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EASP – European Association of Social Psychology

Post-Doc on the Psychology of Self-Regulation of Goal Strivings

15.01.2020, by Tina Keil

Curtin University, Perth, Australia; Application deadline: February 11th, 2020 (1 pm AWST)

Logo: Curtin University
Logo: Curtin University

Research Associate (ALA), 12 month, Full-time fixed-term with possible extension for a further 2 years; Estimated start date March 1st, 2020 (Subject to change), $69,800-$88,135 plus 9.5% superannuation

Curtin University is ranked in the top 1% of universities worldwide (ARWU 2018 and QS World University Rankings 2019), and is placed 20th in the world for universities less than 50 years old (QS Top 50 Under 50 2019). Curtin is WA’s most preferred university, with highly engaged industry-facing partners. A major global player, with well-integrated campuses in Singapore, Malaysia, Mauritius and Dubai.

Your new role

Reporting to the Principal Investigator of the Project (Professor Nikos Ntoumanis, John Curtin Distinguished Professor), you will be primarily responsible in;

  • Leading the design, piloting and setting up of studies.
  • Running lab experiments and field studies.
  • Undertaking administrative functions associated with research activities, including human ethics applications and recruiting participants for lab and field studies.
  • Collecting, entering, and managing data.
  • Contributing to drafts of research papers to be submitted to high quality journals.
  • Disseminating research findings through seminars, workshops and conferences.
  • Participating in applications for competitive funding.
  • Supervising honours students and co-supervising a PhD student who will be associated with the project.
  • Fostering and promoting relationships with community and professional stakeholders relevant to the research project.

You will bring to the role

  • Progress towards a doctoral qualification in a relevant discipline.
  • Knowledge of experimental research design in both lab and field settings.
  • Training and/or experience in quantitative research methods.
  • High quality verbal and written communication skills as well as excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Evidence of knowledge of theories of motivation, goals, and self-regulation and how these might apply to the project description.
  • Capacity to work independently and as part of a team.

Project Description

A great deal of research has examined how goals should be framed to facilitate persistence and performance. Much less is known, though, about persistence in the face of difficult goals or about goal disengagement. You will work on a project which focuses on the motivational antecedents of decisions to persist, disengage, or reengage during goal striving, under conditions of high goal difficulty. The project aims to answer the following question: “Can people become strategic in their goal pursuits by deciding early in their goal striving whether to persist on a difficult goal or give up and strive for a compatible goal”?

This project is funded by an Australian Research Council grant (DP200101555) awarded to Prof. Ntoumanis, Prof. Sedikides (University of Southampton, UK), Assoc Prof. Daniel Gucciardi and Prof. Cecilie-Thogersen-Ntoumani (Curtin University), and Assoc Prof. Ben Jackson (University of Western Australia). In the project you will undertake a number of laboratory and field studies to test the tripartite model of goal strivings, proposed by Ntoumanis and Sedikides (2018). The laboratory studies will include a number of widely utilised experimental tasks in social psychology for manipulating goal difficulty. The field studies will be undertaken with reference to parenting/career management goals, as well as with financial goals. You will become an active member of the Physical Activity and Well-Being Research Group at Curtin University (visit PAW Research group for more information). The funding from the ARC is for 3 years; pending on satisfactory performance, the successful applicant may be offered a further 2-year contract at the end of the first year.

Next steps

Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to email Prof. Ntoumanis ( to discuss their suitability for the project before they submit an application. To apply, please visit

Curtin University requires you to provide a cover letter and resume to include sufficient information and examples to allow us to assess your suitability for the role.  Please also attach a 2-page document outlining your suitability for the role against the selection criteria.

Shortlisted applicants will be asked to upload on private page on Youtube a 5-minute presentation on goal pursuit. Details will be emailed after the shortlisting process.

Contact details

To apply complete the application form below, or for more information contact: Nikos Ntoumanis, John Curtin Distinguished Professor, School of Psychology, Telephone: +61 (8) 9266 3297, Email:

Please apply via the above link, we cannot accept resumes sent to the above contact. Once you have applied, you will receive an email confirming that your application has been received by us. If you do not receive confirmation via email, please email our team at Please ensure you check your spam folders for this email before contacting the team.


Curtin reserves the right at its sole discretion to withdraw from the recruitment process, not to make an appointment, or to appoint by invitation, at any time. We reserve the right to remove the advert earlier than the date on the advert.