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PhD position: A person-environment fit perspective on successful aging at work



Founded in 1614. One of the best universities in Europe and the world. A wide variety of disciplines. Internationally oriented. Rooted in the North of The Netherlands. Socially active. Our researchers and lecturers are inspired academics. Ambitious students. We respect the differences in talent, ambitions and performance of the 28,000 students and members of staff.

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, 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.

Job description

As the proportion of the workforce comprised of older employees continues to grow, researchers in the behavioural and social sciences have paid increasing attention to relationships between employee age and important work outcomes, with a particular focus on gaining a better understanding of the drivers of successful aging at work. Most previous research in this area has attempted to explain associations of age with work outcomes through two theoretical lenses. One stream of research has focused on how within-person changes associated with aging affect work outcomes. The second stream of research has focused on how changes in the workplace itself affect work outcomes. The goal of this PhD project is to integrate these two research streams by utilising the person-environment (P-E fit) perspective to explore the relationships between age and two sets of important work outcomes: job performance and occupational well-being.

The PhD researcher will develop, empirically test, and refine a conceptual model which integrates three interrelated research propositions. First, the model explains how age can directly influence different dimensions of objective and subjective P-E fit. Second, the model illustrates how age can moderate the relationship between objective P-E fit and subjective P-E fit. Third, the model proposes that age can moderate the relationships between P-E fit and work outcomes. The candidate will also be able to develop the research in line with their own interests and expertise.

The basic position tasks and requirements include the preparation and conduct of field and experimental research, data analysis, writing up the PhD dissertation and journal articles. The PhD student will be part of the organizational psychology group and will be supervised by Dr H. Zacher, Dr S. Scheibe, and Prof. N. Van Yperen.


We are seeking a PhD candidate with demonstrated experience of applied psychological research. A strong motivation to conduct scientific research, independence and initiative, and the ability to work with others are important. The candidate should have a Research master's degree in Organizational Psychology or equivalent relevant discipline, and the ability to communicate verbally and in written form in Dutch and English (or to learn Dutch if necessary).

Conditions of employment

The University of Groningen offers a salary of € 2,083 gross per month in the first year to € 2,664 gross per month in the final year. The full time position will be on a temporary basis for four years. After 18 months, a formal assessment of performance will take place. If the outcome is positive, the position will be extended for the remaining two and a half years. The training as researcher is also fostered by the Kurt Lewin Institute (KLI: the graduate research school) which includes regular workshops and courses.

The application must include a letter of motivation, statement of research interests and skills, an academic curriculum vitae, and a list of course grades. Please provide the names of two academic references who may be contacted regarding your suitability for the position. Please also provide a copy of your master thesis and other relevant publications (e.g., own publications).

The interviews will take place in the week of 28 April 2014.

You may apply for this position before 14 April 2014 Dutch local time by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university's website).


For information you can contact:

Dr Hannes Zacher,

(please do not use for applications)

Apply here: