Doctoral Researcher in Violence against the Police
Catholic University of Leuven Department of Work and Organisation Studies

The Department of Work and Organisation Studies (WOS) is an interdisciplinary group of about 50 scholars with backgrounds in economics, sociology, psychology, management and history, bringing different theoretical as well as methodological perspectives to the study of work. More specifically, the research at WOS aims to extend knowledge on employees’ and job seekers’ psychosocial well-being and on organisational practices, policies, and processes that affect the nature and conditions of work and the organisation of labour within the society. If you want to find out more about our research and who we are as research group, we invite you to visit our website. The Faculty of Economics and Business has four campuses. This position is related to our campus in Brussels. KU Leuven is an innovative research and educational institution with international recognition.


You will execute a scientific research project and prepare a doctoral dissertation on bystander conflict during police interventions. Bystander conflict occurs when citizens impede the functioning of the police during primary interventions (e.g. 'getting in the way', insult, intimidation, aggression, violence). The relative unpredictability of bystander behaviour puts a lot of pressure on the police force and creates unforeseen stressors during interventions. This has negative consequences to the health and well-being of police officers, but in the longterm also threatens societal stability and well-being. This research project builds on evidence and theories of human behaviour (e.g., construal level theory, fairness theory) to examine how the police can prevent bystander behaviour from occurring. In doing so, a predominantly quantitative multi-method perspective will be applied by conducting experimental, survey, simulation, and VR studies. Your research is ultimately aimed at contributing to intervention training in police forces.  

Duration of the project will be 4 years, counting from the first day of employment. Your main activities will be to work proactively on the different steps of the research project and in executing studies, to write several scientific papers with the aim of integrating them into a doctoral dissertation, to participate actively in (international) seminars and conferences, to complete the PhD program at the faculty of economics and business sciences (see, and to provide teaching support in master thesis supervision and courses of the academic faculty.  


-You hold a master’s degree in Psychology, Applied Economics, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, or a related discipline

-You obtained at least 2 ‘honours’ (e.g., cum laude, distinction) over the course of your higher education
-You are intellectually curious and are interested in the topic of violence against the police
-You have experience with or strong interest in designing and executing quantitative research (and with experiments and/or survey researchin particular)
-You have good writing skills and are fluent in English and Dutch
-You are an analytic thinker with a proactive, self-directed approach to work
-We especially encourage candidates who are familiar with methodologies that allow testing causal relations


We offer employment as a full-time doctoral researcher in a stimulating environment from September 1st 2021 (can be discussed) and this for a period of 4years (pending on positive evaluation after 12 and 24 months). You will predominantly collaborate with your main supervisors, prof. Lieven Brebels, prof. Karin Proost, and prof. Germeys, who will engage you in a developmental process to set up and publish rigorous and integer scientific research that is relevant to practice. There will also be collaborations with other experts in the field in later stages of the project. The main workplace will be in Brussels (concrete modalities about workplace and telework can be discussed). PhD candidates at KU Leuven have a salaried position with social securitycoverage and earn approximately 26k€ per year.

More information on the terms of employment can be found on:


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Karin Proost, tel.: +32 493 498787, mail: or Prof. dr. Lieven Brebels, tel.: +32 499 403315, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than June 28, 2021 via the
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at
  • Employment percentage: Voltijdse of deeltijdse tewerkstelling mogelijk
  • Location: Leuven/Brussel
  • Apply before: June 28, 2021
  • Tags: Psychologie

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Psychoneuroxy


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