The Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is looking for a Postdoctoral researcher to work with us on the ambitious Stress in Action project.


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Postdoctoral researcher.
0.8 fte

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.

Stress in Action project
In this project, more than 60 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 Research Council under the Gravitation programme. More details can be found here.

Job description
You will be part of the Data Infrastructure Support Core, where besides project-management, your task is to create an inventory of the existing data collected during daily life settings within various large national cohorts (e.g. arising from the Rotterdam Study, Generation R, LifeLines, NESDA and Netherlands Twin Register studies) and to annotate these data for future re-use in the consortium. Stress in Action core applicants performed ambulatory assessment studies that collected relevant data on stress exposures, stress responses (emotional, cognitive, physiological and behavioural), disease outcomes, and potential confounders/moderators in these cohorts (at current count, N > 8000). A further task is take the lead in harmonization of (EMA and actigraphy) of these data , exploiting the substantial overlap in primary sensors and smartphone-based self-report items used. This will involve consultation and collaboration with various consortium members.

For your development as a scientist, you will then be able to bear the fruits from the inventory and harmonized data, by using these data to publish on the link between stress and disease, and you will be actively supported to do so. You will also be involved in the daily supervision of one or more PhD students, in teaching undergraduates, and will have the possibility to shape your future, as advancing the career of young stress researchers is one of the missions of the Stress in Action consortium.

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 Amsterdam UMC, University of Groningen, UMC Groningen, Utrecht University, University of Twente and Erasmus Medical Center, .

Requested profile
For this position you are expected to have:

  • a PhD degree in the fields of psychology, health sciences, biomedical sciences, epidemiology, bioinformatics, computer sciences, or a related discipline (also candidates close to the thesis defense are encouraged to apply)
  • Experience in working with ambulatory data in the context of the behavioral or life sciences
  • Experience and/or strong interest in working with ‘big’ data
  • 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

VU Amsterdam strives for equal opportunities for all, recognising that diversity takes many forms. “We believe that diversity in all its complexity is invaluable for the quality of our teaching, research and service. We are always looking for talent with diverse backgrounds and experiences. This also means that we are committed to creating an inclusive community so that we can use diversity as an asset.”

What do we offer?
A challenging position in a socially engaged organisation. At VU Amsterdam, you contribute to education, research and service for a better world. And that is valuable. So in return for your efforts, we offer you:

  • a salary of minimum € 4.036 (Scale 10)  gross per month, on a full-time basis. This is based on UFO profile Researcher 4. The exact salary depends on your education and experience.
  • a position for at least 0.8 FTE. Your employment contract will initially last 1 year. Afterwards, the possibility of extension for another two years exists.

We also offer you attractive fringe benefits and regulations. Some examples:

  • A full-time 38-hour working week comes with a holiday leave entitlement of 232 hours per year. If you choose to work 40 hours, you have 96 extra holiday leave hours on an annual basis. For part-timers, this is calculated pro rata.
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • Contribution to commuting expenses
  • Optional model for designing a personalized benefits package
  • Discounts on collective insurances (healthcare- and car insurance);

Are you interested in this position and do you believe that your experience will contribute to the further development of our university? In that case, we encourage you to submit your application.

For more information about this vacancy, you can contact: Prof. dr. Eco de Geus*

*Please do not use the email address above for applications

You can apply by submitting a letter of application and curriculum vitae before the 9th of February, 2024. Only submissions via the application form will be considered. See the application link below.

Acquisition in response to this advertisement is not appreciated.

Application link