PhD position Eco-anxiety and sustainable action (1.0 FTE)

Department

Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences

Organisation

University of Groningen

Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative centre of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 36,000 students and researchers to develop their own individual talents. Belonging to the best research universities in Europe and joining forces with prestigious partner universities and networks, the University of Groningen is an international place of knowledge.

The Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences is a centre of knowledge focusing on individuals and society. The faculty studies issues relating to human behaviour, and the relationships between people and society. This includes the study of how people function under normal circumstances, of the problems encountered by individuals or groups, and how these can be resolved or prevented. The Department of Psychology is part of the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences, and offers Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes in both Dutch and English to over 3.000 students, including the international Master programme Environmental Psychology (https://www.rug.nl/masters/environmental-psychology/).

Job description

The Environmental Psychology group at the University of Groningen offers a PhD position in the project “Eco-anxiety and sustainable action”. The project aims to investigate what factors cause eco-anxiety, to what extent eco-anxiety promotes or inhibits pro-environmental actions, and negative impacts of eco-anxiety can be prevented.

Environmental Psychology at the University of Groningen has a national and international reputation for excellence. Research within the Environmental Psychology group focuses on a wide range of topics, including understanding which factors affect sustainable behaviours (such as energy use, car use, food consumption, and participation in environmental groups); understanding how people and groups cope with environmental and climate risks; understanding the effectiveness of strategies to promote sustainable behaviour; understanding the acceptability environmental policies and changes; and the effects of climate change and sustainable behaviour on wellbeing.

This research project is funded by the Stevin prize awarded to Linda Steg for her pioneering, innovative and socially impactful research (https://www.nwo.nl/prof-dr-linda-steg). The research aims to contribute to theory development and practice, and is embedded in the research programme Interpersonal Behaviour, as well as in two of the focus areas of the University of Groningen: Energy and Sustainable Society. The Environmental Psychology group collaborates with scholars from different disciplines within and outside the University of Groningen, as well as with governments, NGOs, and various business organisations.

Project
Climate change is one of the most pressing issues the world is facing today. Observing the seemingly irrevocable impact of climate change and the associated concern for one’s future and that of next generations causes serious stress and anxiety in some people. Such eco-anxiety can negatively impact individuals’ wellbeing, but may also motivate people to engage in actions to reduce the threat. This project aims to study which factors cause eco-anxiety, and how eco-anxiety impacts individuals’ climate actions and wellbeing. Specifically, our main research questions are: 1. what is the prevalence of eco-anxiety, which factors cause it, and who are most vulnerable to it; 2. how and when does eco-anxiety promote or inhibit sustainable actions, 3. how can negative impacts of eco-anxiety on behaviour and wellbeing be prevented and positive impacts be capitalised?

You will publish the results of your studies in international scientific journals, which will be part of your PhD thesis, and you will present your work at international conferences. You will be a member of the Environmental Psychology Group, and your research will be embedded in the Research Programme Interpersonal Behaviour and in the Dutch Kurt Lewin Institute.

Requirements

We are looking for a PhD student who is highly motivated to work on this topic, and is particularly interested in conducting theory-based research with a high societal relevance. You have completed a Master in Psychology with a focus on Environmental Psychology, have expertise in stress research, or a scientific education which is closely related to this, or you expect to receive such a Master degree soon. You have a creative, critical and independent research attitude and you are open to different perspectives on this research topic. You can work independently, but can also collaborate with other members of the research group. You have good communication skills in English and Dutch, both verbally and written (or willingness to learn Dutch).

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 48 months.

We offer you, following the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

- a temporary position of 1.0 FTE for a period of four years. You will first be appointed for a period of 12 months. After a positive evaluation, the contract will be extended for the remaining period
- a salary of € 2,443 gross per month in the first year of the appointment, rising to € 3,122 gross per month in the fourth year for a full-time position
- a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income and an 8.3% year-end bonus.

Intended starting date: as soon as possible

Job Application

Applicants are requested to submit:

- a motivation letter stating your motivation to apply for the position and your key qualities relevant for this position
- an up-to-date curriculum vitae
- a list of course grades
- contact information of two academic references.

You may apply for this position until 7 June 11:59pm / before 8 June 2022 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage: https://www.rug.nl/[…]/

Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): https://www.nvp-hrnetwerk.nl/sollicitatiecode/ and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers: https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/jobs/charter/code

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Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Prof. Linda Steg
e.m.steg@rug.nl

Prof. Peter de Jonge
peter.de.jonge@rug.nl

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 222301

Digital application form