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  2. PhD position ‘Examining and treating prolonged grief in daily life’

PhD position ‘Examining and treating prolonged grief in daily life’

Are you interested in why bereaved people respond differently to psychological treatment? Do you have affinity with clinical psychology and technology? Are you eager to improve mental health care for people who seek treatment after the death of a loved one? And do you enjoy learning and applying advanced statistical analyses and combine that with qualitative research?

The research group Psychology, Health & Technology (PHT) offers a 4-year fulltime PhD position focusing on personalizing bereavement care. This project is closely related to the NWO Veni-project that was awarded to dr. Lonneke Lenferink, who is the principal investigator and daily supervisor of this PhD-project. Prof. dr. Gerben Westerhof, prof. dr. Ernst Bohlmeijer, and dr. Peter ten Klooster are the other PhD supervisors involved in this project.

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  • Hi! Are you my
    new colleague?
    Gerben Westerhof
  • Hi! Are you my
    new colleague?
    Matthijs Noordzij
  • Hi! Are you my
    new colleague?
    Ipek Topan
  • Hi! Are you my
    new colleague?
    Tanya Bondarouk

Key takeaways

  • Hours
    38 hr.
  • Salary indication
    Salary gross/monthly
    based on full-time
    € 2,541
  • Deadline
    1 May 2023

Prolonged grief disorder is a debilitating condition, affecting 10% of bereaved people. To date, studies evaluating treatments for prolonged grief have focused on symptom change on a group-level, ignoring individual variability in grief responses.

Personalized prolonged grief treatment may enhance treatment outcomes. An assumption underlying personalized care is that people respond differently to treatment. In part 1 of this project, you will test this assumption by examining distinct trajectories in treatment responses, and correlates thereof, using a novel data-archive. This data-archive consists of existing individual patient data of randomized controlled trials evaluating the effects of cognitive behavioral therapy for prolonged grief disorder (PGD).

Moreover, in order to personalize PGD treatment we need to know to what specific intervention might be helpful for this particular person in what certain moment. A precondition for this personalized treatment approach is that the topic of interest is dynamic and context-dependent. While theoretical and anecdotal work supports that this is the case for PGD, you will be the first to provide an empirical base supporting these claims in part 2 of the project, using experience sampling methodology (ESM). In part 3 of the project, you will create, together with experts and bereaved people, an ESM-based personalized intervention for treatment of PGD using qualitative research methods. In a pilot-study you will evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and potential effectiveness of this ESM-based personalized PGD intervention.

As a result of this project, you will contribute in three ways to personalized treatment for prolonged grief, by:

You will harmonize and then analyze existing data from randomized controlled trials using latent variable modelling (part 1). Together with master-students you will collect ESM-data (part 2), which you will analyze using multi-level modelling. In close collaboration with scientist-practitioners and bereaved people you will co-create and evaluate a smart-phone app to reduce PGD using qualitative and quantitative research methods (part 3). You will report your findings in academic peer-reviewed journals as well as media outlets for non-academic audiences and you will present your work at (inter)national conferences. Collaborations with national and international colleagues are part of this project. You will be a member of existing research groups that focus on grief and ESM that organize regular meetings to exchange experiences/knowledge in an informal setting with peers.

Your profile

  • You have a completed master’s degree in psychology or a related field at the preferred start date and you have affinity with clinical psychology and technology
  • You have experience and affinity with both quantitative and qualitative research methods and analytical thinking is one of your core strengths
  • You are proactive, have great people skills, and have a 'getting things done' mentality
  • You have a good team spirit and like to work in an interdisciplinary and internationally oriented environment
  • You are proficient in English. Possessing good Dutch language skills is an advantage, because study materials are in Dutch

Our offer

  • A full-time position for four years, with a qualifier in the first year, and the flexibility to work (partially) from home
  • You will receive a gross monthly salary ranging from € 2.541 (first year) to € 3.247,- (fourth year)
  • There are excellent benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%, and a solid pension scheme
  • A minimum of 232 leave hours in case of full-time employment based on a formal workweek of 38 hours. A full-time employment in practice means 40 hours a week, therefore resulting in 96 extra leave hours on an annual basis
  • Free access to sports facilities on campus
  • A family-friendly institution that offers parental leave (both paid and unpaid)
  • You will have a training programme as part of the Twente Graduate School where you and your supervisors will determine a plan for a suitable education and supervision
  • The University offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues
  • We encourage a high degree of responsibility and independence, but also stimulate interaction and discussion with colleagues

Information and application

Are you interested in this position ?

Please apply no later than May 1 2023 via the button below and attach:

If you would like more information, please contact dr. Lonneke Lenferink via email: l.i.m.lenferink@utwente.nl

The first round of interviews is scheduled between May 15 and May 24. A possible second round of interviews will be scheduled when needed.

The preferred start date of the project is July 1, 2023, but in consultation it is possible to start earlier or later.

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About the organisation

The Faculty of Behavioral, Management and Social sciences (BMS) aims to play a key role in understanding, jointly developing and evaluating innovations in society. Technological developments are the engine of innovation. As a technical university that puts people first, we tailor them to human needs and behavior and use social engineering to integrate them into society. We also ensure adequate governance at public and private level, and robust, inclusive and fair organizational structures. We do this by developing, sharing and applying high-quality knowledge in Psychology, Business Administration, Public Administration, Communication Sciences, Philosophy, Educational Sciences and Health Sciences. Our research and education in these disciplines revolves around tackling and solving societal challenges. The research programs of BMS are closely linked to the research of the UT institutes Mesa+ Institute for Nanotechnology, TechMed Center and Digital Society Institute.

As an employer, the Faculty of BMS offers work that matters. We equip you to create new possibilities for yourself and for our society. With us, you will become part of a leading technical university with increasing, positive social impact. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial atmosphere, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example through our flexible, adaptable benefits.

Want to know more?

Lenferink, L.I.M. (Lonneke)

Lenferink, L.I.M. (Lonneke)
Assistant Professor

Lenferink, L.I.M. (Lonneke)
Assistant Professor

Do you have questions about this vacancy? Then you can contact Lonneke for all substantive questions about this position and the application procedure. For general questions about working for the UT, please refer to the chatbot.

How to apply

Step 1

When you see a vacancy that appeals to you, you can apply online. We ask you to upload a CV and motivation letter and/or list of publications. You will receive a confirmation of receipt by e-mail.

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Step 2

The selection committee will review your application and you will receive a response within 2 weeks after the vacancy has been closed.

Step 3

1st interview.
The 1st (online or in person) meeting serves as an introduction where we introduce ourselves to you and you to us. You may be asked to give a short presentation. This will be further explained in the invitation.

Step 4

2nd interview.
In the second interview, we will further discuss the job content, your skills and your talents.

Step 5

The offer.
If the conversations are positive, you will be made a suitable offer.

Your Colleagues

About the BMS faculty

Curious about what The Faculty of Behavioral, Management and Social sciences (BMS) stands for? Check out the BMS website for more information.

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