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Postdoc in Genetic Determinants of Prosocial Behavior

Are you experienced in genetic data analysis, working with large datasets and interested in what drives human helping and prosocial behavior? If so, we hope you will apply to become our new colleague in the Department of Sociology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

3 maanden geleden


De Boelelaan, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
32 - 40 uur
€ 2709 - € 4274 per maand


The postdoc will be part of the European Research Council (ERC) project “Who gives life? Understanding, explaining and predicting donor behavior (DONORS)”, a multidisciplinary scientific project on prosocial behavior, with an open eye for a societally pressing topic, namely blood and organ donation.

The project will take GWAS results for prosocial phenotypes to construct polygenic risc scores in our Dutch blood donor sample and use them (along with other determinants, e.g., demographics, values and social network characteristics) to explain variation in altruism and blood donor behavior. The candidate will work in an enthusiastic team of PhD students and postdocs, with diverse backgrounds, including sociology, economics, psychology and health sciences. Part of the research will be conducted at Sanquin Research (https://www.sanquin.org/research/donor-studies-projects/index).

We are seeking a highly motivated and talented researcher. You are required to handle large survey, genetic and genomic datasets. The successful candidate needs to be proficient in statistics and statistical programming, and preferably has practical experience in the analysis of genetic data.

Your tasks

  • to examine determinants of prosocial behavior using large-scale survey, biobank, registry and genetic data
  • to co-supervise MSc students and PhD candidates
  • to (co)author publications in high quality journals
  • to communicate about the research findings via social media and popular science communication
  • to present work to the international academic community
  • to develop an own research line on biological determinants of prosocial behavior


  • excellent training (PhD) in social sciences, biological psychology, economics, health sciences, demography, or a related quantitative/computational field
  • experience in genetic data analysis and in working with large datasets
  • support ‘open science’ and work in a reproducible way and share tools and data with the wider scientific community
  • outstanding organizational and analytical skills, flexibility (work at two locations), communication skills (including social media)
  • perseverance and ability to build and work in a team
  • excellence in written and spoken English
  • open eye for the societal relevance of the project


A challenging position in a socially engaged organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €2,709 (scale 10) and a maximum of €4274 (scale 10), depending on your educational level and experience. The job profile is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE. We offer the opportunity to teach courses in the curriculum of the Sociology department and faculty research master for 0.2 fte.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a good evaluation, the contract will be extended with another 2 years. Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package
  • a wide range of sports facilities which staff may use at a modest charge

Additional information

Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter. Applications are welcome until the position is filled.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy you may contact:
Name: Eva-Maria Merz
Position: Associate Professor
E-mail: e.m.merz@vu.nl
Telephone: 06 12143879

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

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