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EASP – European Association of Social Psychology

PhD Position in Social Psychology, Tilburg University

22.02.2023, by Media Account

Tilburg, NL
Deadline: March 31st, 2023

Logo: Tilburg University
Logo: Tilburg University

The department of Social Psychology at Tilburg University has a vacancy for a PhD student on the topic of Social Motives in Coalition Formation (full-time, 4 years, link to job ad:

Project description

The PhD project is part of Compose 3, a multidisciplinary collaboration between Tilburg University and evofenedex with a focus on the logistics sector and its transition into a sustainable or net-zero footprint industry. The contribution of the PhD project is to study the social motives that are important for sustainable coalition formation. These include both trait-like factors such as personality traits, social-cognitive abilities, social preferences, social value orientation or emotion proneness (e.g., fear, greed) and situational factors, such as framing, reputation, sanctions, different incentive structures, and defaults. The goal of the project is to identify which factors contribute to the creation of sustainable coalitions, next to financial incentives that are studied in Economics. The project will achieve its goals by both analyzing secondary data (e.g., through the LISS panel, and by designing experimental studies of social dilemmas that reflect the type of decisions that have to be made by actors in the logistics sector. As such, the project strives to both increase our theoretical understanding of social motives in coalition formation and to create societal impact by contributing to more sustainable decision making in the logistics sector.

Compose 3 is staffed by a consortium consisting of Tilburg University, evofenedex, Smart Freight Centre and Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences. Most of the research will be conducted by the Tilburg University team by means of two PhD tracks. One at the departments of Econometrics and Operations Research, and one at the Department of Social Psychology. In addition, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences will develop educational material and with evofenedex and Smart Freight Centre we have two strong organisations in our consortium that provide access to a large group of interested companies.

Job description

The position is for four years and hosted by the Department of Social Psychology of Tilburg University, in collaboration with the Tilburg School of Economics and Management (TiSEM). The PhD is supervised by a team consisting of dr. Thorsten Erle (co-promotor; Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences), dr. Frans Cruijssen (co-promotor; Tilburg School of Economics and Management) and dr. Seger Breugelmans (promotor; Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences).

The PhD student will analyze existing data and collect new (experimental) data. This is a multidisciplinary project, so in formulating the research designs and disseminating the results the PhD student will collaborate with researchers from other schools and partners within the Compose 3 framework. Findings will be disseminated through peer-reviewed scientific publications, presentations at (inter)national conferences, and workshops.

Responsibilities are

  • Writing a PhD thesis
  • Planning and executing data collection (both secondary data and new data)
  • Setting up (online) interactive experiments (with multiple parties interacting in real time)
  • Conducting data analyses
  • Writing international scientific publications
  • Presenting at national and international scientific conferences
  • Active participation in the team involved in Compose 3
  • Teaching and supervision (e.g., supervision of bachelor theses and working groups)

Job requirements and qualifications of the candidate

We are looking for a highly motivated and curious PhD student. Candidates must have a relevant master’s or research master’s degree in psychology, economics, or a related discipline. Knowledge of social psychology, social dilemmas or behavioral economics is a plus. In addition, we are looking for candidates who have:

  • An interest in conducting research on coalition formation
  • Advanced research skills and data analytical abilities, including in-depth knowledge of statistical and programming tools (R, Python, oTree)
  • Project management and organization skills
  • Skills and willingness to work in a multidisciplinary team
  • Proficiency in English at an academic level (speaking Dutch or willingness to learn Dutch is a plus)
  • Competencies in providing small-scale education, such as bachelor thesis and working groups supervision

Terms of employment

This is a fully funded, four-year PhD position. The PhD candidate is employed by Tilburg University, which is among the top of the Dutch employers and has an excellent policy concerning terms of employment. The appointment is intended to lead to the completion of a PhD thesis. The PhD appointment begins with a period of 12 months. Continuation of the appointment with another 36 months will be based on performance evaluation. The gross salary for the PhD position amounts to € 2,541 per month in the first year, rising to € 3,247 per month in the fourth year, based on a full-time appointment (38 hours per week).

Application and information concerning the vacancy

Applicants should send their CV, official grade list, and a cover letter including a description of their motivation (a sample paper and/or the MSc or BSc thesis are optional), only via the link mentioned here:
The closing date for applications is March 31st. Preferred starting date is May or June. The interviews will take place in the week of April 10 till April 14 (preferably on campus, but per video call if needed).
Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from: dr. Thorsten Erle ( or dr. Seger Breugelmans (