PhD program starting in October 2022

The Department of Psychology at the University of Koblenz-Landau offers

1 PhD Position (75% TV-L E13, 3 years)

starting in October 2022. The position is located in the work group Psychological Assessment, Personality Psychology, Psychological Methods, and Evaluation under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Eunike Wetzel. The PhD candidate is expected to pursue a research project on statistical modeling in one of the following thematic contexts:

  1. Test construction for the assessment of personality traits. The response format most commonly applied in personality questionnaires, namely rating scales, has a number of drawbacks including its susceptibility to response styles and faking. The general goal of this project is to test and improve alternative response formats such as the multidimensional forced-choice format or the graded-preference format. Examples of research questions are how to best select items for these alternative formats, the modeling of individual differences in responding to items in these formats, and whether response data from these formats can lead to more valid conclusions on participants’ trait levels than those from rating scales.
  2. Individual differences in short-term personality development. Most previous longitudinal studies had long intervals between assessments (e.g., one year or more). This project aims at investigating stability and change in personality traits in a shorter time frame (e.g., with assessments once a month) and in relation to concurrently experienced life events.

The research project will involve the application of statistical models to investigate substantive research questions within the chosen research topic, the development of new statistical models and/or elaboration of existing ones, as well as experimental tests of these models.

The PhD position is part of the DFG-funded Research Training Group “Statistical Modeling in Psychology”, which is a transregional collaboration of 13 renowned researchers from five German universities: Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, University of Mannheim, Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, and University of Koblenz-Landau at Landau. Participation in the SMiP program includes a PhD project and a curriculum on advanced statistical models for psychological research. The curriculum entails 6 semesters of courses, skill training, and workshops instructed by SMiP researchers and other renowned experts in the respective fields. The SMiP group further provides scientific contact and exchange with distinguished researchers worldwide and supports visits to external labs and research groups abroad. Participation in the SMiP program further includes conference and travel support, office space, IT equipment, and access to local laboratory facilities.

Applicants should hold a very good research-oriented Master’s degree in psychology or a related discipline and should have profound interest in approaching substantive research questions in psychology with advanced statistical models. As the official language of the SMiP group is English, proficiency in oral and written English is essential.

Interested candidates should send the completed SMiP Application Form plus the necessary certificates and documents to Prof. Dr. Eunike Wetzel via e-mail to eunike.wetzel or mail to University of Koblenz-Landau, Work Group Psychological Assessment, Personality Psychology, Psychological Methods, and Evaluation, Prof. Dr. Eunike Wetzel, Fortstraße 7, 76829 Landau (Germany).

The closing date for applications is midnight July 10th, 2022.


We are particularly pleased to receive applications from women for the position advertised here.

Please note that confidentiality violations and unauthorized third party access cannot be ruled out when using email communications that are not encrypted. After the application procedure, applications sent via standard mail will only be sent back if a postpaid envelope is included; otherwise they will be destroyed according to statutory provisions of data privacy law; electronic applications will be deleted.