Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About us Working at the University of Groningen Job opportunities

PhD candidate SMiLES living lab: acceptance of sustainable mobility innovations (220321)

Job description

The PhD student conducts research into the psychological barriers and opportunities in the acceptance of innovations in shared mobility and logistics. More specifically, the doctoral candidate focuses on the motivations, cognitions and habits that stand in the way of behavioral change and the doctoral candidate examines whether, and if so, how these can be overcome in the transition to a sustainable mobility and transport sector. The results of the research provide a psychological framework that can contribute to the transition to sustainable, technical and economic innovation in mobility.

In addition, the doctoral candidate makes a limited contribution to psychology education.
In summary, your tasks are:
• Conduct research that results in a dissertation and is in line with the objectives and requirements of the SMiLES project.
• Publish results in international scientific journals
• Present your research to a wide audience of fellow scientists and practitioners.
• Collaborate with fellow scientists, but also with practical partners.
• Participate in educational activities such as supervising bachelor or master projects and small-scale workgroup education together with your supervisors.


In this position, you are expected to:
• have completed a Master's degree in the field of social sciences.
• has good academic oral and written skills.
• has good research skills, as evidenced by a good assessment of the Master's thesis.
• have good communication skills and can work well together.
• have a good command of the English language and willingness to learn Dutch.
• have perseverance and a results-oriented attitude.


The University of Groningen (RUG) is an internationally oriented university that collaborates with renowned foreign universities, such as Uppsala, Göttingen and Ghent. The RUG has approximately 33,500 students and 5,500 employees from the Netherlands and abroad. The University of Groningen actively collaborates with social partners and profiles itself with the themes Healthy Aging, Energy and Sustainable Society. The university consists of eleven faculties, the University Library, the Center for Information Technology, the KVI Center for Advanced Radiation Technology and the University Museum.

One of the eleven faculties is the Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences. The faculty offers bachelor's and master's programs in both Dutch and English to more than 3000 students. The doctoral candidate will be appointed in the psychology research department in the psychology department. Within the psychology department, the doctoral candidate works in research groups for environmental and traffic psychology. Research within our groups focuses on a wide range of topics, including factors influencing smart, safe and sustainable mobility (acceptance of mobility innovations, e-bike and e-car adoption, factors influencing driving performance and safety), effects of different strategies to promote safe and sustainable behavior and the acceptability of transport policy. Our research has the explicit aim to contribute to the development of both theory and practice. We work together with scientists from various disciplines within and outside the University of Groningen, and with governments, NGOs and various business organizations (e.g. companies, local and national governments).

About SMiLES
The PhD position is part of the NWO-funded research project SMiLES (Shared connectivity in Mobility and Logistics Enable Sustainability). In the SMiLES project we are setting up a "living lab" in which we use the Northern region as a test center for the opportunities of logistics and mobility systems with the aim of reducing the harmful environmental effects of logistics and mobility while at the same time guaranteeing the quality of the service. At the same time, we try to understand what barriers there are and how to tackle them. We do this by joining forces of seven faculties of the University of Groningen, each of which brings unique expertise. Together with some of the most important public and private partners in the region, we look at the economic, technical, legal, ethical, psychological and practical opportunities and barriers of various logistic and mobility systems. We link practical to scientific cases in order to arrive at new knowledge that can immediately land in practice. To ensure that the rapid change in the sector is immediately translated into education and thus the link between training and work is optimal, we want the living lab to also be a place where science, practice and training come together in different learning environments.

Conditions of employment

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

• a salary of at least € 2,395 gross per month in the first year of appointment to a maximum of € 3,061 gross per month in the last year for full-time employment
• for non-Dutch candidates a 30% tax reduction may apply
• a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
• an 8.3% year-end bonus.

It concerns a temporary 100% PhD appointment for 4 years, which must be concluded with an individual dissertation. You will first be given a temporary appointment of 18 months. If it is proved suitable on the basis of an assessment, the appointment will be extended for the remaining part of the PhD-period.

Intended effective date: December 1, 2020.


You can submit your application until 23 October 11:59pm / before 24 October 2020 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website). You must enclose a letter of motivation, stating why you want to conduct research, why you want to conduct this specific research and why you are ideally suited to carry out this research. You must also enclose a curriculum vitae. Finally, we would like to receive a reference and a recent paper or publication from your hand.

The interviews are scheduled for weeks 45 and 46 of 2020.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our University. We are committed to building a diverse faculty so you are encouraged to apply. Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP), and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers,

Acquisition is not appreciated.


For information you can contact:

  • Dr. Janet Veldstra, j.l.veldstra
  • Dr. Berfu Unal, a.b.unal

Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.