The experience of stress is an inherent aspect of daily-life. However, can we validly measure this, and how and under what circumstances does it contribute to disease? We are looking for researchers that work on our exciting Stress in Action project.

Postdoctoral Fellow Validation of Stress Wearables
38 hours

The department of Biological Psychology at the Vrije Universiteit has a vacancy for a Postdoctoral fellow within the ambitious Stress in Action project.

Stress-in-Action project
In this project, 25 multidisciplinary scientists from six Dutch Universities collaborate around the theme ‘stress in daily life’. Divided over three Research Themes and three Support Cores, the Stress in Action consortium, we will validate daily-life stress assessments, examine which contextual factors contribute to the experience of daily-life stress, and examine how daily-life stress leads to the development of both mental and cardiometabolic diseases. The project is funded through the Dutch Scientific Organization under the Gravitation program. More details can be found here.

What will you be doing?
As the Postdoc your main mission is to provide the Stress in Action community with a solid experimental validation pipeline and an optimal toolkit of wearables/apps to measure the multicomponent stress response in daily life. You will start out by getting familiar with the existing laboratory and ambulatory measurement facilities at VU, coordinating a series of small scale validation studies (accuracy, test-retest reliability, and construct validity) on third party wearables (e.g. Empatica, Shimmer, MindWare). For these studies we involve PhD students, research assistants and Bachelor and master thesis students. You help supervise them, preregister the experiments, obtain IRB permission, and use the produced results in publications. These experiments will result in a rapid validation pipeline at VU that can test the validity of any Stress-in-Action partner or third-party wearables using standardised lab tests (social-evaluative, mental or physical stressors, formal cognitive testing, and behavioural manipulations). In parallel, you collaborate with our technical staff to develop the VU-AMS v7.0 ( as the backbone of a ‘real life’ validation pipeline to test new wearables in true daily life settings. Throughout, you will be encourage and supported to publish on the results and to provide documentation on the validation pipeline and toolkit as Open Science resources to the stress research community.

Where will you be working?
At the department Biological Psychology of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam we conduct research and education on the causes of individual differences in health behaviours and disease outcomes. It is a department with a long tradition in stress research where enthusiastic and ambitious academics work on generating knowledge and translating this to improvements in health and wellbeing. Our research on the role of genetic and environmental factors – including stress- belongs to the international top. For the Stress in Action project, there is a close connection with researchers from University Twente, Erasmus Medical Center, Amsterdam UMC, the University of Groningen and its UMC Groningen, and Utrecht University.

Requested profile:

  • PhD degree in the fields of (bio)psychology, health sciences, biomedical technology, medical physics, computer science or a related discipline (also candidates close to the thesis defence are encouraged to apply)
  • Experience and strong interest in experimental (psycho)physiological research and physiological signal processing
  • Knowledge of psychometric principles and related statistical methodology
  • Good programming skills in Python, R, Matlab or other tools for physiological signal analysis
  • Affinity and proven experience with writing research papers
  • English conversation, writing skills, and presentation skills
  • Communication and social skills
  • Interest in supervision of students

What will we offer?
You will start with a contract for one year (12 months) in accordance with the CAO VSNU 2022-2023, with the intention of extension for another two years (24 months).

  • Salary range is 3.703 – 5.439 euro Gross in full-time employment. The monthly wage will increase yearly.
  • In addition to a good basic salary, you will receive, among other things, 8.3% year-end bonus and 8% vacation allowance.
  • Pension accrual with ABP, of which we pay 70% of the premium.
  • Market-conform reimbursement of a large part of your public transport costs. Good public transport options. Would you rather travel by bike? Then we have a good bicycle scheme.
  • You will become part of a large and active national community of over 20+ PhD students and 10+ postdocs who will work on the Stress-in-Action project at different institutions.

For more information about these vacancies, you can contact Professor Eco de Geus, email:
You can send your response by email to ms Natascha Stroo, departmental manager Biological Psychology,, referencing the job application number and adding a motivation letter and your CV as enclosures.

Or use:

Responses are considered until close-of-business on 15 January 2023.