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PhD candidate on behavioral interventions for inclusive workplaces

The Departments of Human Resource Studies, Medical and Clinical Psychology and Organization Studies at Tilburg University are looking for a PhD candidate on behavioral interventions for inclusive workplaces (1,0 fte)

3 maanden geleden


Warandelaan, Tilburg, Noord-Brabant
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
40 - 40 uur


The PhD project is part of a collaboration between the Department of Human Resource Studies, the Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology and the Department of Organization Studies, funded by The Herbert Simon Research Institute at Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

This project focuses on studying (mal)adaptive physiological responses to subtle acts of exclusion. It aims at developing behavioral interventions that are effective in combating workplace exclusion and promoting inclusion. The PhD candidate will collect and analyze data via interviews and focus groups; conduct quantitative lab studies, and develop and test behavioral interventions using advanced statistical analyses in order to:
1. Generate an in-depth understanding of why actors engage in daily acts of workplace exclusion and how targets and bystanders react to this exclusion.
2. Identify coping strategies developed in response to daily acts of workplace exclusion and map which responses are (mal)adaptive in terms of physiological reaction patterns.
3. Measure physiological reactions to inclusive trainings.
4. Develop and test the effectiveness of a training program that fosters inclusive behavior in the workplace.

As this interdisciplinary project makes use of various scientific methods, we offer the PhD candidate training and development opportunities to support the candidate in applying these methods. Crucial is that there is an affinity with the topic and an eagerness to continuously develop new skills and competences.


We look for an inquisitive, motivated, proactive, and result-driven PhD candidate and a good colleague that likes to work in a team. Applicants must have a relevant MSc degree (preferably but not necessarily a research masters), for example in psychology, human resource management, organization studies or health sciences.

  • Passion for understanding experiences of inclusion and exclusion
  • Research skills and data analytical abilities in a particular research approach, including in-depth knowledge of either statistical analysis or qualitative analysis. As the project is multidisciplinary in approach, we look for candidates with the willingness to acquire multidisciplinary research skills.
  • Project management and organization skills.
  • Communication (including writing) and cooperation skills and the willingness to work in a team.
  • Interest in multi-disciplinary and multi-method research
  • Fluency in English.


The PhD candidate will be employed by Tilburg University, which is among the top of the Dutch employers and has an excellent policy concerning terms of employment. The appointments are intended to lead to the completion of a PhD thesis. The PhD will be appointment at the Department of Human Resource Studies and begins with a contract for 12 months. Continuation of the appointment with another 36 months will be based on performance evaluation. To prepare our PhD candidates for a career in academia, teaching related to the core subjects offered by the involved departments, is part of the PhD position (app. 1 day per week). The gross salary for the PhD position amounts to € 2.395 per month in the first year, rising to € 3.061 per month in the fourth year, based on a full-time appointment (38 hours per week).

Additional information

Project description
Full title of the project: Understanding physiological responses to daily acts of workplace exclusion: Behavioral interventions for actors, targets, and bystanders

The detrimental effects of social exclusion on individuals, organizations, and society are well documented. Being excluded can jeopardize psychological and physical health outcomes and can impede work and career outcomes. Despite well-intended diversity and inclusion initiatives, recent social movements such as #MeToo and Black Lives Matter indicate that exclusion is still widespread. Exclusion today often takes the form of subtle daily acts of exclusion, called micro-exclusions. Transforming towards a more inclusive society thus inevitably means targeting micro-exclusions.

How micro-level exclusive behaviors shape experiences of workplace exclusion, and the role that physiological responses play in this is largely absent from the academic literature. This interdisciplinary project will contribute significantly by solving a substantial part of the mechanistic puzzle that links subtle acts of workplace exclusion to (mal)adaptive physiological responses (sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system). Understanding the mechanistic processes explaining the link between mind and body is a prerequisite when designing interventions that improve inclusive behaviors. Based on a more integrative understanding of how exclusion is experienced, responded to and coped with by targets and bystanders, we aim to develop and test a training program that helps foster inclusive behaviors.