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UvA PhD position in Social psychology, Health sciences, Behavioral science, Information science

The Netherlands, University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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The project will be supervised by Dr. Christin Scholz, Dr. Corine Meppelink, Prof. Dr. Julia van Weert, and Prof. Dr. Bas van den Putte. You will be part of the program group Persuasive Communication and become a member of the Amsterdam Center for Health Communication/ACHC.

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General Info

Position: PhD position
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: , , , ,
Deadline to Apply:
Joining Date: Apr 01, 2022
Contract Period: 1 Year
Salary: 2434 to 3111 Euro/Month

Workplace:
Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Amsterdam Center for Health Communication/ACHC
University of Amsterdam (UvA)
Amsterdam The Netherlands

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Qualification Details

You have:

  • a (Research) Master’s degree in Communication Science or a related field such as (social) psychology, health sciences, behavioral science, computer science or information science;
  • strong interest in research on mental health, health communication, and social media;
  • a firm basis in research methods and data analysis and, preferably, knowledge of and/or experience with any or all of the following: digital trace data, (automated) content analysis, interviewing, and (longitudinal) experimentation;
  • basic programming skills in R and/or Python, or a willingness to develop such skills;
  • an excellent written and spoken command of English and (preferably) Dutch;
  • excellent social and organizational skills.

You are:

  • eager to contribute to the field of mental health within the broader domain of health communication and excited to contribute through your research to better crisis communication.
  • motivated to share your knowledge with academic and non-academic audiences;
  • willing to learn and think across disciplines and integrate knowledge from different academic disciplines (e.g., (health) psychology and crisis communication) in your research.
  • strongly committed to methodological rigor and scientific integrity;
  • intellectual curious and eager to learn about new skills, theoretical perspectives and practical issues;
  • able to work in a team and you wish to pursue an academic career.

Responsibilities/Job Description

You will/tasks:

  • conduct research as outlined above, adopting mixed-methods including literature review, qualitative, semi-structured interviews, field experimentation and analysis of social media digital trace data;
  • writing up findings for publications in academic publications in leading international journals, accumulating in a PhD thesis;
  • present your work at (inter)national conferences;
  • contribute to the vibrant academic life in Amsterdam by attending workshops, meetings, and lectures;
  • engage in valorisation activities;
  • engage in activities or committee’s in the department or the program group;
  • spend 10% of your time on teaching-related tasks.

How to Apply?

Online Application through "Apply Now" Button from this page

Reference Number: -
(If any, use it in the necessary place)

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Documents Required

Applications in .pdf should include:

  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a letter of motivation;
  • Proof of your Master's degree, including grade transcripts. If you have not completed your degree at the time of application, include grade transcripts plus a statement from your supervisor confirming the expected date of completion of your degree.
  • An academic writing sample in English (e.g., journal article, Master's thesis).

About the Project/Department

Health promotion messages, like those informing the public about new COVID-19 related policies are an important tool for public health officials. Certain types of messages which may be “effective” in changing key behaviours (e.g. threatening information or messages about harsh restrictions like social distancing) may inadvertently cause anxiety or depressive symptoms and, thereby, harm receivers’ mental well-being. In turn, low levels of mental well-being lower a population’s resilience in the context of crises like the COVID-19 pandemic and can have negative effects on physical health outcomes.

In this PhD project, you aim to examine relationships between characteristics of health communication messages and mental well-being as well as message effectiveness. Based on these insights, you will aim to develop novel intervention approaches to amplify the effects of health communication while counteracting negative effects on mental well-being. Intervention approaches will focus on social media and the “social life” of health messages. People often receive health messages in social contexts like on their social media feed or while they are with others. You will examine whether certain types of social interactions about the messages on social media may help to buffer negative effects on mental well-being.

To reach these aims, you will employ a mixed-methods approach. The first two studies aim to identify relevant characteristics of health communication messages and message-related social media use which are associated with message effectiveness and mental well-being. In Study 1, you will conduct a systematic literature review. Study 2 utilizes semi-structured interviews enhanced by social digital trace data. In Study 3, you will use insights from Study 1 and 2 to design a longitudinal field experiment using mobile digital diaries to causally test effects of key characteristics of health messages and social media use on mental well-being and message effectiveness.

The project will be supervised by Dr. Christin Scholz, Dr. Corine Meppelink, Prof. Dr. Julia van Weert, and Prof. Dr. Bas van den Putte. You will be part of the program group Persuasive Communication and become a member of the Amsterdam Center for Health Communication/ACHC. The project will be conducted in collaboration with the Centre for Urban Mental Health.

A challenging work environment with a variety of duties and ample scope for individual initiative and development within an inspiring organization. The social and behavioral sciences play a leading role in addressing the major societal challenges faced by the world, the Netherlands and Amsterdam, now and in the future.

To work at the University of Amsterdam is to work in a discerning, independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterized by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society. Here you can read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.

About the Employer: University of Amsterdam (UvA)

Note or Other details

The planned start date is April 1st, 2022. The position concerns temporary employment of 1.0 fte (38 hours per week) for a maximum term of 3 years and two months. The initial employment is for one year. Following a positive assessment and barring altered circumstances, this term will be extended by a maximum of 26 months, which should result in the conferral of a doctorate. We will put together a curriculum which will also include the opportunity to attend training courses and both national and international events. You will also be tasked with teaching Bachelor's students.

Your salary will be €2434 gross per month in the first year and will increase to €3.111 in the final year, based on full-time employment and in keeping with the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities. We additionally offer an extensive package of secondary benefits, including 8% holiday allowance and a year-end bonus of 8.3%.

The UvA offers excellent possibilities for further professional development and education.

What else do we offer

  • a position in which initiative and input are highly valued
  • an enthusiastic and warm team that is open to new colleagues
  • an inspiring academic and international working environment in the heart of Amsterdam.

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Contact details

Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:

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