarom een combinatie van toegepast onderzoek en een fundamenteel, praktisch relevant onderzoek naar de Nederlandse taalverwerving en haar relatie met het welbevinden van jonge vluchtelingleerlingen.

Bij dit onderzoek binnen de afdeling Ontwikkelingspsychologie van de RUG wordt samengewerkt met de afdeling Pedagogiek, GGZ-instelling Molendrift en het bedrijf Bereslim.


Wij zijn op zoek naar een kandidaat die voldoet aan de volgende kwalificaties:
• een afgeronde (research-)masteropleiding in een relevantie richting (bijvoorbeeld Ontwikkelingspsychologie, Klinische Psychologie, (Ortho)pedagogiek)
• aantoonbare deskundigheid op het gebied van ontwikkelingsprocessen in de kindertijd
• goede onderzoeksvaardigheden (analyse van kwantitatieve gegevens, interview- en observatievaardigheden)
• affiniteit/ervaring met kinderen in de leeftijd 4-8 jaar en/of hun ouders/leerkrachten
• affiniteit/ervaring met vluchtelingen of kinderen met een migratieachtergrond strekt tot de aanbeveling
• goede verbale en schriftelijke vaardigheden in het Nederlands en Engels
• organisatietalent, doorzettingsvermogen, zelfstandigheid en het vermogen om samen te werken in het onderzoeksteam en met deelnemende scholen.

reageren kan via:

PhD jobs

Two PhD positions

Developmental Psychobiology Lab

Prof.dr. Carolina de Weerth is looking for two highly capable, eager, and intrinsically motivated PhD candidates to join her Developmental Psychobiology Lab (DPBLab). This position is funded by a personal VICI grant awarded to Prof. de Weerth and funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The grant is on healthy children’s gut microbial colonization in relation to stress early in life and later brain functioning, behavior, and cognition.

PhD1: The aim of this project is to test a new psychobiological model of human development within an ongoing longitudinal study in healthy children. In this model, early life gut microbiota mediates the associations between stress early in life and adolescent brain, behavior, and cognition. As previously shown in mice, adolescence may constitute an additional sensitive period in development, next to early life, in which dysregulation of the microbiota-gut-brain axis may contribute to what are often first manifestations of psychopathology. In this study, we will hence study the independent and potentially combined contributions of stress and microbiota in early life and in adolescence on brain structure, brain function, behavior problems, and cognitive capacities.

PhD2: The aim of this project is to study two potential causal mechanisms through which maternal psychological stress, as an early life stress-inducing factor, can negatively affect infant microbial colonization and development. The first mechanism that will be studied is the pathway from maternal prenatal stress to infant microbiota, mediated by maternal prenatal diet and her own microbiota. The second mechanism that will be studied is the pathway from maternal postnatal stress to infant microbiota mediated by breast milk composition (lactational programming). For this study, pregnant mothers and their infants will be followed from mid-pregnancy until the child reaches age 1.


You will be part of the 2018 VICI grant ‘How gut bacteria and stress shape child development’. You will join the very dynamic and highly collaborative Developmental Psychobiology Lab (DPBlab; web page:, a multidisciplinary group of senior and junior researchers. You will help design and carry out fMRI, behavioral, psychological, and biological assessment rounds in adolescents (PhD1) and behavioral, psychological, and biological assessment rounds in pregnant women and infants (PhD2) within longitudinal studies. Data collection will be in the lab and/or the field. You will analyze the data and report the results in scientific journals and conferences, and in a doctoral dissertation.

We expect:

  • a Master’s degree in psychology (e.g., developmental psychology, developmental psychopathology, clinical psychology, neuroscience/neuropsychology) or related discipline;
  • a Research Master’s degree is an advantage;
  • a profound interest in fundamental and developmental psychobiological research;
  • advanced statistical skills and experience in scientific writing, or at least a keen interest and motivation to acquire such skills;
  • expertise in relevant computer packages (e.g. SPSS, R, Limesurvey, etc.);
  • experience with MRI data collection and analysis (PhD1);
  • (research) expertise in testing children/adolescents, and in longitudinal studies, is an advantage;
  • good organizational skills; data-management skills are an advantage;
  • advanced proficiency in spoken and written English (please write your application in English);
  • good command of the Dutch language;
  • good social and communication skills;
  • a collaborative nature, pleasure in team work;
  • an energetic and productive attitude to work hard;
  • flexibility, independence, perseverance, and resilience to stress;

The appointment is for five years (0.8 fte). An official announcement of these positions will be out shortly. If you are interested in these PhD positions please contact Carolina de Weerth, at She will then send you the official announcement and application instructions when available.

