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Postdoctoral Researcher “Psychology of Social Systems”

Postdoctoral Researcher “Psychology of Social Systems”

(Postdoctoraal) onderzoeker
Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences


The aim of this project is to analyse the role of individual action and decision-making in situations in which groups are being nudged to behave in a desired way. The psychology of social systems postdoctoral project will develop insights from existing psychological theories on the often complex interplay between individuals and the social systems to which they belong to understand the phenomenon of crowd nudging and to improve socially responsible nudging of crowds. 

The psychology of social systems postdoctoral researcher will closely work together with one postdoctoral researcher in ethics, one in social physics, and other researchers in the three disciplines. She/he will bring a psychology of systems perspective “into the mix” being sensitive to the two other disciplines in three steps. The psychology postdoctoral research will develop a conceptual model for describing the relationship between the individual and the crowd, taking into account existing conceptualizations and theories in psychology, perform empirical justifications for the system model by testing various models against substantive data containing movement trajectories of individuals, and will inform the development, and empirical testing of interventions (e.g., nudges) aimed at optimizing crowd flows in train stations.

Parallel with the research, you will be part of the Physics of Social Systems learning line (three courses totalling 15 ECTS) in which students work on similar topics following an innovative challenge-based learning approach. The student work is expected to be input to the postdoc’s research. The education percentage is negotiable, but expected around 25%.

SRCrowd Project.

The psychology postdoctoral-project is part of the interdisciplinary SRCrowd research project.

The SRCrowd research project will analyse the different roles individual and collective agency play when crowds in train stations are nudged towards more responsible behaviour. The project will involve social physicists, psychologists, and system philosophers. The social physicists have already set up innovative multi-scale crowd dynamics measurements that enable individual, high-accuracy, dynamic pedestrian tracking. Psychologists will start from the individual’s angle and philosophers will start from the system angle to describe together crowd phenomenon. The overall project will consist of developing the necessary conceptualizations, modelling the crowd phenomenon and performing and studying the effects of nudging individuals/crowds towards responsibility in an ethically acceptable way.


We are looking for a postdoctoral research fellow able to perform the above tasks. We consider the following competencies and/or requirements as relevant:

  • PhD in a relevant psychology domain, including environmental, ecological, group, or social psychology; candidates from other domains are also welcome to apply, provided their interests and abilities match the strong conceptual focus of the project;
  • strong interest in investigating, both conceptually and empirically, the behaviour / psychology of the individual in relation to the larger social system to which he / she is a part; with a proven record in such or related lines of research;
  • eager to work in a dynamic, interdisciplinary research team;
  • interest in in-depth collaboration with the other disciplines and activities present in the project: physical modelling, ethics of individual and collective action and responsibility.
  • proven ability to conduct high-quality academic research, demonstrated by relevant publication(s); and
  • excellent mastering of the English language and good communication skills. Note that there is no Dutch language requirement.


  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • A full-time employment for 2 years.
  • You will have free access to high-quality training programs for research and valorization,  professional development courses for PhD students, and didactical courses of the TEACH training program.
  • A gross monthly salary between 3,353 and 4,402 and benefits in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits (including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes).
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.

Informatie en sollicitatie

Your application should contain the following documents:

  • a letter of application explaining (1) your interest in the position, (2) your qualifications for it, (3) names and contact information of two persons willing to provide references; and (4) an elaboration how you want to develop the psychology of social systems research (Which focus would you like to make in your research? What would be your personal aim in your research? …);
  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a writing sample;

If you are interested, we invite you to apply before May 23, 2021. Interviews will be held shortly thereafter. Please use the 'apply now' button to apply. Please note that a maximum of 1 document can be uploaded, so if you have more than 1 document you will have to combine them. Please do not send us applications by e-mail.

Further information

For further information on the project and the position, please contact Antal Haans (a.haans[at]

More information about the Human-Technology Interaction research group at TU/e can be found at
Information about the terms of employment can be obtained from Kim van Puijenbroek, HR advisor (pz.ieis[at] ).  Further information about Eindhoven University of Technology can be found at