Netherlands:PhD student FPN/Department of Clinical Psychological Science/Eat Well project at Universiteitssingel

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Job description

PhD candidates for Eat Well, affiliated to Maastricht University. Maastricht University (UM) and Maastricht University Medical Centre (MUMC) stimulate interdisciplinary research on the improvement of health and the prevention of disease. One of their innovative and research projects is Eat Well ( Eat Well is an interdisciplinary research group combining expertise and knowledge from human nutrition, cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, medicine, genetics, epidemiology, law and economy. The Eat Well project currently has 4 vacancies for PhD students on the following projects: the development of a Metabolic and Mental Health Index (project 1), the development of cognitive control interventions to reduce overeating (project 2), the influence of mindset on mechanisms that regulate intake (project 3) and the development of an individual’s disease risk calculator (project 4).

Project 3: Influence of Mindset on Mechanisms regulating Intake.

This project on the control of food intake studies the influence of mindsets and marketing on brain- and hormonal responding related to consumption. The project is financed by NWO, the imaging centre Scannexus and Maastricht University


We are looking for PhD candidates who are intrinsically interested in interdisciplinary research, are trained in research designs and statistical methods and have strong analytical capacities. The candidate is creative, has excellent communication –, writing –, and organisational skills and is willing and able to work in an interdisciplinary team. Knowledge of the Dutch language or a willingness to learn Dutch and the willingness to relocates to (the vicinity of) Maastricht is required.

Specific requirements for this position: background in (biological) psychology or cognitive neuroscience, ability to use – or a willingness to learn – brain imaging techniques and brain imaging data analysing methods (fMRI). Being able to – or a willingness to learn – blood sampling and hormone determination. Strong interest in the manipulation of eating behaviour.

Conditions of employment

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website > staff > index and forms > HR from A-Z.

Temporary employment for 4 years. Your salary would be € 2.083,– gross per month in the first year up to € 2.664,– gross per month in the fourth year according to the PhD-student salary scale. Each year an evaluation will take place.

The PhD student will participate in one or more of the following post-graduate schools: the Dutch-Flemish post-graduate school for Experimental Psychopathology (EPP), the local GraduateSchool of the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience. The Dutch Graduate Schools VLAG and the local Graduate School NUTRIM of the Faculty of Health Medicine and Lifesciences at Maastricht University Medical Centre.


Contract type: Temporary, four years


Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 15,000 students and 4,000 employees. Reflecting the university’s strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Humanities and Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.


Department of Clinical Psychological Science (CPS)

The department Clinical Psychological Science (CPS) is involved in research and academic education in the area of experimental clinical psychology. Although the themes of CPS are quite diverse, their common ground is the experimental approach to the study of psychopathology.

CPS consists of four sections: Eating Disorders and AddictionForensic PsychologyBehavioural Medicine, and Clinical Psychology. In the ‘eating group’ Eating Disorders, research is conducted on different types of eating disorders and obesity. Examples of research are the relationship between impulsivity and obesity, and determinants of a distorted body image. The section Forensic Psychology focuses on memory aberrations, malingering, risk assessment of forensic psychiatric patients, and lie detection. In the Behavioural Medicine section, research is conducted on psychological factors (e.g. fear of movement and hypervigilance) in the etiology and maintenance of pain. The role of optimism in somatic disorders is also studied. Some members of this section are involved in investigating sexual disorders. The section Clinical Psychology focuses on personality disorders, anxiety, and depression. For instance, cognitive processes in borderline personality and depression are studied. Research on psychotherapy for these disorders is also carried out.

Additional information

Prof Dr A. Jansen, phone 0031.43.3881910

The objective of the Maastricht Interfaculty Programme for Nutrition and Health ‘Eatwell!’ is to promote health and decrease chronic metabolic diseases through healthy nutrition by (1) groundbreaking interdisciplinary research, (2) active communication and promotion to society, (3) international partnerships on science and policy and (4) creation of new commercial activities in the area of Healthy Lifestyle and Personalized Nutrition.

For information on EatWell go to:

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