Doctoral Researcher in Psychology
University of Luxembourg
Belgium

Doctoral Researcher in Psychology

University of Luxembourg is an international research university with a distinctly multilingual and interdisciplinary character. The University was founded in 2003 and counts more than 6,700 students and more than 2,000 employees from around the world. The University’s faculties and interdisciplinary centres focus on research in the areas of Computer Science and ICT Security, Materials Science, European and International Law, Finance and Financial Innovation, Education, Contemporary and Digital History. In addition, the University focuses on cross-disciplinary research in the areas of Data Modelling and Simulation as well as Health and System Biomedicine. Times Higher Education ranks the University of Luxembourg #3 worldwide for its “international outlook,” #20 in the Young University Ranking 2021 and among the top 250 universities worldwide. 

The Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) brings together expertise from the humanities, linguistics, cognitive sciences, social and educational sciences. People from across 20 disciplines are working within the Faculty. Along with the disciplinary approach a very ambitious interdisciplinary research culture has been developed.

The faculty’s research and teaching focuses on social, economic, political and educational issues with the common goal of contributing to an inclusive, open and resourceful society. The FHSE offers four Bachelor and 15 Master degrees and a doctoral school providing students with the necessary knowledge and high-qualified skills to succeed in their future career.

Project Description:

Socioeconomic conditions have a significant impact on health and disease. Despite considerable effort, these socioeconomically associated health disparities represent a substantial economic burden and psychosocial challenge. In many cases living in poor socioeconomic conditions represents a major contributor to both acute and chronic care expenditures. Accelerated immunological ageing, the natural decline in immune functioning with age may be the key to understanding these health disparities. We have assembled a highly interdisciplinary team that brings the TwinLife cohort together with an economist, a psychologist and an immunologist/epigeneticist. By addressing not only the biology, but the socioeconomic environment and psychological processes we hope to gain a deeper understanding of how our social environment affects physical and mental health. Our goal is to inform public policy, and in the longer-term influence community-based prophylactic approaches to intervention, eventually allowing health disparities based on socioeconomic status and their associated costs to be reduced. This PhD project is part of the project “LONG TERM IMMUNOLOGICAL CONSEQUENCES IN ADVERSITY-DIVERGENT TWINS” (ImmunoTwin), jointly funded by the DFG and the FNR. The doctoral researcher will benefit from the Doctoral Programmes of the Doctoral School in Humanities and Social Sciences (DSHSS) and the Luxembourg Institute of Health. 

Your Role...

General:

  • Prepare a doctoral thesis on “From adversity to sickness – effects of psychological resources and psychosocial adversity on epigenetics and immunological mechanisms” under the supervision of Professor Claus Vögele
  • Contribute to co-authored publications of the project team
  • Participate in activities of the doctoral training unit, including training and seminars, public outreach activities, site visits, stakeholder workshops, social media communication etc.

Project specific:

The candidate will perform the clinical psychological and socioeconomic analysis of the participants during the first two years of their programme. The PhD student will then work on integrating these data with the full epigenomic profile at both the cohort and individual level. The PhD candidate will describe the psychological profile of adversity divergent MZ and DZ twins. Participants will be psychologically assessed using a remote (telephone / Skype) structured clinical psychological interview (e.g. DIPS, SKID) assessing mental disorders (DSM-5, ICD-10).

In addition, participants will be asked to provide completed questionnaires designed to assess type and time of experienced adversity and related personality constructs and socioeconomic variables (e.g. attachment security, rejection sensitivity, resilience, depression, self-esteem, resilience, social support, social integration and exclusion, economic insecurity).

What we expect from you…

The ideal candidate will have a background in Clinical Psychology. Prior experience with conducting psychological assessments in clinical populations is essential. Knowledge of either Biology or Economics would be a considerable bonus as well as a desire to be at the interface of Biology, Psychology and Economics. The ideal PhD candidate will possess a strong academic record as well as a keen interest/knowledge in applying psychological methods to public health problems (i.e. Health Psychology, Behavioural Medicine or Health Economics).

Essential criteria:

  • Master in Psychology or related field
  • Experience of clinical-psychological assessments, including structured interviews
  • Excellent knowledge of quantitative statistics including related analysis software (SPSS, R, etc)
  • Fluent in written and spoken English and German

Desirable criteria:

  • Knowledge of Biology, Immunology, Epigenetics and/or Economics

Skills:

  • Strong motivation to engage in interdisciplinary and other training activities
  • Willingness to closely collaborate with other academic disciplines and societal stakeholders
  • Willingness to participate in training events of the doctoral training unit
  • Skills in academic writing and reporting
  • Good organizational skills, good communications skills
  • Ability to take own initiatives as well as to work in groups to solve complex problems

In Short...

  • Contract Type: Fixed Term Contract 36 Months - extendable up to 48 months if required
  • Work Hours: Full Time 40.0 Hours per Week
  • Earliest starting date: December 2021
  • Employee and student status
  • Location: Belval
  • Job Reference: UOL04411

How to apply...

Applications should be submitted online and include:

  • Copy of your ID
  • Letter of motivation
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Copy of the highest diploma. The minimum requirement is a diploma qualifying for doctoral studies in the recruiting country (e.g. Master degree). Students in their last year may apply but can only be recruited upon successful graduation
  • Contact details of two referees (no recommendation letter)
  • Writing sample (e.g. student’s paper or chapter thesis) preferably in English

Selected applicants will be called for an interview.

Early application is highly encouraged, as the applications will be processed upon reception. Please apply formally through the HR system. Applications by email will not be considered.

The University of Luxembourg embraces inclusion and diversity as key values. We are fully committed to removing any discriminatory barrier related to gender, and not only, in recruitment and career progression of our staff.

Here’s what awaits you at the University

  • Multilingual and international character. Modern institution with a personal atmosphere. Staff coming from 90 countries. Member of the “University of the Greater Region” (UniGR). 
  • A modern and dynamic university. High-quality equipment. Close ties to the business world and to the Luxembourg labour market. A unique urban site with excellent infrastructure.
  • A partner for society and industry. Cooperation with European institutions, innovative companies, the Financial Centre and with numerous non-academic partners such as ministries, local governments, associations, NGOs …

Further information...

Enrolment in Doctoral degree(s): at the diploma issuing university, Université du Luxembourg (uni.lu)

GDPR consent statement: By submitting your application via the email address or platform indicated in the project(s), you consent to the following:

  • Your personal records and application files are kept at the institution(s) to which you submitted them, until 5 years after the end date of the project, i.c. 31.12.2029.
  • Your personal records and application files may also be shared with the recruitment committees of other projects in the consortium, in particular if such sharing increases your chances of being recruited.
  • In the event you are shortlisted in view of potential recruitment, your personal records and application files are additionally kept at the Network Coordinator institute, i.c. LISER – Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research, until 5 years after the end date of the project, i.c. 31.12.2029.
  • Any additional GDPR/data protection notices for recruitment applicable at the institution to which you submit your application.


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