PhD Candidate at Leiden University

Applications are invited for a PhD position in political science to join Leiden University. Successful candidate will have funding to work and study for three years in Netherlands. Applicants should apply as soon as possible.

The Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Leiden University (Leiden University scholarships) in collaboration with the Experimental Health Psychology (Psychology scholarships) unit of Maastricht University has an opening for a

NWO gravitation project "The transdiagnostic role of expectancy learning and avoidance behaviour across persistent physical symptoms" The Gravitation research program focuses on a new and challenging view on the origin, maintenance and change of mental disorders. The vision is that mental illnesses are dynamic and complex networks of (mental and physical) symptoms that interact with one another over time. Gravitation researchers will focus on (1) the estimation of complex and dynamic networks of individual patients, which can change over time, (2) disorder-transcending network-based interventions tailored for the individual, and (3) in-depth fundamental studies into transdiagnostic behavioural, cognitive, neurocognitive and interpersonal processes that can drive connectivity between symptoms. The current project is part of the third category.

The aim of the current PhD project is to understand the role that expectancy and avoidance learning play in a broad spectrum of persistent physical symptoms (including pain, itch and fatigue). The project aims to gain a better understanding of the role of expectancy and avoidance in the transition from an acute to a chronic state. For this goal, the PhD student will study these relationships in subjects with and without physical symptoms, starting with experimental laboratory studies integrating expectancy and avoidance manipulations to investigate how these processes interact in symptom worsening. Moreover, the PhD student will examine the conditions in which learned expectancy effects and avoidance behavior can be extinguished, and test manipulations to optimize expectancies and reduce avoidance behavior in order to reduce the risk of chronification. Innovative treatments in the area of persistent physical symptoms and related mental symptoms are explored, and subsequently be applied in natural field studies.

You will be responsible for conducting different experimental and clinical field studies of this PhD project. You will write scientific, peer-reviewed publications, resulting in a PhD thesis. Our organisation

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences comprises five institutes: Education and Child Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Cultural Anthropology (latest Anthropology scholarship positions) & Development Sociology (Sociology scholarships) and the Centre for Science and Technology Studies. The Faculty is home to 5,000 students and 600 members of staff. Our teaching and research programmes cover diverse topics varying from adoption to political behaviour. For further information about our unit and its teaching and research activities, please visit our website. Terms and conditions We offer a 1 year term position, with an extension of three years after positive evaluation of capabilities and compatibility. The appointment must lead to the completion of a PhD thesis. Salary range from 2,325.- to 2,972.- gross per month on a full-time basis (pay scale P, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). Candidates from outside the Netherlands (Netherlands scholarships) may be eligible for a substantial tax break. Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %) and training and career development. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. More information at our website. Diversity Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups. Information Enquiries can be made to Andrea Evers, email Applications

Please submit online your application no later than 16 June 2020 via the blue button in our application system. Applicants should submit online a letter of interest accompanied by a CV, the names and contact information for two references (no letters); as well as copies of your academic transcripts (or Dutch cijferlijst). Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.

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