Current Vacancies

  • You will find below the current vacancies. Interested candidates can also contact us directly to learn more about individual grants provided by the FWO (Belgium) or apply with us to a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual fellowship (European Commission). Getting your own grants can be very important for your scientific career. It will ensure your independence as a researcher, as you will be able to work on your own research project while showing that you successfully received competitive grants.
  • The FWO offers to successful candidates either a 4-year (2+2) grant to Ph.D. students or a 3-year grant to postdoctoral researchers (there are two categories: junior and senior). Deadlines are typically around December 1st for postdoctoral researchers and around March 1st for Ph.D. students. Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual fellowship offers 2 or 3 year-grants.
  • More information can be found here: or here
  • Be aware that it usually takes a few months to write a research project that is competitive enough for those grants. Don’t hesitate to contact us in advance if you want to prepare such grant applications with us!

We are recruiting a 4-year PhD student in criminology-psychology

Educational Degree / Diploma

Master degree in criminology, psychology or other relevant social science. The degree requirements need to be fulfilled at the start of your appointment. For diplomas awarded outside the European Union, a certificate of equivalence (NARIC) must be submitted.

Job description

  • A full-time 4-year PhD position in criminology-psychology is available at Ghent University. The position is funded by an Interdisciplinary Research Grant. The research will be led by Prof. Tom Vander Beken, dr. Louis Favril (Department of Criminology, Criminal Law and Social Law) and Prof. dr. Emilie Caspar (Department of Experimental Psychology) and will involve a close collaboration with another Ph.D. student in psychology (neurosciences).
  • The successful applicant will join the Institute for International Research on Criminal Policy ( and the Moral & Social Brain Lab ( to work on a project that aims to conduct a longitudinal assessment of the impact of prison regimes on several cognitive functions (cognitive control, emotion regulation, etc.)
  • In this project, the applicant will study the quality of prison regimes and how it can influence self-control. The project is longitudinal and follows inmates who have just arrived or are about to be released from prison, and will conduct several re-tests over 2 years.
  • The successful applicant will be responsible for fieldwork (interviews and neuro-cognitive assessments), collection and analysis of data, publication and dissemination of the results, and can be involved in the supervision of MSc students.
  • Key tasks as a PhD fellow are:
  • To manage and carry through your research project;
  • To collect and analyze data for the project;
  • To write peer-reviewed articles in English and merge them into a PhD dissertation;
  • To disseminate your research results by presenting intermediate results at scientific conferences and publish findings in academic journals;
  • To participate in a PhD training program.
  • The research group and lab are located in Ghent, but the majority of the fieldwork will take place in prisons throughout Belgium.
  • The successful applicant will also be invited to apply to his/her own grants (FWO doctoral fellowship, BOF doctoral grant)

We offer

  • We offer you a full-time PhD Fellowship (Dehousse-bursaal) of definite duration, consisting of an initial period of 12 months, which-upon positive evaluation-will be extended to a maximum of 48 months. Click here for more information about the PhD fellowship.
  • The contract will start on 1 November 2022 at the earliest. The exact starting date will be determined by mutual agreement.
  • On top of your salary, Ghent University also offers a number of social benefits, including 36 days of paid holiday leave (on an annual basis, for a full-time job) supplemented by annual fixed bridge days, hospitalization insurance, a wide range of training and education opportunities, access to university restaurants and university sports facilities. Click here for more information about our staff benefits.
  • It is possible to make arrangements for remote work and flexible office hours.
  • We strive to achieve a healthy work-life balance and nurture a healthy and rewarding work environment in which individual differences are welcomed and valued.

Job profile

We are looking for a highly-motivated candidate with:

  • An excellent profile and excellent grades during your master degree.
  • Having already conducted research in prison settings, publications and experience in quantitative data analysis are strong assets.
  • Good English writing and communication skills are mandatory.
  • Knowledge of Dutch (B2 minimum) is required. Knowing French as well will be a strong asset: You will work in prisons, both in the Dutch and French speaking part of Belgium.
  • Very good human skills are required: the position will involve research in a special environment with a vulnerable population.
  • Having a driving license: You will have to work in prisons all over Belgium, some of  which are located in remote locations.

How to apply

  • To apply, please send a motivation letter, detailed CV, copies of the grades of your master degree, a certificate of the level of Dutch (if Dutch is not your mother tongue), and letters and contact information of minimum two academic referees as a single pdf to Tom Vander Beken (
  • For further information on the project or details about the position, please also contact Tom Vander Beken (
  • Closing date: 15 September 2022.
  • Link: