PhD position in social and cultural psychology (research/teaching)

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
June 24, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A
PhD position in social and cultural psychology (research/teaching)

(ref. AAP-2023-106)

Last modification : Tuesday, May 23, 2023

The Center for Social and Cultural Psychology at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences at KU Leuven is looking for a PhD student to conduct research on cultural differences in emotions in a multicultural society. The focus of the research will be on developing interventions to bridge those differences. The PhD student will also assist in teaching. The Center for Social and Cultural Psychology conducts research on the psychology of inequality and diversity, with a special focus on affective processes. The research aims to better understand the (social and cultural) psychological processes that could lead to greater equality and cultural inclusion. The research is mainly quantitative in nature. Within the Center for Social and Cultural Psychology, research projects are carried out collaboratively. In weekly seminars, we present our research and give each other feedback.


Human emotions underpin successful relationships with others. To monitor, or also influence, the course of interactions with others, it is very important to have a good understanding of your interaction partner's emotions. After all, those emotions indicate what a particular event means for your interaction partner's motives/goals and how your partner will relate to the event. However, there is a lot of research that shows cultural differences in emotions, which hinder emotional understanding in an intercultural interaction and thus also hinder the establishment of intercultural relationships. This project investigates whether awareness that emotions are culturally variable leads to better emotional understanding and greater perceived relationship quality. Moreover, it investigates whether an 'emotion difference' intervention can enhance this awareness. This project aims to promote social cohesion and justice "bottom-up" by strengthening emotional understanding in cross-cultural interactions.

The candidate is expected to complete a PhD within a 6-year period. The main activities will involve studying the role of cultural differences in emotions in the perceived quality of social interaction, and developing an intervention that helps bridge the differences. To this end, the candidate will coordinate fieldwork (in buddy organizations and schools), analyze and interpret the data, and write scientific papers. In addition, the doctoral student is expected to provide teaching support for courses at the undergraduate and graduate level, e.g., by participating in meetings of the didactic team, by contributing to the didactic material, and by helping to prepare and correct exams.


We are looking for a candidate:

  • with a master's degree in psychology; research experience in the field of emotions and/or multicultural society is recommended;
  • with special interest in cultural differences in emotions and their impact on relationships in multicultural society;
  • with a good knowledge of statistics and data analysis;
  • with demonstrable and excellent teaching qualities;
  • who distinguished himself during the studies;
  • with organisational talent;
  • who is creative and results-oriented;
  • who is a loyal team player but at the same time can work autonomously and deliver quality work
  • with strong communication skills in Dutch and English (oral and written).
  • Candidates are requested to submit, in addition to a detailed CV, a short cover letter.


    The study will lead to the degree of Doctor of Psychology. As a PhD student, you will have every opportunity to develop yourself in your professional career by studying the literature, attending seminars and workshops, participating in international conferences and interacting with leading researchers in the field.

    The position offers flexibility and the opportunity to work in an enthusiastic team in a stimulating multicultural environment. Moreover, you will be part of and contribute to a network of academic partners in the field of emotions and social and cultural psychology.

    We offer a full-time position for two years, renewable twice after a positive evaluation up to a total period of 6 years. On top of a competitive salary in salary scale 43, KU Leuven offers a number of additional benefits, such as the possibility of flexible working hours, hospitalization insurance, reimbursement of commuting costs by public transport, cheap meals, a KU Leuven bicycle, etc.

    The candidate can start from September 2023.


    For more information please contact Prof. dr. Batja Gomes de Mesquita, tel.: +32 16 32 58 68, mail: [email protected].

    KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at [email protected].

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