PhD student position in Biological Psychology in the research area of stress and genetics
Université du Luxembourg
Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg
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University of Luxembourg is an international research university with a distinctly multilingual and interdisciplinary character.

The University was founded in 2003 and counts more than 6,700 students and more than 2,000 employees from around the world.

The University’s faculties and interdisciplinary centres focus on research in the areas of Computer Science and ICT Security, Materials Science, European and International Law, Finance and Financial Innovation, Education, Contemporary and Digital History.

In addition, the University focuses on cross-disciplinary research in the areas of Data Modelling and Simulation as well as Health and System Biomedicine.

Times Higher Education ranks the University of Luxembourg #3 worldwide for its international outlook, #20 in the Young University Ranking 2021 and among the top 250 universities worldwide.

The Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) brings together expertise from the humanities, linguistics, cognitive sciences, social and educational sciences.

People from across 20 disciplines are working within the Faculty. Along with the disciplinary approach a very ambitious interdisciplinary research culture has been developed.

The faculty’s research and teaching focuses on social, economic, political and educational issues with the common goal of contributing to an inclusive, open and resourceful society.

The FHSE offers four Bachelor and 15 Master degrees and a doctoral school providing students with the necessary knowledge and high-qualified skills to succeed in their future career.


The successful candidate will work on a project investigating the role of daily-life stress, loneliness, and genetics in mental health trajectories.

The primary objective of this project is to investigate stress perception and stress regulation in daily life, as well as loneliness, social isolation and the impact of serious life events.

Participants will be followed longitudinally using digital assessment methods, and genetic data will be collected for investigations of gene-environment interplay.

The goal of this project is to identify bio-behavioural markers predictive of positive and negative mental health outcomes.

The candidate will take part in all aspects of the project, including study design, participant recruitment, data collection, data analysis and writing up results.

The PhD candidate will join the newly established Laboratory for Stress, Pain, and Gene-Environment Interplay (Prof. Dr.

Robert Kumsta) within the Department of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences, and will be co-supervised by Prof. Maike Luhmann (Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany).

Enrolment in the Doctoral School of Social Sciences is obligatory for the candidate.


  • Recruitment and psychological assessment of a representative Luxembourgish sample
  • Repeated assessment of the study sample using ecological momentary assessment; assessment of hormonal and psychophysiological measures using wearables in a sub-sample
  • Integration and analysis of genetic, physiological and behavioral data
  • Writing a doctoral thesis in Psychology based on original manuscripts published in high quality, peer-reviewed journals
  • Participation in academic conferences
  • What we expect from you

  • You will hold a Master’s degree in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, data science or equivalent by the time of employment
  • You have knowledge / experience in at least one of the following methods and topics : stress assessment (g. behavioral stress assessment, hormones, or psyhchophysiology), Ecological Momentary Assessment, genetics and gene-environment interplay
  • You have good research skills evidenced by very good grades for research methods and statistics courses
  • You are enthusiastic and highly motivated
  • You have excellent command of the following languages (written and spoken) : German (required for sample recruitment and assessment), English (communication within the research group, dissemination), and French (optional)
  • You have a good ability to work as part of a team
  • A supportive research / supervisory team
  • Personal work space at the University of Luxembourg
  • A dynamic and multicultural academic environment
  • Attractive salary
  • Doctoral school training
  • Contract Type : Fixed Term Contract 36 Month - extendable up to 48 months if required
  • Work Hours : Full Time 40.0 Hours per Week
  • Starting date : January 2022
  • Location : Belval
  • Employee and student status
  • Job Reference : UOL04397
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