KU Leuven

Full-time Assistant (6 Years, Research + Teaching) Leading to a PhD in the Domain of Experimental Social Psychology

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KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.

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(ref. AAP-2022-54)

The Laboratory for Experimental Social Psychology (LESP), within the Research Group Methods, Individual and Cultural Differences, Affect, and Social Behavior (MICAS) of the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of KU Leuven, is a small but active research group dedicated to the basic and applied study of social psychological themes. LESP has recently become independent from Centre for Social and Cultural Psychology (CSCP), with which it continues to share research facilities and teaching tasks and resources. We focus on social cognition, and our preferred research method is experimental. However, we also use various other quantitative research methods. LESP currently consists of prof. Vera Hoorens, Alexandra Lux (graduate student), Yujing Liang (graduate student), and a group of master’s thesis students and interns.

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As an assistant, you will spend 2/3 of your time on doctoral research and 1/3 on teaching.

Your PhD research will in principle be on one of the following themes: 1. Determinants and consequences of how people communicate about differences and similarities between groups and individuals; 2. The influence of claim wording on intuitive truth judgments; 3. Consequences of moral self-superiority beliefs. All projects build on earlier and ongoing research and are sufficiently articulated to guarantee prosperous progress but leave room for creative contributions. The main supervisor will be Vera Hoorens, and you will have at least one co-supervisor at KU Leuven or abroad. You may also propose a project of your own, based on your personal preference and interest, provided that it (a) is in the field of social cognition, (b) gains the supervisors’ formal approval, preferably before the start of the position. 

Your teaching will involve giving exercise sessions in social psychology and either psychometrics or statistics for small groups of undergraduate students (introductory level), supervising master’s theses and/or internships, supervising written exams and assisting in grading them, and giving feedback to students. 


  • You are fluent in English and Dutch, both oral and written, and including academic language.
  • You have recently graduated as a Master in Psychology or a Research Master in Social Psychology, with excellent grades in social psychology, research methods, and statistics or will graduate from one of these programs before 25 September 2022
  • You are determined to obtain a PhD in social psychology.
  • You have didactic qualities and are willing to contribute to the teaching activities of the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Science.
  • You have acquired basic research skills (e.g., formulating questions, designing & conducting studies, programming in Inquisit &/or Qualtrics, data analysis with SPSS &/or R).
  • You are capable and eager to learn more advanced research skills and to extend your expertise in social cognition.
  • You have excellent communicative skills and a collaborative mindset
  • You are well-organized and can work independently
  • You are flexible (e.g., to plan your activities within the chalk lines drawn by the demands of research & the academic calendar, and to travel for conferences or international collaboration if & when the research requires such).
  • You are prepared to settle in the wider Leuven area, so that you can sufficiently flexibly be physically present at the university for research, education and consultation.


  • A fully granted full-time appointment, initially for two years but twice renewable (6 years in total).
  • Excellent research facilities.
  • A small, cohesive and supportive research group, embedded in a stimulating creative environment in a diverse research group with an excellent international reputation and many international collaborations.
  • An experienced and enthusiastic didactic team, providing extensive support, training, and intervision for the teaching activities.
  • Opportunities for further professional development via weekly seminars in the various research groups of MICAS, the doctoral program of the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, the Doctoral School for the Humanities and Social Sciences of KU Leuven, and international meetings, summer schools and conferences.
  • Additional benefits for academic staff at KU Leuven: paid holidays, reimbursement of costs for home-work commute by public transport, advantageous health and hospitalization insurance, discounted access to university restaurants, sports facilities,  etc...


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Vera Hoorens, tel.: +32 16 32 60 28, mail: vera.hoorens@kuleuven.be or Mrs. Hanne Vermeulen, tel.: +32 16 37 28 63, mail: hanne.vermeulen@kuleuven.be.

Please note that Prof. Hoorens will be in the Pacific Daylight Time zone (UTC/GMT – 7 hours) from 15 April to 11 May and Central Daylight Time zone (UTC/GMT – 5 hours) from 11 to 16 May.

A complete application file contains:

1.       A letter describing your motivation and most relevant training and/or experience in relation to this position, and identifying your preferred research topic with a brief motivation of it (preferably in Dutch);

2.       If you propose a project of your own, the research question and an outline of the work plan (5 pages max., excl. references, preferably in English);

3.       Your CV (in English or Dutch);

4.       Your grade-list;

5.       An academic text that you have authored, e.g., a master's thesis (preferably in English);

6.       2 letters of reference, with contact details (email & phone number) of referents.

Interviews with shortlisted candidates will take place between 15 and 30 June. For the interview, you will be requested to prepare a brief presentation (5 minutes) about a project that you have carried out in the context of your BA or MA training.

The successful candidate will be notified on or before Monday, 4 July 2022.

Planned start date of position: Monday 26 September 2022

You can apply for this job no later than June 08, 2022 via the online application tool

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.

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Full-time Assistant (6 Years, Research + Teaching) Leading to a PhD in the Domain of Experimental Social Psychology
Oude Markt 13 Leuven, Belgia
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Tietoja työnantajasta

KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.

Käy työnantajan sivulla