PhD position + teaching assistant for statistics

22 April 2021

Get in touch!

For more information please contact Prof. dr. Eva Ceulemans, tel.: +32 16 32 58 81, mail: or Prof. dr. Peter Kuppens, tel.: +32 16 32 61 08, mail: Applications should consist of a motivation letter (including contact information of 2 referees) and a CV (including copies of diploma certificates and transcripts at university level).

Apply before 19 May 2021

The successful candidate will work in the Research Group of Quantitative Psychology and Individual Differences under the supervision of Eva Ceulemans and/or Peter Kuppens. The group offers an international, productive, collaborative, and interactive environment with about 6 faculty and 26 graduate and postgraduate students, that all study different aspects of emotion dynamics. The successful candidate will also become a member of the RE-Connect Interuniversity Research Consortium. RE-Connect pools different fields of expertise to study the dynamics of interpersonal emotional interactions in the domain of work, family, mental health, and across cultures, and to establish what healthy and productive emotional interactions look like in each domain. The work packages within the consortium focus on (1) the development of statistical methods to capture emotional connectedness in dyadic data, (2) emotional connectedness in leader-follower dyads (from different cultures), (3) emotional connectedness in couples (across cultures), and (4) emotional connectedness in relation to mental health problems. The RE-Connect consortium is a collaboration between five PI's (at three Flemish universities) with different domains of expertise, who are each at the top of their field: methodology and statistics, emotion research, organizational psychology, cultural psychology, clinical psychology, and family psychology. The consortium PI team consists of: Eva Ceulemans (KU Leuven), Peter Kuppens (KU Leuven), Joeri Hofmans (VUB), Batja Mesquita (KU Leuven), Lesley Verhofstadt (Ghent University). In the run-up to this project, the consortium PIs have inspired and complemented each other. We very much hope that the successful candidate will equally enjoy, as well as benefit from, the complementarity of available expertise. The University of Leuven is a research-oriented institution and is consistently ranked among the top research universities in Europe. Leuven is one of the oldest university towns in Europe, about 30 km from Brussels. It has a rich history and a unique friendly atmosphere.

You will spend 2/3 of your time on your PhD research and 1/3 on teaching statistics. Regarding PhD research, you will work on one of the projects below, depending on your background and interests:
Project 1: Statistical methods for capturing Emotional Connectedness (promotor: Eva Ceulemans)The aim of this PhD project is to develop, evaluate and apply new time series models for studying whether and how emotional connectedness in close relationships fluctuates across time in daily life and in the lab. At the same time, attention will be paid to designing future longitudinal studies (e.g., their sampling scheme) such that the models can be estimated optimally. Finally, we will develop open source software and apps (building on for instance R) to allow other researchers to use the new sample size calculation methods and time series models. Further information about this position can be obtained from Eva Ceulemans (
Project 2: Emotional connectedness in mental health (promotor: Peter Kuppens)In this Phd project, we aim to study the role of interpersonal emotional processes and connectedness in the etiology, maintenance, and recovery of mood disorder. While most existing psychopathology research focuses on intrapersonal factors and mechanisms, in this RE-Connect project we strive to uncover how mood disorder and its symptoms is at least in part a function of the way emotions are exchanged and shared or not shared between people. As such, we aim to elucidate how personal well-being and symptoms of individuals suffering from mood disorder develop and manifest in close relationships. The Phd research involves the re-coding and -analyses of existing data and the collection of new (lab and daily life) data both in healthy and mood disorder diagnosed individuals and their significant others. Further information about this position can be obtained from Peter Kuppens (
Regarding teaching:

  • You will be responsible for organizing and teaching statistics practica for one of the master-level courses 'Statistiek voor Psychologen'.
  • You will be involved in the preparation and correction of exams and tasks.
  • Building on the available material you will shape and refine new exercises and course material.


  • For project 2, you have a master degree in the Behavioral Sciences. For project 1, other degrees that imply a profound knowledge of statistics, data analysis and programming also qualify.
  • You are precise, creative, highly motivated and enthusiastic and have didactic skills.
  • You are able to teach in Dutch, but also have an excellent level of English.
  • You can work on your own, but also enjoy working in team.
  • Knowledge of SPSS and R is an asset.
  • Familiarity with research on emotion dynamics, couples or dyad research, and/or time series methods are assets.


  • a full time position of two years, that starts on 16.09.2021, and can be extended to maximum 6 years.
  • a research consortium of top-level researchers in emotion, relationships, work, and culture, working with cutting edge statistical methods.
  • an enthusiastic didactic team.