Post-Doc (1,0 Fte, 36 months) in Experimental Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience

Research / Academic

We are looking for a post-doctoral researcher in network theory and single-case experimental designs for an NWO Gravity funded research project "Fear, Avoidance and Pain: A FAP network approach”.

This project aims at exploring a network approach of the Fear-Avoidance model of chronic Pain (FAP), which present a possible trajectory how a common acute pain episode may transit towards chronic disabling pain. The available literature is scarce, and exact roles of fear and avoidance remain unclear. Here we aim for a better understanding of the causal relationships between transdiagnostic variables, and the pivotal influence of pain-related fear and avoidance behavior from a network theory perspective. We aim for three studies addressing the following questions: 1: Howcentral” are self-reported threat expectancies, fear of pain and avoidance in a network approach of the FA model in individuals with chronic pain? 2: Can avoidance behavior serve as the key driving mechanism in the FAP network in an analog conditioning experiment in the lab with healthy controls? 3: How does the FAP Network model change after a therapeutic manipulation in individuals with chronic bodily distress? The results will contribute to a better understanding of the relationships of variables suggested by the FAP model. This project is part of the NWO-funded Gravity program “New Science of Mental Disorders” (NSMD:, and is a collaboration between Prof. Madelon Peters, Prof, Johan Vlaeyen Maastricht University), Prof. Andrea Evers (Leiden University) and Dr. Haslbeck (University of Amsterdam). The postdoc will become a (aspirant) member of the Dutch-Flemish Postgraduate school of Experimental Psychopathology (EPP:



  • A PhD in psychology or a related discipline.
  • Interest in pain science, network theory and the psychology of the individual.
  • Excellent communicative skills reflecting the ability to engage and collaborate.
  • Good conversational and writing language skills in English.
  • An excellent publication track record of applied research.
  • A strong background in statistics and data analysis.
  • Demonstrable accuracy, analytical skills, flexibility, and scientific integrity.


  • Prior experience with programming in R, and (or interest in) computational modelling.
  • Experience with network analyses or single-case experimental designs.
  • Experience with conditioning experiments and analyzing psychophysiological data.
  • Dutch language skills are helpful, but not necessary.

Salary Benefits:

The appointment will be full-time for a period of three years. There is also a lot of attention and space for personal development and a pleasant work-private life balance.

The salary will be set in scale 11 (between € 3.821 and € 5.230 gross per month). The exact salary will depend on the number of years with relevant experience. On top of this, there is an 8% holiday and an 8.3% year-end allowance.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website > About UM > Working at UM.

Work Hours:

38 hours per week


Universiteitssingel 40