Netherlands: PhD Scholarship for Body Image & Media Students – Radboud University

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As a PhD student you will be investigating neurocognitive mechanisms. Visual appearance is an increasingly important factor in the distress experienced by many individuals around the world who fail to meet the beauty standard and body image they have set for themselves. An important factor in this increasing striving for beauty and slimness is the continuous presentation of models with unrealistic, retouched or “photoshopped” features, which represent an unattainable goal for most individuals. The current project is aimed at understanding the cognitive and neural mechanisms through which beauty ideals shape the appraisal of our own bodies and those of others, and why some individuals develop body image disturbances while others remain unaffected. Effects of media on body image will be investigated for old and new virtual media (e.g., looking at effects of real and computer generated models), using a variety of experimental techniques (eye-tracking, ERPs, behaviour, fRMI). The PhD student will participate in the graduate program of the Behavioural Science Institute (BSI), present and publish findings at international conferences and peer reviewed quality journals, and combine scientific findings in a doctoral thesis.

Conditions of employment

Estimated maximum salary per month: eur 2500 – 3000
Maximum salary amount in Euro’s a month 2558
Employment basis: Temporary for specified period
Duration of the contract: Maximum hours per week: 32
Additional conditions of employment:
The candidate will be appointed as a PhD student (0,8 FTE) for a period of five years. The candidate’s performance will be evaluated after 18 months. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 3½ years.
Candidates need a Master’s degree in Cognitive Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Social Psychology, or a related field, and should show a sincere interest in the study of body image and media. A background and experience in conducting psychological experiments (using behaviour, EEG, eye-tracking, and/or neuroimaging techniques) and enrolment in a Research Master’s programme (Behavioural Science or Cognitive Neuroscience or related) are considered an advantage. Candidates need to be proficient in English and must have excellent writing ability.

Radboud University Nijmegen Faculty of Social Sciences
Strategically located in Europe, Radboud University Nijmegen is one of the leading academic communities in the Netherlands. A place with a personal touch, where top-flight education and research take place on a beautiful green campus in modern buildings with state-of-art facilities.
The Behavioural Science Institute studies individual human behaviour as a function of its social and physical contexts. The central goal of the institute is to gain fundamental insight into the causal factors and regulatory processes that govern individual human behaviour. The BSI is an interdisciplinary endeavour aimed at exploring the aetiology of individual human behaviour. The PhD student will participate in the Media and Behaviour Lab group which involves a collaboration between Social Cognition and Developmental Psychopathology programmes of the BSI. The BSI is equipped with extensive lab facilities including eye tracking, EEG, and virtual reality, and has access to neuroimaging facilities (e.g. fMRI) at the F.C. Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging in Nijmegen.

Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from:
dr. Hein van Schie
Telephone number: +31 (0)24 3612575
prof. dr. Rutger Engels
Telephone number: +31 (0)24-3611818
E-mail address:
You can apply for this job before 31 Agustus 2008 by sending your application to:
Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen
Faculty of Social Sciences/P en O
Postbus 9104 6500 HE Nijmegen
E-mail address:

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