Tentative schedule for application procedure (dates subject to change)

Deadline for applications: 15 October. Selected applicants will be invited to an interview that will take place on November 5. The best candidates from the first round will be invited to a second interview on November 12, which will also include an assessment component. Starting date is January 1, 2019.

Call for Abstracts VNOP-CAS Researchdays 22-23 november 2018

Dear VNOP members,

Abstract submission is now open for this year’s VNOP-CAS Researchdays, taking place on the 22nd and 23rd of November.

Are you a PhD student working in the field of developmental psychology or pedagogics? Submit your abstract now! We are very interested in your research. You can choose between a poster presentation, paper presentation or symposium. Deadline for the abstract submission is September 16, 2018.

You can submit an abstract and view submission guidelines here.

Please note that:

  • All presentations will take place on the 23rd of November, the program on the 22nd of November consists of workshops for PhD students and a social activity.
  • These Research Days are interesting for all researchers working in the field of developmental psychology or pedagogics. You do not need to be a member of VNOP or CAS.

If you have any questions, please contact the organizing committee at


PhD position, UvA

PhD candidate – Changing peer norms to improve self-regulation in youth

Research PResearch Priority Area Yield of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is looking for a PhD candidate for the project ’Changing peer norms to improve self-regulation in youth’. The project will start in September 2018 and will be supervised by prof. dr. Geertjan Overbeek, dr. Eddie Brummelman, dr. Helle Larsen and dr. Wouter van den Bos.riority Area (RPA)

Yield conducts multidisciplinary research on the bio-ecology of human development, from infancy to young adulthood, with perspectives from Medicine, Psychology, Pedagogics, Education, Communication, Economics, and Psychometrics. With its (NWO funded) Graduate Programme and its associated PhD training programmes, RPA Yield provides an attractive environment in which PhD students are trained in multidisciplinary research on human development.

The hired candidate will join the programme group of Preventive Youth Care (dept. of Child Development and Education), led by prof. dr. Overbeek and will also be part of the department of Developmental Psychology. The Departments of Child Development and Education and Developmental Psychology are located in in the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG).

Project description

Adolescence is a turbulent phase of development. Around the transition to adolescence, self-regulation failures such as aggression typically emerge or worsen. These self-regulation failures come at great cost for individuals, communities, and society at large. How can these failures be prevented so as to help youths thrive? This project examines whether self-regulation can be improved by addressing something that youths care deeply about: the social norms within their peer group. The aim is to conduct a randomized-controlled trial and follow-up experiments to investigate how changing social norms may affect self-regulation, and to examine how this may create effective behaviour change and improve mental and physical health in youths. Moreover, this project examines how specific changes in youths cascade into healthier peer networks (increased feelings of safety, less conflicts and bullying, and fewer signs of physical ill-health). The project combines insights from pedagogics, developmental psychology, and social psychology, and will shed new light on how we can help youths flourish.


  • Participation in the PhD-programme of the Graduate School of Child Development and Education and RPA Yield;
  • independently carrying out research, writing scientific articles, and completing a PhD dissertation within four or five years;
  • active participation in the programme group of Preventive Youth Care, and the Research Institute of Child Development and Education;
  • participating in conferences, workshops, seminars, and other scholarly activities.


The PhD candidate should have the following credentials:

  • graduated with excellent results on a research-based Research Master or Master thesis in (Ortho)Pedagogics, Psychology, or a closely related discipline;
  • interest in children and adolescents, and how we can use knowledge from psychology and pedagogics to help them flourish;
  • experience in carrying out quantitative research, and interest in learning social network analyses;
  • excellent communication and academic writing skills (Dutch and English);
  • excellent organization and project coordination skills;
  • experience/interest in working with teachers and schools and children and adolescents;
  • knowledge of/interest in peer relations development both in childhood and in adolescence;
  • knowledge of/interest in school-based peer interventions;
  • ability to work in an interdisciplinary team.

Further information

Deadline 25 June 2018.

See vacancy for more information.

Developmental courses at Radboud Summer School 2018

Nijmegen, 13-17 August 2018

(early bird registration deadline: 1 April)

Peer Relations and Interactions in Childhood and Adolescence

Peers are powerful socialization agents, contributing well beyond the collective influences of family, school and neighborhood. This highly interactive course focuses on the importance of peers for child development. During this course you will have ample opportunity to learn about the past, present and future of peer relations research. You will also learn to use state of the art research measures and paradigms to assess peer relations and interactions. The course will be taught by the members of the Peer Relations Lab at Radboud University (peerlab). Course leader is Prof. dr. Toon Cillessen.

