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Postdoctoral Researcher (100%, 3 years) in DFG-funded Research Project on Hedonic Compensation, Ruhr-University Bochum


The Ruhr-University Bochum is one of the leading research universities. The university draws its strengths from both the diversity and the proximity of scientific and engineering disciplines on a single, coherent campus. This highly dynamic setting enables students and researchers to work across traditional boundaries of academic subjects and faculties.

The faculty of psychology invites applications for a postdoctoral position as part of the DFG-funded research project “Work hard, play hard. Neuropsychological Correlates and Behavioral Implications of Hedonic Compensation” under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Hofmann. The postdoc position is part of a larger bi-lateral project funded under the Open Research Area (ORA) scheme, and will be carried out in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Lotte van Dillen and Dr. Henk van Steenbergen (University of Leiden, The Netherlands) with ample opportunity for project collaboration, research visits, and joint publications.

Project description

In the current project, we advance a new framework to understand the phenomenon of hedonic compensation. We posit that mental load, induced by concurrent tasks or concerns, interferes with reward processing from consumption. Because people strive to obtain pleasure from the goods they consume, they employ compensatory behaviors to up-regulate hedonic value. In our project, we combine the expertise of two research labs to gain more insight in the relationship between mental capacity, hedonic experience, and consumption, and in the problems resulting from an imbalance between these factors. This, in turn, may lead to new tools to help people live a fulfilling and healthy life. In this project will use both lab-based behavioral neuroscience approaches (the primary focus at Leiden) as well as experience-sampling technology and randomized controlled designs (the primary focus at Bochum) to study the everyday-life implications of hedonic compensation. By extending the findings across various consumption domains and methodologies, we hope to gain generalizable insights into the nature of hedonic compensation.

The Postdoctoral Researcher will be part of the Social Psychology department (incoming chair: Prof. Wilhelm Hofmann). At Bochum, we study a broad array of topics in social psychology, including self-regulation and self-control, morality, social cognition, relationship research, health behavior decision-making, and behavioral economics. From a methodological perspective, we strive to combine the rigor of experimental research paradigms with the external validity and richness of behavioral data from everyday life (as measured, for instance, with ecological momentary assessment). There is no teaching requirement for this position, but we can offer the opportunity to engage in research-oriented seminars at the bachelor or masters level. The ability to speak German is helpful but not necessary. The salary is based on the German TVL-13 scale (100%). The contract is limited to 3 years.


We request applicants to send a motivation letter explaining their interest and qualifications regarding the position, their prior research/work experience, a CV, and contact information of two professional references, as well as one sample publication. The deadline for application is February 18, 2019. Please email all materials in a single pdf file to iciar.martinez@ rub.de with “ORA Postdoc Position” in the subject line.

Travel expenses for interviews cannot be refunded, unfortunately. There is a possibility for video call in case of longer distances.

At the Ruhr-University Bochum, we seek to promote careers of women in areas in which they have been underrepresented, and we would therefore like to encourage female candidates to send us their applications. Applications by suitable candidates with severe disabilities and other applicants with equal legal status are likewise most welcome.


The ideal candidate will have:

  • A PhD in psychology with a focus on motivation science, health psychology, or social psychology (or on an adjacent field)
  • A strong academic track record including publications in leading international journals.
  • An interest in bridging basic and applied research.
  • The capacity to participate in an international research environment.
  • Advanced knowledge in research design and statistics (e.g., power analysis, multilevel modelling, path analysis, frequentist and Bayesian approaches).
  • Good computational and/or programming skills (e.g., mastery of R, experimental software).
  • Familiarity with practices of transparency and open science.
  • Experience and interest in training and supervising junior scientists.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills to effectively collaborate and communicate in academia.
  • Excellent organizational skills, efficient working style.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English.

Candidates who only partially meet this profile are nonetheless strongly encouraged to apply.

Postdoctoral Researcher (100%, 3 years) in DFG-funded Research Project on Hedonic Compensation, Ruhr-University Bochum

Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Vollzeit, Projektmitarbeit

Veröffentlicht am 01.03.2019