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PHD Developmental Psychology/Human Resources Studies

The Department of Developmental Psychology at Tilburg University is looking for a
PhD student on the topic of personality development and adjustment during the transition to work in the fields of DP & HRS
(1.0 FTE per 1 September 2020)

ongeveer een maand geleden


Warandelaan, Tilburg, Noord-Brabant
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
40 - 40 uur
€ 2325 - € 2972 per maand


The PhD project is part of a collaboration between the Department of Developmental Psychology and the Department of Human Resource Studies, funded by The Herbert Simon Research Institute at Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences (TSB). The PhD student will be involved in both departments.

The PhD student will collect data via online questionnaires and smartphones and apply advanced statistical longitudinal analyses to answer the following research questions:

  1. How? Describing the change in personality and adjustment. For example, do young adults show maturation patterns in their personality during the work transition?
  2. Why? Explaining the change (psychological mechanisms) in personality and adjustment. For example, do changes in daily experiences due to the work transition explain personality change?
  3. Who? Describing and explaining individual differences in personality change, adjustment and job success. For example, which work contexts and individual characteristics impact personality change, adjustment and productivity? 


We look for a highly motivated, inquisitive, enthusiastic, proactive, and result-driven PhD candidate. Applicants must have a relevant MSc degree (preferably a research master), for example in developmental, personality, social or organizational psychology, educational sciences, human resource management/development, or in social/health sciences. 

  • Excellent research skills and data analytical abilities, including in-depth knowledge of statistical programs (e.g., SPSS, Mplus or R)
  • Excellent project management and organization skills 
  • Excellent cooperation skills and the willingness to work in a cross-disciplinary team 
  • Interest in high-quality research on developmental change and individual differences
  • Interest in engaging in education (20% of total time), such as thesis supervision
  • Proficiency in English (Dutch is a plus but not necessary)


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 appointment begins with a period of 12 months. Continuation of the appointment with another 36 months will be based on performance evaluation. The gross salary for the PhD position amounts to € 2.325 per month in the first year, rising to € 2.972 per month in the fourth year, based on a full-time appointment (38 hours per week).

Additional information

Project description
The transition from university to work: Understanding the change processes of personality development

The transition from education into the workforce is a major milestone in the development of young adults and a major transition to a new life stage. It brings tremendous changes in daily life and challenges to take on new roles and tasks that impact individual development. Whereas some adjust well, others struggle with it. The goal of this project is to investigate the reasons for this individual variability when adapting to the transition to work and the impact on personality development (e.g., self-esteem, identity, Big Five traits). A longitudinal study with smartphone-based intensive longitudinal assessments (daily diary and experience sampling methods) will be employed to capture changes in daily life and across several years.

Societal relevance: Today’s young adults will have to work for up to 50 years and are faced with challenges such as choosing a job, burnout and unemployment as well as opportunities to grow. Insights into environmental and individual promotors of a successful entry into the workforce will help educators to design programs that prepare for this transition and employers to design growth-promoting workplaces.