PhD Position in Meta-Analysis of Individual Participant Data
Catholic University of Leuven

The successful candidate will work in the Research Group of Quantitative Psychology and Individual Differences under the supervision of Iven Van Mechelen and Francis Tuerlinckx. The group offers an international, productive, collaborative, and interactive environment with about 6 faculty and 26 graduate and postgraduate students. The University of Leuven is a research-oriented institution and is consistently ranked among the top research universities in Europe. Leuven is one of the oldest university towns in Europe, about 30 km from Brussels. It has a rich history and a unique friendly atmosphere.


Integrating findings from a collection of studies can be done by means of traditional meta-analyses at the study level or by making use of the data of the individual participants in each of the studies involved. The latter option goes with the advantage of yielding a much deeper insight into the psychological mechanisms underlying the data as well as individual differences therein. In this project two types of collections of studies will be subject to individual participant data meta-analysis. The first type comprises randomized controlled trials in which several treatments for depression are compared; on the basis of the data from these trials, optimal decision rules for treatment assignment will be estimated (Sies, Demyttenaere, & Van Mechelen, 2019). The second type comprises observational studies of the time dynamics of affect in everyday life; to unveil the fundamental mechanisms underlying these dynamics, the data from these studies will be analyzed by means of an in-house developed mathematical model (the Affective Ising Model, Loossens et al., 2019). Depending on the background and interest of the candidate, the focus can be on an application of existing methods to answer substantive questions on optimal decision rules and affective dynamics, or on the study of statistical properties of the methods in question.


Prerequisites for candidates on this project are a PhD, a solid background in statistics, prior experience with research on clinical psychology, affective science and/or statistical modeling, and excellent English reporting skills as evidenced by a very good publication track record in peer-reviewed first rank international journals. 


We offer a competitive salary with various additional benefits (in terms of holidays, health insurance, transport costs), excellent research facilities, and conference and travel budget. The postdoc position is offered for a one-year period. The starting date is October 1st, 2021. 


For more information, please contact Prof. dr. Iven Van Mechelen, tel.: +32 16 32 61 31, mail: or Prof. dr. Francis Tuerlinckx, tel.: +32 16 32 59 99, mail:  

Interested applicants can apply online, providing a motivation letter, a full CV (including a detailed transcript of university study results and a comprehensive publication list), pdf files of all accepted peer-reviewed international publications, and the names and contact information of at least two references.

You can apply for this job no later than June 15, 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: Voltijds
  • Location: Leuven
  • Apply before: June 15, 2021
  • Tags: Psychologie

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


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