PhD - Personalised digital nudging for healthy food choice across the socioeconomic gradient

Tilburg University
September 22, 2023
Offerd Salary:€2.770
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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Tilburg University Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences is looking for a PhD Candidate – Personalised digital nudging for healthy food choice across the socioeconomic gradient (0,8 fte – 1,0 fte)

School : Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences Department : Communication and Cognition : Location : Tilburg Full-time equivalent : 0,8 fte – 1,0 fte (32 to 40 hours per week) Monthly full-time gross salary : €2.770 gross per month up to €3.539 in the fourth year. Duration of employment contract : 48 months

Your position

The Department of Communication and Cognition in the Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences is looking for an enthusiastic new colleague. The PhD candidate will work within the DIGIQUITY4HEALTH project, work package 3, which focuses on understanding effects and mechanisms of personalised digital interventions for promoting healthy food choice across the socioeconomic gradient. The project is funded by the Digital Sciences for Society programme (https: // www. society) and is a collaboration between several public and private partners.

The digital transformation of the food environment (e.g., supermarket websites and apps) presents both opportunities and threats regarding promoting healthy food choices. Digital choice environments have shown potential for promoting healthy food choice, for example with (personalised) digital nudges, but research has mostly focussed on samples higher in socioeconomic position. This project addresses a significant gap in scientific knowledge by investigating the impact of digital choice environments on healthy food choices, and by exploring how personalisation can serve populations lower in socioeconomic position. In this project, the effects of personalised digital nudging techniques are assessed in the context of an innovative digital nudge type, namely the Just-In-Time nudge (Van der Laan & Orcholska, 2022, Food Quality and Preference).

In this PhD project the candidate will contribute to answering the following research questions:

  • To what extent does the effectiveness and acceptability of personalised digital JIT nudges and their underlying mechanisms (e.g., personal relevance, autonomy, reactance) vary across the socioeconomic gradient?
  • What is the effect of nudge transparency on the effectiveness, acceptability, and mechanisms of personalised digital nudges to promote healthy food choices in people with a lower socioeconomic position?
  • What is the effect of the source (public versus private party) on the effectiveness, acceptability, and underlying mechanisms of personalised digital nudges to promote healthy food choices in people with a lower socioeconomic position?
  • The successful candidate will be responsible for setting up, conducting, analysing, and reporting the experimental studies. The candidate will work on these tasks in a close collaboration with the supervisors (dr. Nynke van der Laan, dr. Tessa van Leeuwen, dr. Sabita Soedamah-Muthu), the project consortium consisting of other researchers, and the company Nakko b.v. which is responsible for designing the mobile application that will be used in the studies.

    More information about the DIGIQUITY4HEALTH project can be found here: https: // www. society/projects/digiquity4health

    Your tasks Job tasks/responsibilities:

  • Conducting research (literature research, designing experiments, developing study materials, collecting, and analysing data, reporting the results), resulting in international scientific publications and a dissertation (which will be based on articles).
  • Presenting results at national and international scientific conferences.
  • Your profile You are self-motivated, conscientious, capable of working well in an interdisciplinary team, and ambitious to complete a PhD.

  • a (Research) Master's degree in Communication Science, Communication and Information Science, Health Science, (Health) Psychology, or any other degree which you see relevant for the position on offer;
  • demonstrable experience with (quantitative) experiment design and statistical analyses;
  • the ability to quickly acquire new skills;
  • very good interpersonal and communication (English writing and speaking) skills. If Dutch is not your primary language, we expect you to speak and write Dutch at a level that allows you to effectively communicate with research participants that only speak Dutch;
  • you preferably have experience or affinity with the topic of the project (health behaviour, effects across the socioeconomic gradient);
  • a proactive and goal-directed attitude, good organisational skills, and the ability to get things done;
  • Information For more information on the position, please contact dr. ir. Nynke van der Laan ([email protected]).

    Terms of employment This is a position for 0,8 – 1,0 fte (32 - 40 hours per week) of full working hours. Working hours can be flexible for caring responsibilities. The selected candidate will start with a contract at Tilburg University at the Department of Communication and Cognition for one year, concluded by an evaluation. Upon a positive outcome of the first-year evaluation, the candidate will be offered an employment contract for an additional 3 years.

    Tilburg University offers excellent employment conditions with attention to flexibility and (personal) development and attractive fringe benefits. The salary amounts to €2.770 gross per month for full-time employment, increasing up to €3.539 in the fourth year. The salary is based on UFO Promovendus of the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities and includes the 9% salary raise as of August 1st, 2023. Tilburg University uses a neutral remuneration system for salary scaling that is based on work experience.

    You are entitled to a vacation allowance of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% of your gross annual income. If you work 40 hours per week, you will receive 41 paid days of leave per year. Researchers from outside the Netherlands may qualify for a tax-free allowance of 30% of their taxable salary if they meet the relevant conditions. The university applies for this allowance on their behalf. The University will provide assistance in finding suitable accommodation (for foreign employees). All employees of the university are covered by the so-called General Pension Fund for Public Employers (Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP).

    We make clear agreements about career paths and offer all kinds of facilities and arrangement to maintain an optimal balance between work and private life. You can also follow numerous training courses, for example, in the areas of leadership skills, personal effectiveness, and career development.

    Tilburg University values an open and inclusive culture. We embrace diversity and encourage the mutual integration of groups of employees and students. We focus on creating equal opportunities for all our employees and students so that everyone feels at home in our university community. Tilburg University has a lively campus in beautiful green surroundings that is easily accessible by public transport. We are committed to a sustainable society and challenge you to make an active contribution.

    Please visit working at Tilburg University for more information on our terms of employment.

    Who we are The Department of Communication and Cognition (DCC) is responsible for the Tilburg center for Cognition and Communication (TiCC), where research is conducted into cognitive and social aspects of human communication through a multidisciplinary approach combining careful experimentation with survey methods, corpus analyses and computational modeling. The research group consists of about 80 researchers covering a broad range of topics relevant for cognition and communication, and this includes approximately 25 PhD students. Core research domains include communication and technology, cross-cultural communication, computational linguistics, information visualisation, marketing and business communication, language production, and non-verbal communication, with a strong emphasis on digital methods.


    Applications should include:

  • cover letter,
  • Curriculum Vitae,
  • copy of the university marks (grade list) of BSc and MSc,
  • names of two references.
  • Applications should be sent before the application deadline of September 22th, 2023. Interviews are expected to be held in October. Start date is preferably December 2023. The only way to apply is online by following this link: https:// www.

    Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences

    Research and education at the Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences (TSHD) has a unique focus on humans in the context of the globalizing digital society, on the development of artificial intelligence and interactive technologies, on their impact on communication, culture and society, and on moral and existential challenges that arise. The School of Humanities and Digital Sciences consists of four departments: Communication and Cognition, Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence, Culture Studies and Philosophy; several research institutes and a faculty office. Also the University College Tilburg is part of the School. Each year around 275 students commence a Bachelor or (Pre) Master Program. The School has approximately 2000 students and 250 employees.

    Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences

    Recruitment code Tilburg University applies the recruitmentcode of the Dutch Association for Personnel Management & Organization Development (NVP).

    Disclaimer The text of this vacancy advertisement is copyright-protected property of Tilburg University. Use, distribution and further disclosure of the advertisement without express permission from Tilburg University is not allowed, and this applies explicitly to use by recruitment and selection agencies which do not act directly on the instructions of Tilburg University. Responses resulting from recruitment by non-contractors of Tilburg Universities will not be handled.

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