PhD Stress in Action: Modelling and Predicting the Effect of Stress

The department of Psychometrics and Statistics at the University of Groningen is looking for a PhD student to work with them on the ambitious Stress in Action project.

The experience of stress is an inherent aspect of daily life. However, can we validly measure this, and how and under what circumstances does it contribute to disease?

The NWO gravitation project Stress in Action capitalizes on fast technological advances and big data analytics to move stress research from the lab to daily life. The candidate will be part of the data analytic support core (DASC) team. The DASC will develop a variety of big data analytics approaches. Specific analytical questions for DASC include:

 (1) How can the dynamic interaction between the contextual stress exposures and the multicomponent stress responses be best modelled?

(2) How can these models account for individual differences in the effects of stress exposure?

(3) How can we assess the predictive accuracy of these models?

As a major innovation, they aim to combine Machine learning (ML) and Dynamic intensive longitudinal data (DILD) techniques to interpret temporal data better. Whereas ML focuses more on data reduction and prediction and DILD techniques on explanation and interpretability, it is anticipated that a combination of these methods will provide better insights to answer our research questions.

Duration: 4 years

Starting Date: September 1, 2023


  • a salary of € 2,541 gross per month in the first year of the appointment, rising to € 3,247 gross per month in the fourth year for a full-time position;
  • a holiday allowance of 8% of gross annual income and an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance;
  • attractive secondary terms of employment.
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Job Requirements

Applicants for the PhD Stress in Action: Modelling and Predicting the Effect of Stress are to meet the following requirements:

  • MSc degree (or finishing soon) in psychology, health sciences, statistics, computer science, or a related discipline
  • strong interest in Experience Sampling Methods
  • knowledge of multilevel models or machine-learning approaches
  • familiarity with Bayesian statistics or time series analysis
  • programming skills in R or Python
  • affinity and preferably experience with writing research papers
  • good social and communication skills and willingness to work with other team members
  • enthusiastic about translating scientific insights into practical guidelines and advice
  • demonstrable competencies such as conceptual capacity, presenting, planning and organizing, and monitoring.

Application Process

Interested applicants are to send their application via the apply button below and include the following:

  • letter of motivation
  • CV (including contact information for at least two academic references)
  • transcripts from their bachelor’s and master’s degree
  • a research proposal of max. 1000 words of a possible first project.

To apply for the PhD Stress in Action: Modelling and Predicting the Effect of Stressclick here.

Deadline: April 17, 2023.

For more information on the PhD Stress in Action: Modelling and Predicting the Effect of Stress, visit the official site.