PhD Position in Personalized Monitoring and Targeted Prevention of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury in Daily Life
Catholic University of Leuven

The Center for Contextual Psychiatry (CCP) is a multidisciplinary and internationally oriented research center, widely recognized for its expertise in the design, application, and analysis of studies and clinical trials using ambulatory assessment and experience sampling methodology in the context of mental health research. The CCP is headed by prof. Inez Myin-Germeys and currently consists of 30 researchers from diverse backgrounds (clinical and experimental psychology, psychiatry, statistics, philosophy, movement sciences). The CCP is part of the Department of Neurosciences in the School of Medicine at KU Leuven, one of the most renowned research universities in Europe.


Up to 10% of adolescents and adults engage in non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI; e.g., cutting, hitting) every year and are at increased risk for suicide and various other adverse outcomes (e.g., stigma, depression, interpersonal stress). Despite this knowledge, we still lack an evidence-based method of how to best monitor NSSI thoughts and behaviors and effectively integrate this personalized information in clinical practice. The successful candidate will work on a randomized controlled trial that evaluates the effectiveness of a mobile-based monitoring tool that provides person-tailored feedback to patients and clinicians in treatment. A second related project will involve the development of individual risk prediction models that can accurately detect the risk of NSSI in daily life, making use of both active and passive monitoring data. The Ph.D. student will take a leading role in both these studies, particularly in cooperating with clinicians and patients in mental health settings.


Applications for which the following information is uploaded will be considered:
  • Master's degree in Psychology or a related field (e.g., Mental Health, Psychiatry, Health Sciences)
  • Solid background in statistics and research methods (e.g., analyses will involve constructing within-person prediction models) 
  • Clinical background or work-related experience in mental health care 
  • Strong interest in the assessment and evaluation of innovative methods and novel approaches to prevent self-injurious behaviors in daily life
  • A creative personality who can generate novel solutions independently, yet does not mind being challenged constructively to reach the best possible outcome
  • Knowledge of the experience sampling method, physiological measurement, clinical trial methodology, and/or literature on non-suicidal self-injury is an advantage
  • Written and verbal command of the English and Dutch language is required (C1 proficiency level)
Note: This profile was created, considering all the essential skills that will be needed for the successful completion of the PhD project. If you are interested in this position but currently do not meet all requirements, we encourage you to apply and address in your cover letter how you aim to obtain the necessary skills within the first year of the Ph.D. However, English and Dutch language levels are an absolute requirement.


A contract for one year will be offered, which is renewable for another three years after positive evaluation. Salaries for Ph.D. students are competitive by international standards. The starting date is flexible but no later than January 2021. 


For more information please contact dr. Glenn Kiekens, tel.: +32 16 37 28 52, mail: or Martine van Nierop, tel.: +32 16 327 698, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than October 31, 2020 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: October 31, 2020
  • Tags: Psychologie

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


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