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: 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!

A new position will be open soon (more details to come): We are recruiting a 4-year PhD student – Exceptional opportunity to conduct neuroscience research in prison!

Educational Degree / Diploma

Master degree in experimental psychology, cognitive sciences, or neuroscience.

Job description

  • A full-time 4-year PhD position in social and behavioural neurosciences is available at Ghent University. The position is funded by a Interdisciplinary Research Grant. The research will be led by Prof. Emilie Caspar (Department of Experimental Psychology) and will involve a strong collaboration with Tom Vander Beken (Faculty of Law) and will involve a close collaboration with another Ph.D. student in criminology.
  • The successful applicant will join the Moral & Social Brain Lab (https://moralsocialbrain.com/) to work on a project that aims to conduct a longitudinal assessment of the impact of prison on several cognitive functions (cognitive control, emotion regulation, etc.)
  • In this project, the applicant will follow inmates who just arrived in prison, or about to be released from prison, and will conduct several re-tests over 2 years.
  • The lab is located in Ghent University, which is a city located close by the main city Brussels. but the majority of the testing will take place in prison. The applicant will have access to all state-of-the-art facilities, such as a 64-electrode EEG system, and computers.

If applicants want to know more what it is like to work with inmates in prison, they can check the following blog: https://emiliecaspar.home.blog/ (section: prison).

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. The successful applicant will also be invited to apply to his/her own grants (FWO doctoral fellowship, BOF doctoral grant).

We offer

  • A PhD position in social neuroscience with a competitive salary.  Click here for more information about our salary scales.
  • The applicant will have access to state-of-the-art UGent research facilities.
  • In Ghent University, we have amazing doctorate assistants helping researchers with EEG and statistical analysis. You will thus also receive extra help for the project if necessary.
  • 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: more details to come (probably October 1th, 2022 or slightly later)

We are looking for a highly-motivated candidate with:

  • An excellent profile and excellent grades during your master degree.
  • Past experience with EEG will be a strong asset.
  • Good English writing and communication skills are mandatory.
  • Knowledge of French (B2 minimum) is required. Knowing Dutch as well will be a strong asset: Inmates will be tested in Belgium, which has two official langages: French and Dutch. Considering the socio-economic status of the majority of inmates, they will only be able to communicate with your in their mother tong.
  • Prior research experience (e.g., involvement in data collection)
  • Good data analysis skills (R, SPSS, MATLAB, Python).
  • Very good human skills are highly recommended: the position will involve a difficult population. Be aware that the majority of inmates are very nice persons who did bad choices in their lives, but some others have done terrible acts and have narcissistic or antisocial traits. It is highly important not to be judgmental and to be able to listen to them (even if they conducted atrocious crimes) because it is frequent that they open up to us since they drastically miss social contacts. A very good emotional balance is required as well as human skills.
  • Having a driving license: The material (EEG/computers) will have to be transported to different prisons, which are usually located in very remote locations.

How to apply

  • To apply, please send a motivation letter, CV, copies of the grades of your master degree, a certificate of the level of French (if French is not your mother tong), 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: To come.