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PhD position in work and organizational psychology – Vrije Universiteit Brussel


The Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium, seeks a highly motivated candidate to fill a PhD position in Work and Organizational Psychology. The PhD will involve research on the topic of “psychological contracts” (supervisor: Prof. Dr. Tim Vantilborgh).

Description: The PhD student will perform research on the psychological contracts of paid employees. Psychological contracts describe the mutual obligations between employees and employers. Extant research has demonstrated that psychological contract breach—that is, the perception that one party failed to fulfil certain obligations—has negative consequences for both the employee and the employer (e.g., reduced job performance, organizational commitment, and job satisfaction). However, the process underlying unfolding reactions to perceptions of psychological contract breach is not well understood. In addition, the formation and changes of the psychological contract over time deserves more attention. The PhD student will select a specific research question involving the psychological contract, in collaboration with the PhD supervisor (Prof. Dr. Tim Vantilborgh). This specific research question can—but does not have to—align with current ongoing research endeavors, such as the unfolding stress reactions to psychological contract breach over time, physiological reactions to psychological contract breach, and applications of network theory to psychological contract research. Besides research, the PhD student will also assist with teaching (“Research methods”).

Environment: The PhD student will work in the Research Group of Work and Organizational Psychology under the supervision of Tim Vantilborgh. The group offers an international, productive, collaborative, and interactive environment with 4 full-time and 2 part-time professors and about 10 graduate and postgraduate students. See for further information. 

Profile: The applicant must have a Master’s degree (or equivalent) and excellent Dutch and English communication and writing skills. Experience with research on psychological contracts and/or organizational behavior is considered an asset, as well as good statistical skills. Because the position starts in October, students who are in their final year can also apply.

Terms of employment: We offer a competitive salary with various additional benefits (in terms of holidays, health insurance, transport costs), excellent research facilities, and a conference/travel budget. The position is for 4 years, and is expected to result in the completion of a PhD. The start date is October 1st 2016 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Application procedure: Interested candidates can contact Tim Vantilborgh for more information. Applicants should send their motivation letter and full CV (including a detailed transcript of university study results) to at your earliest convenience and no later than August 14th