PhD Stress in Action. Modelling and predicting the effect of stress

rug university groningen
  • Groningen
  • University of Groningen
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The experience of stress is an inherent aspect of daily life. However, can we validly measure this, and how and under what circumstances does it contribute to disease? We at the department of Psychometrics and Statistics at the University of Groningen are looking for a PhD student to work with us on the ambitious Stress in Action project (more details about the project can be found here:

What will you be doing?
The NWO gravitation project Stress in Action capitalizes on the fast technological advances and big data analytics to move stress research from the lab to daily life. You will be part of the data analytic support core (DASC) team. The DASC will develop a variety of big data analytics approaches. Specific analytical questions for DASC include: (1) How can the dynamic interaction between the contextual stress exposures and the multicomponent stress responses be best modeled? (2) How can these models account for individual differences in the effects of stress exposure? (3) How can we assess the predictive accuracy of these models? As a major innovation, we aim to combine Machine learning (ML) and Dynamic intensive longitudinal data (DILD) techniques to interpret temporal data better. Whereas ML focuses more on data-reduction and prediction and DILD techniques on explanation and intepretability, it is anticipated that a combination of these methods will provide better insights to answer our research questions.

More specifically, you will apply joint modelling and multilevel modelling (vector-autoregressive multilevel models) to develop dynamic predictive accuracy measures for intensive longitudinal data (e.g., the prediction of mood). The random effects coming from such a model can be used for individualized predictions. In this way, we can see if and when complex multilevel models are overfitting and whether the predictive accuracy changes over time. You will also provide a limited number of educational activities at the Psychology department, such as small-scale tutorials and guest lectures, in collaboration with the supervisors. For more information, see and

The position is situated in the Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the statistics and psychometrics department ( and the LaBlab (

The University of Groningen is a research university with a global outlook, deeply rooted in Groningen, City of Talent. Quality has had top priority for four hundred years, and with success: the University is currently in or around the top 100 on several influential ranking lists.

The Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences is a center of knowledge focusing on individuals and society. We study 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 to resolve or prevent these. Our Faculty employs about 650 employees. For more information about the Faculty, please check the link

Furthermore, as the position is part of an interdisciplinary project, you will be also working with the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rizopoulos’ lab ( Thus, short visits to Rotterdam are to be expected.

Ole Gmelin

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Will you become our new PhD Stress in Action. Modelling and predicting the effect of stress? Apply at University of Groningen