PhD candidate in ESM Methodological and Statistical Challenges KU Leuven


For the Center for Contextual Psychiatry, we are looking for a PhD candidate, with a background in applied statistics or in Social/ Health sciences, to work on methodological challenges related to Experience Sampling applications in healthy populations and patients with mental health disorders.

The Center for Contextual Psychiatry (CCP, is a multidisciplinary and internationally oriented research center, widely recognized for its expertise in the design, application, and analysis of studies and clinical trials using ambulatory assessment and experience sampling methodology in the context of mental health research. The CCP is headed by prof. Inez Myin-Germeys and prof. Ruud van Winkel and currently consists of 25 researchers from a diverse background (clinical and experimental psychology, psychiatry, statistics, philosophy, movement sciences). The CCP is part of the Department of Neurosciences in the School of Medicine at KU Leuven, one of the most renowned research universities in Europe.

Ambulatory assessment techniques such as the Experience Sampling Methodology or Ecological Momentary Assessment are increasingly being used in mental health research and in clinical practice. However, many methodological issues remain to be investigated. What is the optimal design for such a study, what would be an optimal questionnaire to use, and how can we improve statistical approaches? The CCP - together with the research group of Quantitative Psychology and Individual Differences (Faculty of Psychology) - is setting up a series of studies specifically disentangling these issues. The PhD student will take a leading role in these studies.

The successful candidate has a Master degree in Applied Statistics or in the Social/Health Sciences, with a strong interest in both research design/methodologyand statistics. We are looking for an innovative and creative personality, with the ability to independently generate novel solutions in methodologically challenging areas. Experience with multilevel modelling, longitudinal data analysis, and mixed effect models is an advantage. Experience with (ideally multiple) statistical software packages (R, Stata, SAS,…) is required. The candidate should have good command of English (written and oral). Motivated students of all nationalities, who have the ability and desire to work in an interdisciplinary and international research environment with a strong commitment to basic and/or clinical research are invited to apply.

Salaries for PhD students are competitive by international standards. A contract for one year will be offered, which is renewable for another three years after positive evaluation. Starting date is flexible but no later than August 2017.

For more information please contact Mrs. Martine van Nierop, tel.: +32 16 32 76 98, mail:, or applyuntil April 30that

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