PhD on Age-diverse Friendships in the Workplace (1.0 FTE)

University of Groningen
March 15, 2024
Offerd Salary:€ 2,770
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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PhD on Age-diverse Friendships in the Workplace (1.0 FTE) (V24.0131) Job description

This PhD position is part of an international project funded by the Volkswagen foundation on age-diverse friendships in the workplace. In this PhD project, we will focus on how work design and leadership can support friendship formation and maintenance in the workplace. We will use (longitudinal) intervention studies to investigate how employees themselves can reshape their environment to form and maintain friendships and how leaders can create opportunities for high-quality interactions among their team members.

Description of International Research Project Funded by the Volkswagen Foundation Overcoming Societal Tensions in Europe: Can Age-Diverse Friendships be the Solution? The project aims to uncover the full potential of age-diverse friendships to strengthen cooperation and tolerance across different generations in Europe. Many of Europe's current challenges, such as migration or pension and social security, are linked to tensions between different social groups, including age groups. Friendship is the most powerful form of contact. When different social groups develop friendships, it can change their behavior. This project focuses on age-diverse friendships in the workplace as it is a hub for people from different generations to meet and the positive effect of age-diverse friendships formed in one context such as the workplace can spill over to other contexts. This project combines qualitative and quantitative methods, experimental designs, and intervention methods. By doing so, the consortium will explore the potential for age-diverse friendships to function as social glue in society across five work packages: (1) understanding the meaning of age-diverse friendship in different contexts, (2) studying why and when age-diverse friendships lead to support towards other age groups, (3) explore the potential of age-diverse friendships to reduce wider societal tensions, (4) ask whether and under which conditions age-diverse friendships facilitate social cohesion and (5) how organizations can support the formation and maintenance of age-diverse friendships.

The tasks of the PhD candidate are:

  • conduct research that results in a dissertation and is in line with the objectives and requirements of the project;
  • organize and execute the data collection and analysis for the different studies;
  • publish the results of the research in international scientific journals;
  • present the research findings to fellow scientists and collaborators in the larger project, and collaborate with them;
  • provide a limited number of educational activities at the Psychology department.
  • Organisation The University of Groningen is a research university with a global outlook, deeply rooted in Groningen, City of Talent. Quality has had top priority for four hundred years, and with success: the University is currently in or around the top 100 on several influential ranking lists.

    The Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences excels in teaching and research in the fields of human behaviour, thinking, learning, and how people live together. We work on societal issues and problems that people experience in daily life. Central to this is individual and societal resilience and how to increase this. To this end, we focus on the topics of migration, the environment and climate, health, upbringing and education, the protection of vulnerable minorities, and sustainable partnerships. The Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences employs over 650 staff members. For more information about the Faculty please check the link https: // www.

    The PhD position will be in the department of Organizational Psychology at the University of Groningen (https: // The supervisory team consists of Dr. Anita Keller, Dr. Ulrike Fasbender (University of Hohenheim, Germany), and Dr. Bernadeta Goštautaitė (ISM University of Management and Economics, Lithuania).


    For this position you are expected to:

  • have a (research) master's degree in organizational psychology (or a related discipline);
  • have a good academic track record;
  • have an interest in longitudinal and intervention research designs (prior experience is a benefit but not a prerequisite);
  • be enthusiastic about writing international publications and a dissertation;
  • have good academic English writing skills;
  • have good social and communication skills and are willing to work with other team members;
  • have good organizational skills and the motivation to organize and realize data collection;
  • have demonstrable competences as conceptual capacity, presenting, planning and organizing and monitoring.
  • Dutch language proficiency is an advantage for this position.

    Organisation Conditions of employment

    We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

  • a salary of € 2,770 gross per month in the first year of the appointment, rising to € 3,539 gross per month in the fourth year for a full-time position;
  • a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance;
  • attractive secondary terms of employment;
  • the position is classified in accordance with the University Job Classification (UFO) system; the UFO profile is PhD candidate;
  • a temporary employment of 1.0 FTE for a period of four years. You will first be employed for a period of one year. After a positive result and development interview, the contract will be extended for the remaining period of three years.
  • Intended starting date: between June 1 2024 and October 1 2024


    You can apply by submitting a motivation letter and curriculum vitae before March 15, 2024 (CET). Only submissions via the application form will be considered.

    The selection interviews will take place in the week starting April 8 2024.

    The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage: https: // www. strategy/diversity-and-inclusion/ Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): https: // www. and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers: https: //

    We provide career services for partners of new faculty members moving to Groningen.

    Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


    For information you can contact:

  • Anita Keller, Associate professor, a.c.keller
  • Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.

    Additional information
  • Department of Organizational Psychology
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