PhD candidate in Responsible Research Methods (1.0 FTE) – Leiden University – Leiden

  • Leiden

Leiden University

PhD candidate in Responsible Research Methods (1.0 FTE)

Are you interested in improving (psychological) science? Consider applying and gain skills and knowledge to conduct cutting-edge (meta) research on replication, reproducibility, robustness, Open Science, and science communication.

What you will do
As a Phd-candidate you will work on a four-year research project in the at Leiden University under supervision of , , . In this project you will systematically examine the role, impact and uptake of replications and adversarial collaborations within psychology.

Your role will involve:

▫ Conducting literature search
▫ Designing studies and coordinating online data collection
▫ Analyzing data
▫ Writing scientific articles
▫ Contributing to teaching within the Methodology and Statistics unit

Project description
The scientific record is a continuously updating source of knowledge, and it is often assumed that scientific fields have self-correction mechanisms that ensure the integrity of this record. It is becoming increasingly obvious that most error correction mechanisms have costs (e.g., they take time and effort), and can only be applied to a small subset of the (psychology) literature. This makes it all the more important to evaluate the impact of such efforts, and to direct efforts where the most value can be gained. In other words, there is a need for metascientific work on the self-correcting ability of psychological science, and the academic transition to a culture that fosters this self-correction through open, collaborative, value-driven, and responsible scientific processes. For instance, how do researchers change their beliefs about a claim when it is corrected in one way or another? And is this change reflected in the literature through for instance the way researchers collectively cite the updated claims?

There are many ways by which the scientific record can get corrected or updated: retractions, correction notices, comments and replies, verification or robustness checks, (post-publication) peer review, enabling scrutiny by making outputs transparent and open, reproducibility checks, loss of confidence statements, and replications as well as adversarial collaborations. The current project will mainly focus on the latter two, because the scientific community is increasingly emphasizing these methods as ways to address current problems surrounding replicability and fragmentation of the theoretical landscape in psychology. More specifically, in this project we will systematically examine the role, impact and uptake of replications and adversarial collaborations within psychology.

In addition to working on the research project described above, the candidate is also expected to contribute to teaching within the Methodology and Statistics unit (max. 10 % of time; for example, supervision BSc and MSc thesis projects), and will thus also gain experience in this respect. We also offer opportunities for professional and personal growth and development, for instance through collaboration with, and co-creation of, the .

What you bring

  • A (research) master’s degree (completed, or to be awarded before the starting date) in a topic relevant for the PhD, such as psychology, data science, statistics, or information sciences.
  • Experience with statistical analysis and data visualization in the R-software environment.
  • A collaborative mindset, openness to learning new skills, and willingness to share knowledge
  • Attention to detail and clear communication skills
  • Evidence of the ability to conduct high-quality research and write scientific text
  • Good written and oral communication skills in English
  • The ability to work independently as well as collaboratively within a research group
  • Familiarity with Open Science and responsible research practices as well as a willingness to adopt them
  • We are looking for an enthusiastic student who wants to develop their career and further the transparency, integrity, and overall credibility of our field.

    Where you will work
    The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences consists of five institutes: Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, Political Science, and Psychology. The faculty has approximately 7000 students and 1000 staff members. Within the institutes, not only education is provided but also groundbreaking research is conducted that pushes the boundaries of our understanding of human behaviour and societal structures. What makes our faculty unique is the diversity of research topics, the various styles of teaching, and the way professional support is organized; this provides you with the opportunity to explore and develop your interests and expertise. Visit our website for an impression:

    Institute of Psychology
    The Institute of Psychology educates new generations to contribute to the challenges of our society, now and in the future, based on leading behavioral scientific research and education. This is achieved through collaboration both within and outside our institute in the field of Psychology and related research areas, both fundamental and applied. The broad bachelor’s program and a wide variety of master’s specializations also contribute to this goal. Within the institute and the academic community, there is a committed and passionate atmosphere. The themes of Health and Well-being, Social-Cognitive-Affective Decision Making, Development and Learning, and Advanced Behavioral Science Methods guide research and education. The institute values conducting these activities in a safe and inclusive environment and provides space for new developments such as open science, recognition and appreciation, and interdisciplinarity, which are anchored in its strategy. With approximately 5,000 students and 600 staff members, the institute includes the Institute Office, the Department of Bachelor Education, and 6 units for education and research: Health, Medical and Neuropsychology, Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental and Educational Psychology, Social, Economic and Organisational Psychology, and Methodology and Statistics.

    What we offer

  • An appointment of initially 12 months and if evaluated positively extended with 3 years and must lead to the completion of a PhD thesis. The salary ranges from €2,770 gross per month in the 1st year up to €3,539 gross per month in the 4th year based on a fulltime employment in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. A part-time position of 0.80 fte is possible as well. The preferred starting date is the 1st of September 2024. The successful applicant should live in the Netherlands or be prepared to move to the Netherlands before the start of the appointment.
  • A holiday allowance (8%), an end-of-year bonus (8,3%), and an attractive pension scheme at ABP;
  • Flexible working hours: as a standard, you are entitled to a minimum of 29 leave days on the basis of a full-time working week of 38 hours; you can also save for extra leave, for example by working 40 hours a week, and in this way accrue an extra 96 leave hours, or exchange 96 leave hours for a 36-hour week.
  • Lots of options when it comes to secondary employment conditions; we can, for example, discuss options for a sabbatical or paid parental leave. Within our terms of employment individual choices model, you can exchange leave days and/or salary for benefits such as an advantageous sports subscription or bicycle scheme, and we also offer child-care options;
  • If your work allows it, hybrid working is possible within the Netherlands;
  • A home-working allowance (day and internet allowance) and attention for good workplaces. The University will also provide you with a laptop and a mobile telephone (if applicable for the position).
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