3 postdoc positions Ghent University

At Ghent University, within the Department of Developmental, Personality, and Social Psychology, we are looking for three full-time post-docs for the interdisciplinary Odysseus project titled “Emerging Adulthood: The Time of Your Life?” funded by the FWO. 


This project focuses on general and domain-specific indicators of both early adult adaptive and maladaptive functioning. 

In a first subproject, we will describe developmental trajectories by testing the central hypothesis that individual differences in personality development and parenting history are related to heterogeneity in psychosocial (mal)adjustment during emerging adulthood. Further, we aim to explain heterogeneity in (mal)adaptation in emerging adults by examining crucial mediating and modifiable psychological processes (i.e., emotion regulation and identity) explaining these relations. The integration of a lifespan (macro-time level) perspective measuring between-person variability and a dynamic systems (micro-time level) perspective measuring within-person variability has the potential to greatly extend our understanding of why young adults progress along different trajectories. We are looking for 2 post-doctoral researchers working on this first subproject. 

In a second subproject, we will test whether interventions targeting these modifiable mediators (causally) predict better adaptation by developing, implementing and evaluating two RCT interventions focusing on emotion regulation or on identity using Virtual Reality. We are looking for 1 post-doctoral researcher working on this second subproject. 

Ultimately, results from this project can provide young people tools that help them to experience emerging adulthood as the time of their life. 

The Odysseus project is embedded within the Department of Developmental, Personality, and Social Psychology https://www.ugent.be/pp/vopspsy/en and for the second subproject there is close collaboration with research group imec-mict-UGent (www.mict.be). The principal investigators of the project are Prof. Dr. Peter Prinzie and Prof. Dr. Bart Soenens. For the second subproject, Prof. Dr. Jelle Saldien and Prof. Dr. Klaas Bombeke are part of the team.  


You hold a thesis-based doctorate (obtained max. 6 years ago. This term of 6 years is determined by the date written on the above-mentioned required diploma). 

For the first subproject: 

The candidate has a PhD degree in psychology. 

The candidate has a background of research on personality, emotion regulation, identity or well-being. 

Some experience with ecological momentary assessments is a pro. 

Some expertise in the analyses of intensive longitudinal data is a pro. 

For the second subproject: 

The candidate has a PhD degree in engineering, domain of human-computer interactions (or a related discipline), with strong interest in psychology OR a PhD degree in Psychology with strong interest in data & software applications. 

The candidate has an interest in developing applied solutions in order to help young adults. 

Some experience with virtual reality and/or RCT interventions is a pro. 

For both subprojects, candidates have: 

a strong publication record as evidenced by international scientific publications; a rich plethora of quantitative research skills; 

a strong interest in the development of young adults and novel research methods; a highly creative mindset; 

a highly collaborative attitude: you value teamwork in a large interdisciplinary team; excellent social and communication skills; 

the willingness and necessary logistical skills (such as recruiting participants) to organize data collections, offer basic IT support to tech illiterate participants using the VR intervention application and monitor the data collection on a server-based platform. 

the willingness to co-supervise PhD students; 

a desire to contribute to creating societal impact and therefore a proven ability to translate scientific knowledge in practical solutions; 

some experience in project acquisition (scientific grant schemes or external funding) and/or management is a pro; 

the motivation to work independently and proactively but are also open to feedback and work in a group context with multiple doctoral students and other postdocs; excellent writing and presentation skills in English and Dutch; 

an open intellectual mindset and enjoy collaborating with colleagues from diverse disciplines; 

the commitment to maintain high ethical standards in their research, publications, and valorization practices. 


A two-year postdoctoral position with the possibility of extension within a broader project that will eventually consist of 4 PhD students, 3 postdocs, and 2 support staff. 

The date of employment is currently scheduled for February 1, 2024 (but is negotiable). 

Your remuneration will be determined by salary scale PD1. For more information about our salary scales, see: https://www.ugent.be/nl/jobs/salarisschalen/wpwm.htm 

All Ghent University staff members enjoy a number of benefits, such as a wide range of training and education opportunities, 36 days of holiday leave (on an annual basis for a full-time job) supplemented by annual fixed bridge days, a bicycle allowance and eco vouchers. For an overview of the employee benefits see: https://www.ugent.be/en/work/talent/next-steps/employeebenefits.htm 


Ghent University is a world of its own. Employing more than 8,000 people, it is actively involved in education and research, management and administration, as well as technical and social service provision on a daily basis. It is one of the largest, most exciting employers in the area and offers great career opportunities. With its 11 faculties and more than 80 departments offering state-of-the-art study programmes grounded in research in a wide range of academic fields, Ghent University is a logical choice for its staff and students. 


Apply online through the e-recruitment system before the application deadline (see above). We do not accept late applications or applications that are not submitted through the online system. 

Please indicate clearly for which subproject you apply (Subproject 1 or Subproject 2). 

Your application must include the following documents: 

In the field ‘CV’: your CV and an overview of your study results (merged into one pdf file) 

In the field ‘Cover letter’: your application letter in pdf format 

In the field ‘Diploma’: a transcript of the required degree (if already in your possession). If you have a foreign diploma in a language other than our national languages (Dutch, French or German) or English, please add a translation in one of the mentioned languages. 

In the field “other documents”: Up to three publications you consider your best or most relevant for the position you apply for + contact details of (at least) two (academic) references. 

Note that the maximum file size for each field is 10 MB. 

As Ghent University maintains an equal opportunities and diversity policy, everyone is encouraged to apply for this position. 


For more information about this vacancy, please contact Prof. Peter Prinzie (peter.prinzie@ugent.be). 

Important: do NOT send your application by email, but apply online. 

Do you have a question regarding the online application process? Please read our FAQ or contact helpdesk (dpo@ugent.be – tel. 09/264 98 98). 

→ Apply before November 30, 2023 23:59 (Brussels Time) 

→ Department: Developmental, Personality, and Social Psychology 

→ Occupancy rate:100% 

Number of positions: 3 

Type of employment: post-doctoral researcher 

Term of assignment: 3 years (with possible extension) 

→ Wage scale: PD1 to PD4 

→ Required diploma: PhD