Research Professor ‘Social and Cultural Psychology’ (100%)

The Faculty of Psychology and Educational Science at KU Leuven is seeking applications for a Research Professor in Social and Cultural Psychology.

Context
The KU Leuven yearly appoints 10-15 research professors, to be selected through a competitive search among applicants from different scientific disciplines. Research professorships (“BOFZAP”) are financed by the government-sponsored University Research Fund, for a period of 10 years. The aim of research professorships is to foster excellence in research. Research Professors will be charged with a one-course teaching load from the start, and are expected to take another course after 5 years. Teaching will primarily be in the domain of social and cultural psychology.
After 10 years, the normal conditions for faculty apply, and candidates must be willing to take additional teaching duties.
The current position is meant for an early-career researcher with a high research potential, to join the Center for Cultural and Social Psychology, starting October 1, 2019. Applicants will compete in a university-wide competition, which consists of a two-step process. A first step consists of pre-application (bio-sketch and CV), due late September, 2018. Upon invitation, applicants may participate in the second step, which consists of a 5-year research proposal that is due early November, 2018. Applicants need to be sponsored by a current faculty member.
 
The Center for Social and Cultural Psychology KU Leuven
The successful applicant will join the ‘Center for Social and Cultural Psychology’ (CSCP), which currently has 4.5 academic staff and 4 postdoctoral researchers. At any time, there are 12-15 PhD researchers. The Center offers a challenging and supportive, diverse and internationally embedded research and training environment with excellent facilities including inter alia shared lab space, emo lab equipment, physio equipment, CATI facilities, access to large-scale and cross-national data infrastructure, library access, and up-to-date statistical and other software packages.  
The Center has a strong and coherent research program that converges on two key themes: (a) affective phenomena in the broadest possible sense (emotion, motivation, valuation) as essentially relational processes; and (b) the key societal challenges of diversity and inequality - with applied relevance for the wellbeing and success of women and minorities. Within these themes, each of the senior staff has their own research expertise. Batja Mesquita leads a research line on the mutual constitution of affective and cultural processes in social interactions, relationships and groups. Agnes Moors investigates the mechanistic underpinnings of emotional behavior in social interactions. Karen Phalet and Colette van Laar (senior BOFZAP) focus on interactive processes of social (de)valuation in unequal intergroup relations across cultures, ethnicity and gender respectively, with a specific focus on motivation. Vera Hoorens leads a complementary line of inquiry into social cognition (e.g., stereotypes). In keeping with Kurt Lewin’s famous adagio that “there is nothing more practical than a good theory,” the Center’s research program prioritizes empirical research that combines significant theoretical advances with high potential social impact. The Center has ongoing collaborations with other research groups and faculties at the KU Leuven, as well as extensive interuniversity and international research collaborations with academic scholars/partners in Europe, the US, and beyond. More information on the Research group can be found here: https://ppw.kuleuven.be/home/english/research/cscp/
 
Research professorship in Social and Cultural Psychology
Applicants will be required to establish an internationally competitive and distinctive research program in social and cultural psychology. The research program should be theoretically innovative with a high potential for applied impact. The applicant’s expertise should reinforce existing synergies within CSCP. While the domain within social and cultural psychology is open, the main research focus should be on affective processes (broadly including emotion, motivation, valuation) as culturally informed and socially constituted processes, i.e. as they are enacted in social interactions, relations, groups and afforded by shared cultural understandings, institutions, practices. The candidate’s expertise should be demonstrably relevant to issues of diversity and inequality. Preferred methodologies analyze affect as emergent properties of social interactions, relationships, groups. The candidate is expected to have methodological expertise and experience in a range of relevant state-of-the-art designs and statistics for complex dynamic, interdependent, multi-level data on naturalistic social interactions, relationships, or groups. In addition, expertise and experience with other methods, including controlled lab experiments and physio or other implicit measures, is also highly valued. The candidate will collaborate with other members of the research group and the faculty, to actively attract regular research funding, to supervise PhD studies, and to establish an internationally competitive research program. The research output is at a high international level.
 
Funding
All Research Professor receive a start-up grant of 100.000  euro for the first two years (not combinable with other research funding such as ERC, VIB or Odysseus).  Research funding after start-up is competitive, and can be obtained from both the University Research Council (success rate 2017: 30 to 50 %) and the Flanders Science Foundation (success rate 2017: 20,45 %).
 
Who can apply?
We encourage to apply also especially high-potential members of minority groups that are under-represented among BOFZAP staff at KU Leuven. At the start of the mandate they must have at least 3 full years and less than 7 years of full-time postdoctoral experience in scientific research, counting from the day of their PhD defense until October 1, 2019 and not counting parental leave or otherwise motivated and documented career breaks. The board of the BOFZAP Advisory Committee may authorize exceptions because of extraordinary potential and track record.  
Applicants have a demonstrated potential for research excellent, as apparent from their track record of recognized scientific publications, successful grant applications, and an international academic network. They are also expected to have excellent communication skills allowing them to collaborate with colleagues, supervise Msc and PhD students, build their own research team, and participate in international consortia. Finally, they possess excellent teaching skills.

Interested?
For more information please contact Prof. Batja Mesquita, e-mail: mesquita@kuleuven.be, tel: +32 16 32 58 68.