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  3. PhD-position: Measurement non-invariance in multilevel data in the Social Sciences

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PhD-position: Measurement non-invariance in multilevel data in the Social Sciences

A fully funded PhD position is available at the Department of Methodology and Statistics of Tilburg University, to work on the development of statistical methods for dealing with measurement non-invariance in multilevel data in the Social Sciences, under the direction of Dr. Kim De Roover and

ongeveer een jaar geleden


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


The employment is primarily dedicated towards carrying out the proposed research described below, with the aim to write several academic articles that are publishable in high-impact peer-reviewed journals and supported by computer code. The position and the environment in which the candidate will be embedded provide an optimal starting point for a possible academic career. The candidate will follow a customized track of graduate courses as part of the IOPS program which will further develop the candidate’s research skills and background knowledge.


The candidate should have sound knowledge of statistics, programming skills and affinity with research methods and techniques. Furthermore, the candidate should have a recently completed Master’s degree with excellent academic results in methodology,

statistics, mathematics, sociometrics, psychometrics, quantitative psychology, or a related field. Academic curiosity and an interest to work in an interdisciplinary environment are important characteristics for this position.


Tilburg University is among the top Dutch employers and has an excellent policy concerning terms of employment. The collective employment terms and conditions for Dutch universities will apply. Initially the appointment will be on a temporary basis for the period of 1 year. After a positive first year evaluation the contract will be prolonged for 3 years. The salary for the position of PhD-candidate on a full-time basis ranges between € 2,191.- and € 2,801.- gross per month (not included are various allowances).

Additional information

Project description
Title: Unraveling measurement non-invariance in multilevel data in the Social Sciences

Psychological researchers often measure unobservable psychological attributes (e.g., personality traits or emotions) by observable variables such as questionnaire items. Valid comparison of the measured attributes across groups, subjects, and/or time points requires measurement invariance (MI): the same measurement model (MM) holds across the compared units. It is therefore of great importance to test for MI, also when the number of units to be compared is large, that is, when dealing with multilevel data structures. Examples include the comparison of schools in scholastic surveys, countries in cross-cultural studies, and individuals in longitudinal studies. However, current methods for examining violations of MI, are suited only for the comparison of small numbers of groups, are too confirmatory, or provide insufficient information on the sources of non-invariance.

New methods for comparing MMs across many units in multilevel data are necessary to indicate for which units MI holds (and thus valid comparisons can be made) and for which units MI is violated. The new methods for exploring MM differences may indicate sources of non-invariance one may try to address (e.g., response styles, differential item functioning), but may also indicate substantively interesting structural differences in general, such as differences in the structure of personality or emotional experience.

More information about Tilburg University and Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences can be found on: www.tilburguniversity.edu/nl/. For more information regarding this position and the project you can contact dr. Kim De Roover (K.DeRoover@uvt.nl). The telephone number of the secretary is 013-4662544.