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 our 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 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-grant.
  • More information can be found here: https://www.fwo.be/en/ or here https://ec.europa.eu/research/mariecurieactions/actions/postdoctoral-fellowships
  • 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 Ph.D. Student or a Postdoctoral researcher under the conditions of international mobility !

Educational Degree / Diploma

Master’s degree in psychology, biology, neuroscience, or a related discipline OR Ph.D. in cognitive, social or cognitive neuroscience, cognitive psychology, medical engineering or related disciplines.

Job description

  • A PhD position (1+3 years) or Postdoctoral position under the condition of international mobility (1+1 years) in social and behavioural neurosciences is available at Ghent University. The position is funded by a BOF Starting Grant. The research will be led by Prof. Emilie Caspar (Department of Experimental Psychology).
  • The successful applicant will join the Moral & Social Brain Lab (https://moralsocialbrain.com/) to work on a project that aims to uncover the neuro-cognitive processes that prevent an individual from being coerced into causing pain to others. The applicant will use a novel experimental approach, which is an actualized and ethical version of the famous Stanley Milgram’s studies, to answer this question. The applicant will use behavioral, electrophysiology, neuromodulation and neuroimaging measurements. The general goal will be to understand why some individuals are more likely to stand up against immoral orders than others.
  • In this project, we will explore what neuro-cognitive processes prevent an individual from causing pain to another individual in coercive contexts. We will primarily focus on the sense of agency, which is the feeling of being the author of one’s own action and thus responsible for its consequences, and on empathy for pain.
  • The research will happen in Ghent University, which is a city located close by the main city Brussels. The applicant will have access to all state-of-the-art facilities, such as a 64-electrode EEG system, a 3T-MRI, TMS/tdcs, and experimental rooms.

In our lab, we try to avoid testing only WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic) individuals. At the moment, our projects involve inmates in prisons, military, genocide survivors and former perpetrators in Rwanda and Cambodia – see https://emiliecaspar.home.blog/ for some examples of the field research we conduct. We consider that there are no restrictions regarding the populations to include in the research project and we wish the successful applicant to be open-minded regarding the possibilities to answer the research questions.

The successful applicant will be responsible for the development of experiments, collection and analysis of data, publication and dissemination of the results, and will be involved in the supervision of research assistants and MSc students.

We offer

  • A PhD position or a Postdoc position in social neuroscience with a competitive salary. Your remuneration will be determined by salary scale WM1 to WM4 (if you hold a Master’s degree) or salary scale PD1 to PD4 (if you hold a doctorate).  Click here for more information about our salary scales.
  • The applicant will have access to state-of-the-art UGent research facilities.
  • The applicant will have the opportunity to collaborate with other lab members and with international teams.
  • The research group is situated in Ghent, a lively city in the heart of Europe (https://visit.gent.be/en/HOME).
  • All Ghent University staff members enjoy a number of benefits, such as a wide range of training and education opportunities, 35 days of holiday leave (on an annual basis for a full-time job) supplemented by annual fixed bridge days, a bicycle allowance and eco vouchers. Click here for a complete overview of all the staff benefits (in Dutch).

Job profile

Preferred start date: December 2021 or January 2022. The position will be open until we find the ideal applicant for this position (possibly a second date will be announced later).

We are looking for a highly-motivated candidate with:

  • An appropriate degree (preferably a research master) in psychology, biology, neuroscience, or a related discipline. The degree requirements must be fulfilled at the start of the job appointment OR An excellent post-doctoral researcher with a specialization in social, cognitive or behavioral neuroscience could also be considered for this position.
  • Postdoctoral researchers should have realized their Ph.D. abroad and not having obtained a grant in Belgium during the last 24 months.
  • Evidence of excellent research, communication, and cooperative skills
  • Good English writing and communication skills are mandatory. Knowledge of Dutch or French is not required.
  • Prior research experience (e.g., involvement in data collection)
  • Good data analysis skills (R, SPSS, MATLAB, Python).

How to apply

  • To apply, please send a motivation letter, CV, transcripts of BSc and MSc courses and grades (for PhD applicants), copies of educational certificates (if applicable), and letters and contact information of minimum two academic referees as a single pdf to Emilie Caspar (Emilie.Caspar@UGent.be). It is possible that the applicants will be asked to provide a commentary on a scientific publication.
  • For further information on the project or details about the position, please also contact Emilie Caspar (Emilie.Caspar@UGent.be).
  • Closing date: November 10th, 2021. Interviews are expected to take place in the last week of November.