Early Programming: How Early Life Shapes Human Development

During the prenatal and early postnatal years neurobiological and behavioral development proceeds at a breathtaking pace and is highly sensitive to environmental influences. Early experience shapes early and long-term developmental outcomes.  This highly interactive course looks into exciting and recently discovered environmental factors and mechanisms that shape early and long-term human development; using evolutionary, biological, psychological and social perspectives. Course leader is Prof. dr. Carolina de Weerth.

Two Vici awards for developmental research

Vici is one of the largest grants for individuals in the Netherlands and targets advanced researchers. The funding enables the scientists to set up their own innovative line of research and put together their own research group.

When Mommy and Daddy Get Under Your Skin…
Prof. G. (Geertjan) Overbeek (m), UvA – Pedagogics

This research examines whether parents can get under their children’s skins. By using effective parenting interventions for families at risk, the researchers aim to enrich parenting to such an extent that it leads to changes in gene expression. This potentially predicts improved stress reactivity and less disruptive behavior in children.

How gut bacteria and stress shape child development
Prof.dr. C. (Carolina) de Weerth (f), RU – Developmental Psychology

Intestinal bacteria are essential for health, and as recently shown in animals, probably also affect our brain and behavior. Researchers will find out how intestinal bacteria affect typical human development, from infancy till adolescence, by investigating how bacteria colonize the intestines, in situations with more or less early life stress.

Registration open for VNOP Conference 2018

The bi-annual conference of the Dutch Society for Developmental Psychology (Vereniging Nederlandse Ontwikkelingspsychologie, VNOP) will be held on the 15th & 16th of May 2018 in Wageningen, the Netherlands.

Registration (or see the: Conference Website)

  • For registration go to:
  • For rooms go to the conference website: WICC It is important that you mention that you are a VNOP participant! Address: Wageningen International Congress Centre’: Lawickse Allee 9, 6701 AN Wageningen, the Netherlands:

Keynote speakers:

  • Iroise Dumontheil: Social cognition during adolescence
  • Nienke van Atteveldt: Proving or improving yourself: the neural and behavioral response to feedback and failure in adolescents
  • Jaap Denissen: Personality-environment transactions across the lifespan

Important dates:

  • 3 April 2018: Final date that rooms are reserved for the conference at the Wageningen International Congress Centre
  • 24 April 2018: Deadline for conference registration


  • Visit the Conference Website intermittently to view updated information
  • Visit our Facebook page for updates, symposium and roommate requests!
  • The bi-annual VNOP conference 2018 is organized by the department of Developmental & Educational Psychology from Leiden University. For questions regarding the organization please send an email to

Paul van Geert Prize

last reminder:

The Paul van Geert award is a biennial prize that is granted to the best paper concerning a dynamic approach to psychological development, written by AIO’s or post-docs. The paper may be theoretical, methodological or empirical, as long as it addresses a dynamic approach to developmental processes in psychology. The winner should attend the VNOP (The Dutch organization on Developmental Psychology) conference, and that automatically implies VNOP membership for two years.
The award consists of a certificate and 250 euro.
The award is presented during the biennial VNOP conference. The papers have to be published during the period of two years between March 1st of the year of the previous conference to March 1st of the year of the actual VNOP conference. The authors should be AIO or post doc at the time of submission of the paper.

Reminder: VNOP 2018 Dissertation Award

This is a reminder that the deadline of the 2018 VNOP dissertation award is approaching!

This biennial price is awarded to the best dissertation written by VNOP members, with at least one of the supervisors also being a VNOP member. Eligible are candidates who defended/are going to defend their dissertation between March 1, 2016 and March 1, 2018. The winner will receive a certificate and 250 euro.
The award will be presented during the 2018 VNOP conference, which takes place on May 15-16, 2018 at Hof van Wageningen (for more info, see

Candidates should submit the following materials before March 1, 2018 by e-mail to the secretariat of the committee:
– A digital version of their dissertation
– A plea of one of their (co-) promotors of why the candidate deserves the award

Please visit the DissertationAward Page for more details on this award. We are looking forward to receiving your nominations!

Dissertation defence Eduard Klapwijk & Symposium on Neural bases of Prosocial and Antisocial behavior

Dear VNOP members,

You are all invited to the public dissertation defence of Eduard Klapwijk, taking place next Tuesday 23-1-2018 from 16:15 – 17:00 in Leiden. His dissertation title is: Neural mechanisms of social-emotional dysfunction in autism spectrum disorder and conduct disorder”.

For location details, visit this link. No registration is necessary.

Leading up to this PhD defence, a symposium on the neural bases of prosocial and antisocial behavior will take place at the same location from 11:00 – 14:00 (lunch is included). More information about this symposium can be found here. Registration is free and still open. Register for the symposium here!