Job opportunities in Amsterdam!

This post was written by Sacha Epskamp, and cross-posted to the psychonetrics blog.

The old city center of Amsterdam – a location right next to the Institute for Advanced Studies which will partly host the PhD positions.

There are several exciting job vacancies in Amsterdam on topics very closely related to our research: one assistant professor position at the Psychological Methods Group, and several PhD positions hosted through the newly founded Center for Urban Mental Health. Note that PhD positions in the Netherlands are full-time 4-year paid jobs including the same benefits as any other job (e.g., pension buildup). Starting a PhD position in the Netherlands requires a Master’s degree. In this blog post, I will highlight some of the most relevant positions. Please consider applying if you are eligible, or forwarding these vacancies to eligible candidates you may know!

Assistant Professor of Psychological Methods

The first position I would like to point out is an assistant professor position at the Psychological Methods Group. The Psychological Methods group of the University of Amsterdam is one of the largest and most successful research and education centers in the field of psychological methods. In the past decade, several strong lines of research originated from this group, such as network modeling of psychological phenomena in the Psychosystems and the Psychonetrics lab groups, Bayesian statistical tools implemented in the open-source statistics program JASP, and adaptive testing implemented in the spin-off company Oefenweb. We have recently launched the increasingly popular Behavioral Data Science master program, which will be the focus of this assistant professorship as well.

Please note that this position does not come with a tenure-track (these do not exist at the Psychological Methods Group), but does come with an outlook on a permanent position!

PhD positions at the Center for Urban Mental Health

The University of Amsterdam has recently approved the foundation of the first-ever Center for Urban Mental Health, which will form an interdisciplinary approach to tackling common mental health problems from a complexity point of view. This center will at first be housed at the renowned Institute for Advanced Studies, right in the city center of Amsterdam. The Center for Urban Mental Health will be launched with several interdisciplinary PhD projects, all aiming to start early 2020. Below, I will list the most relevant positions that are currently open for applications!

Computational modeling of psychological and social dynamics in urban mental health conditions: the case of addictive substance use.

The first PhD vacancy is a PhD project between the Psychological Methods Group in the Department of Psychology, the Department of Computational Science in the Informatics Institute, and the Institute for Advanced Studies. This project will be supervised by me (Sacha Epskamp) and Michael Lees, and will be hosted at the Psychological Methods group and the Institute for Advanced Studies. The aim of this project is to form computational models (e.g., differential equations, agent based models, Ising models), that combine psychological dynamics with social dynamics. This means that we wish to form models that can simulate intraindividual dynamics of multiple people that also interact with each other in complex ways. We are specifically looking for a candidate with a background in using such models as well as a strong affinity with psychological research.

Please note that the closing date is already this Sunday (November 24). However, if you are interested in doing a PhD on the topic of computational modeling of psychological dynamics, feel free to contact me (Sacha Epskamp) as more positions related to this topic may become available.

Network Analysis and Urban Mental Health Interventions

The second PhD vacancy is a vacancy between the Department of Psychology and the Department of Communication Science. The project will be supervised by me (Sacha Epskamp), alongside Reinout Wiers, Julia van Weert, and Barbara Schouten. This project will start out as a methodological project, investigating ways of estimating network models from self-report time-series data (e.g., experience sampling method; ESM), after which the project will move towards a more applied clinical focus in which the candidate is expected to gather and analyze ESM data, followed by collaborating with clinicians to derive and evaluate intervention plans. We are specifically looking for a candidate that has both a strong focus on clinical research as well as good data analytic skills and an affinity or background in methodology.

Network theory of addiction and depression

The third PhD vacancy is a vacancy between the Psychological Methods Group in the Department of Psychology, the Department of Psychiatry at the Amsterdam UMC, location AMC, and the Institute for Advanced Studies. This project will be supervised by Maarten Marsman, Judy Luigjes, and Ruth van Holst. This project will build upon the view that depression and addictions form a complex system of mutually interacting problems and aims to formalize a network model of the two disorders in an urban context. The project will involve analyzing existing cross-sectional, longitudinal and clinical data, taken from an urban population. Where necessary, new techniques and models will be developed for the analysis of these data. The candidate should have a strong affinity to (clinical) psychological research and formal statistical modelling (e.g., Bayesian hierarchical modelling, or mathematical statistics), and proficiency in programming in at least R.

Even more positions!

If this was not enough, more positions will open up shortly! At the Center for Urban Mental Health! Currently there is a listing on the complexity of fear, depression and addiction among adolescents (in Dutch), and a listing on aging and mental health. And a few more positions are expected to open up. If you are interested in these, I encourage you to check the Urban Mental Health website and/or follow the Center for Urban Mental Health on Twitter. In addition, even more job opportunities may open up in the coming months, depending on various sources of funding. While I cannot go into detail on those, I highly recommend joining our very active Facebook group on Psychological Dynamics, in which both job opportunities on topics related to our research are routinely posted.