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Post-doctoral researcher Acceptability of low carbon lifestyles (1.0 FTE) (221323)

Job description

The Environmental Psychology group at the University of Groningen invites applications for a temporal post-doctoral researcher position (36 months). The aim of the project is to investigate the acceptability of low carbon lifestyles, and to determine the conditions under which different low carbon lifestyles become more acceptable and likely to be adopted by individuals, households and communities. The research is funded by the Stevin prize awarded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) to Linda Steg for her pioneering, innovative and socially impactful research (

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 influence sustainable behaviours (such as energy use, car use, food consumption); understanding how people cope with environmental and climate risks; understanding the effectiveness of strategies to promote sustainable behaviour; understanding the acceptability of environmental policies; and the effects of sustainable behaviour on wellbeing. The research contributes to theory development and to practice, and is embedded in the research program 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, businesses, and organisations.

The project
To effectively mitigate climate change, people have to adopt low carbon lifestyles, meaning that they have to engage in a wide range of low carbon behaviours. Hence, we need to understand how such broader low carbon lifestyle changes can be achieved. The project aims to identify how people conceive low carbon lifestyles, to what extent people are willing to accept and adopt low carbon lifestyles, and which factors affect the likelihood that low carbon lifestyle changes are achieved. Specifically, the project aims to understand how preferences for low carbon lifestyles vary between population segments and countries, by examining heterogeneity in the acceptability and appeal of different low carbon lifestyles as a function of individual, social and contextual factors. Moreover, the research aims to identify under which conditions low carbon lifestyles will be more acceptable, and which strategies and policies can promote the adoption of low carbon lifestyles.

You will publish the results of your studies in international scientific journals as well as popular magazines and newsletters, and present your studies at international conferences and to private partners. You will be a member of the Environmental Psychology group, and your research will be embedded in the Research Program Interpersonal Behaviour of the University of Groningen.


We are looking for an early-career scholar with a PhD in Environmental or Social Psychology who has a strong research record, and who is interested in studying key drivers of low carbon lifestyles and behaviours.

We are looking for candidates who meet the following requirements:
• a PhD degree in a relevant field of Psychology, with a focus on Environmental Psychology
• a relevant publication record demonstrating your ability to publish international academic publications, preferably in top tier peer-reviewed journals
• experience with theory driven research with a clear eye for the practical implications
• a clear interest in collaborative interdisciplinary research
• the ability to communicate verbally and in written form in English and preferably Dutch (or willingness to learn Dutch)
• ability to work independently and manage joint research activities
• a team player with good communication skills.


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 as a whole. This includes the study of how people function under normal circumstances, but also 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.

Conditions of employment

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

• a salary, depending on qualifications and work experience, with a minimum of € 3,353 to a maximum of € 3,746 (salary scale 10) gross per month for a full-time position
• excluding 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% year-end bonus, participation in a pension scheme for employees and excellent secondary benefits. We offer 232 holiday hours per calendar year for a full-time employment
• an appointment on a temporary basis for three years. You will first get a contract for a year. After a positive evaluation the contract will be extended for the remaining period.

The appointee will ideally commence as soon as possible.

For more detailed information about working conditions and working for the University of Groningen, please check:


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
• contact information of two academic references.

The job interviews are scheduled in July 2021. Candidates may be asked to give a presentation.

You can submit your application until 27 June 11:59pm / before 28 June 2021 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

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,

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


For information you can contact:

  • Prof. dr. Linda Steg, e.m.steg

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